Research Pathways

Single centre studies

Under the WA Health Single Ethical Review the reviewing Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) should be chosen in accordance with the following order of choice:

  1. The Lead HREC has expertise in reviewing the relevant research category; these are documented in the WA Health Research Governance and Single Ethical Review Standard Operating Procedures (PDF).
  2. The Lead HREC is associated with the WA Health site where the Coordinating Principal Investigator or Principal Investigator (CPI/PI) will be conducting the research; or where a PI is located (if the CPI has no association with WA Health sites).
  3. If the CPI or PIs have no association with site, the selection of the Lead HREC (with the relevant expertise) is at the discretion of the CPI.


Low and negligible risk pathways

Negligible risk research

Research that poses only a negligible risk to participants (that is, risk that does not rise to the level of ‘discomfort’) is now eligible for an abridged scientific, ethical and institutional application and review. We now aim to reduce the review timeline for research in this category to 10 days for ethics and governance review. Please note: this does not include time awaiting a response from applicants.

Low risk research

Research which involves the analysis of non-personal data (data that cannot, individually, cumulatively or in combination with data from other available sources, lead to the identification of individuals) may not require review at an ethics meeting and can be reviewed and approved out of session. Eligibility for submission via these new processes is at the discretion of the Department of Research. Ethics review will aim to be done within 10 days and governance review will take additional time.

For further information on these new review pathways, please contact the SCGH HREC office.


Multi-centre studies

For the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) process, whereby the HREC can provide ethics approval for all Australian public health sites, refer to the NMA guidelines on the RGS Multi-centre Research tab. Please note Governance approval still needs to be obtained at each site as this process determines the suitability and capacity of the site to carry out the study.

A research study needs to obtain separate HREC (and Governance) approvals for each site in a country outside Australia.

Please consider contacting the Ethics Office before starting a research application.

Last Updated: 22/11/2021