Health Research Coordination (HRC) provides Secretariat support to the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DDVA HREC) and the Joint Health Command Low-Risk Ethics Panel (JHC-LREP).
HRC are responsible for the ethical monitoring of approved health and medical research and managing the review of proposed publications and presentations.
Prior to submitting an ethics proposal for consideration by the JHC-LREP, researchers are required to obtain evidence of organisational support and in-principle command approval for research conducted by or involving Defence personnel (or their data). Approval should be obtained from a commander or manager of a rank/Australian Public Service (APS) classification no lower than one-Star/Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1.
Further detail on the requirements for organisational support and command approval is available in the Defence Health Manual Volume 3 Part 18 Chapter 1 (paragraphs 1.14 – 1.15).
Failure to obtain organisational support and in-principle command approval prior to submission will result in delays in consideration by the JHC-LREP.
The JHC-LREP was established in 2014 and is responsible for the ethical review of low and negligible risk health and medical research. The scope and responsibilities of the JHC-LREP are outlined in the JHC-LREP Terms of Reference.
The JHC-LREP does not have a formal meeting schedule. Applications will be considered out-of-session and a response can be anticipated 12 business days.
Submissions to JHC-LREP are to be written in lay language in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct of Human Research and are to include the Health Research Ethical Review Assessment, the Low Risk Research Protocol Application for Ethical Review, the relevant supporting documentation (including but not limited to surveys and recruitment materials) and brief curriculum vitae for all research personnel. Where the research involves access to data collected as part of a previous study, the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form for the previous study/ies must also be provided. Applications are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Following receipt of an application the Secretariat will acknowledge the application and an administrative review will be undertaken. The Secretariat will then advise if further information is required prior to consideration by the JHC-LREP.
Prior to commencement of a quality assurance/evaluation activity, the Quality Assurance & Evaluation Activity Checklist is to be completed and emailed to email@example.com. Further details on quality assurance and evaluation activities can be found in the Defence Health Manual Volume 3 Part 18 Chapter 1 (paragraphs 1.17 – 1.18).
The Principal Investigator is to seek ethical approval of amendments to approved protocols prior to their implementation. The Research Protocol Amendment Form and any relevant supporting documentation are to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests will be considered by the Chair, or delegate, in the first instance.
If research is to extend beyond the ethical approval date specified, an extension to the period of ethical approval will be required. The Principal Investigator can either request an extension of period of ethical approval by submitting a The Research Protocol Amendment Form or in the Research Project Progress Report for the preceding period prior to the expiration of ethical approval.
In accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct of Human Research, the JHC-LREP monitors approved research to verify that the research conforms to the approved proposal.
Progress reports are to be submitted annually for the lifespan of the project. The reports are to be completed on the Research Project Progress Report, signed by the Principal Investigator and emailed to email@example.com.
Further detail on the submission and review of progress reports is available in Defence Health Manual Volume 3 Part 18 Chapter 1 (paragraphs 1.53 – 1.57).
The JHC-LREP is to be notified of serious adverse events within 72 hours and adverse events within 30 days. Notification is to be on the Adverse and Serious Adverse Event Report Form.
Further information of reporting of adverse or serious adverse events is available in the Defence Health Manual Volume 3 Part 18 Chapter 1 (paragraphs 1.60 – 1.64)
Further information of submission and review of final reports is available in the Defence Health Manual Volume 3 Part 18 Chapter 1 (paragraphs 1.66 – 1.68)
Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have established a joint human research ethics committee (HREC). Further information on the DDVA HREC is available at http://www.defence.gov.au/health/hrec/
The Australian Defence Human Research Ethics Committee (ADHREC) (previously known as the Australian Defence Medical Ethics Committee) was established in 1988 and first met in November 1989. ADHREC was closed on the 30 June 2017 and was replaced by the DDVA HREC.
ADHREC provided updates on the committee’s activities during its tenure to the Chief of the Defence Force via an Annual Report.