How to Apply for Human Ethics Approval

Once you have established your project’s level of risk refer to the steps relevant to the review process required below.

Negligible to Low Risk Research

An Expedited Application form must be submitted, for consideration via the expedited processes. This is usually done by the Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee, and in some instances additional reviewers, depending on the project. Expedited applications can be submitted at any time.

  1. Download and complete the HREC Expedited Review form (doc)
  2. Download the HREC Sample Information and Consent to ensure all mandatory information is included in your Participant Information Sheet and Consent Forms.
  3. Submit the digital form, including all signatures and relevant attachments (consent forms, information sheets, copies of questions/surveys) to

Moderate to High Risk Research

Submit a Full Application at one of the scheduled meetings via one of the accepted online application processes.

  1. Fill in the online form: HREA Form Portal .
  2. This form is comprehensive and you will be asked pertinent questions about all aspects of the research.
  3. All applications must be certified with appropriate signatures and relevant documentation attached (such as consent forms, information sheets, copies of questionnaires/surveys, approvals by external clients).
  4. Download the HREC Sample Information and Consent to ensure all mandatory information is included in your Participant Information Sheet and Consent Forms.
  5. Submit downloaded PDF application to
  6. Help and Information:
    1. NHMRC have developed a HREA "How to" Guide and HREA Getting Started Guide and some "How to" videos.
    2. The Secretary is available to assist researchers in completing their applications. Please allow sufficient review time before the submission date.
    3. All correspondence regarding ethics applications is usually processed within two weeks of the HREC meeting.

Minimisation of Duplication

If a research proposal has been approved by another organisation or University ethics committee and also involves Southern Cross University researchers, then a minimisation of duplication application is submitted to Southern Cross University as a formality and to receive an Southern Cross University ethical clearance number (ECN). Southern Cross University must be aware of ALL research being conducted by Southern Cross University staff and students. There is a specific form for External Ethics approval and this is usually approved expeditiously. A copy of the external ethics approval and the application must be included. Download HREC Minimising Duplication of Ethical Review Form (doc).

Review Outcomes

You will receive acknowledgement and advice about what review process we will apply to your application.

The ethics office will communicate the outcome, in writing resulting in one of the following outcomes:

  1. Approved with standard conditions (Annual Reporting, Reporting of Changes of Protocol, Completion Reports and Adverse Events reports).
  2. Approved with more than standard conditions.
  3. The Committee has further questions and you will need to respond or re-submit parts of your application.
  4. You may be required to resubmit the application.

All Ethics applications are approved for three (3) years, with standard conditions or additional conditions as communicated by HREC.

If unsure, please always feel free to get in touch with the Ethics Office or the Chair of HREC.