WACHS research - Ethics and governance review

The WA Country Health Service Research Governance Framework was established in 2016 and includes the Research Governance Review Function, Ethics Review Function and Quality Improvement Function.

Research projects undertaken within WA Country Health Service (WACHS) sites or accessing WACHS participants such as staff, patients or their carers (including their data and/or tissue) will be submitted, reviewed and approved through the WA Health Research Governance Service (RGS) information technology (IT) system.

RGS has been designed, developed and funded by the Department of Health in collaboration with the Health Support Services to support the research governance framework for human research projects conducted across WA Health.

The RGS is a centralised system for all WA Health research so that investigators, research group members and sponsors can complete, submit, manage and track their ethics and governance documentation through the life cycle of their human research project. 

The RGS can be accessed through the RGS website. Information about the RGS and WA Health research governance processes can be found at the Research Governance website and guidance on how to use the system is located in the Help Wiki section.

Please read the Stage I: All Users (Getting Stared) Training Manual (PDF 2.77MB) for more information regarding the RGS and the submission of new projects process. For assistance with the system please contact: RGS.Support@health.wa.gov.au 

Ethics review (step one)

Human research ethical and scientific review enables WA Health to ensure that a proposed research project complies with appropriate ethical and scientific standards through an effective and efficient system of review. This review is conducted by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) which is regulated by the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated 2018) guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Ethics review information

WA Health utilises the WA Health Single Ethical Review process whereby single-centre research (involving only one WA health service) requires review from the WA Health Lead HREC overseeing that jurisdiction and multi-centre research (involving two or more WA Health services) requires review by only one Lead WA Health HREC. WA Health Services also recognise HREC's certified under the National Mutual Acceptance Scheme (NMA). Please see the list of NMA certified HREC's here

Contacts for all WA Health HRECs are available on the Research Governance Service website.

Contact Information: WACHS.HREC@health.wa.gov.au 

Research Governance review (step two)

If you have ethical approval from an NMA certified HREC, please contact the WACHS Research Governance Coordinator to discuss the Research Governance submission process or refer to the RGS Help Wiki for instructions.

Following ethical review by a Lead HREC, all human research conducted in WA Health must undergo a research governance review by each institution involved before final authorisation can be granted and the research can commence at a site or access participants, tissue or data. Research governance ensures the principles, requirements and standards of research are implemented. It addresses protection of research participants, the safety and quality of research, finances, legal and regulatory matters, risk management, monitoring arrangements, and promotes good research culture and practice.

This review is an independent institutional review and is conducted by every WA Health institution a research project involves PRIOR to any research commencing at that site or involving the health service’s participants. Please refer to the WA Health Research Governance Policy and Procedures, 2012 or visit the Research Governance Review Information page on the website for further information. 

Research Governance review information

Contact Information: WACHS.ResearchGovernance@health.wa.gov.au 

The RGS User Guides and Help Wiki have been updated and contain information about how to complete a monitoring application via RGS. Presentations were conducted across WA Health during August 2018, slides from this presentation are available on RGS Research Education Page and a direct link to these slides is available via the following link – Navigating the RGS as a Researcher for Research Monitoring August 2018.

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