In this section
National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) enables the mutual acceptance of a single scientific and ethical review for multi site human research. The research needs to be conducted in publicly funded health services across Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.
Mutual acceptance under the NMA scheme requires the HREC conducting the ethical review to be certified under the NHMRC National Certification Scheme. The HREC also needs to be a Certified Reviewing HREC under the NMA scheme.
Please find more information outlining the process for
NMA submissions when the application is across multiple states and possibly multiple computer systems.
information on NMA, including a list of certified reviewing HRECs, can be found here.
You need to pre-register your study prior to submission. You can do this by completing the pre-registration form.
You also need an ERM project number.
If you are submitting a multi-site research application to the RCH HREC, please refer to this checklist:
RCH REG Application Coversheet
Protocol - See
Guidance and Protocol templates
Medical Physicist report (if applicable)
is now completed via the MCC Department and Ethics Research Platform
Please note: the application will not be reviewed by the HREC until this is provided.
If your study is being conducted at or by the Melbourne Children's Campus (incorporating RCH, MCRI and/or the University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics),
you will also need to submit for local governance
authorisation. You can submit these together and have this occur concurrently
with ethical review, or you can submit for ethics review while you prepare your
authorisation will require:
Supporting Department Declarations completed via the MCC Department
and Ethics Research Platform if
This Platform allows you to request support
from the following Departments:
Up until 16th February 2024, Yyou
must upload all of these documents to ERM. Give each of your documents a clear
file name that includes the version number and date. The version number and
date in the file name should be the same as the version number and date in the
body of your document.
From 17th February 2024, only your protocol and patient-facing materials
are required to be uploaded to ERM. These are uploaded within the HREA or
SSA, for Ethics or Governance submissions respectively. If
you are unsure where to upload each document MCC DERP will
guide you through what is required for your project.
You need to submit high risk research to the REG office by a deadline. See the HREC and DTS meeting dates for information about these deadlines. You can submit low risk research to us any time.
The Coordinating Principal Investigator (CPI) is a local PI who has agreed to take responsibility for submitting the ethics application, obtaining approval and fulfilling all ongoing reporting requirements associated that such approval.
For additional information, please review the
CPI Responsibilities document.
The following process maps may be useful when preparing the submitting an application:
Ethical approval can only be granted by a fully constituted and certified Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). Ethical approval is required for all research involving humans, irrespective of capacity.
Governance authorisation is granted by the CEO, or delegate, at each individual site, and is the final requirement before any research can begin. The scope of governance authorisation is different at each site. However, generally it requires the submission of all HREC approved
documents along with a Site Specific Assessment Form and Site Specific Informed Consent Documents.
This process also generally involves the review and authorisation of any legal/regulatory documents, such as indemnities and clinical trial research agreements.
All research projects that involve ionising radiation, regardless of whether the procedures are part of routine clinical care or additional to it, should complete a Medical Physicist Report. This is completed via the MCC Department and Ethics Research Platform. The RCH-RSO can be contacted for assistance to complete this form. As applicable, the Medical Physicist report must be included as part of the ethics application. If the Medical Physicists Report advises that the Department of Health (DH) must be notified, the project can only be notified to the DH once the project has ethics approval and authorisation by RCH. It is the responsibility of the researcher to notify DH.
Please note: the application will not be reviewed by the HREC until the Medical Physicist Report is provided.
If your project includes one of the following, a
Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is required:
Sponsors are required to complete an eCTN form online; the eCTN form requires site contact details to be included. For RCH/MCRI, the relevant details can be found
The new process is as
For studies where MCRI is
the sponsor: the Principal Investigator (or delegate) must make an appointment with the Melbourne Children's Trial Centre (MCTC) to complete the eCTN. As the sponsor must be the one to lodge the eCTN, MCTC has taken this role for MCRI (and have the primary account). MCTC can be contacted by email at
Departments that conduct a large amount of CTN research can talk to MCTC about gaining a secondary account/log-in to create their departments eCTN forms which can then be lodged by MCTC (on behalf of the sponsor) once approved.
In the event that RCH HREC
is providing HREC review only (i.e. the study is being conducted outside the
Melbourne Children's): The sponsor e.g. commercial or another institution acting as the sponsor, will need to lodge the form directly to the TGA.
The Therapeutic Goods Act requires the sponsors maintain evidence of approval from all necessary parties, allowing the study to start. In place of the hard copy signatures previously captured by the blue CTN form, the following now applies:
To determine whether fees are applicable to the review of your submission, please review the schedule of
Submission Fees.Fees are payable at the time of submission.
The time to approval following submission to the Ethics Office is approximately six weeks. However, if the application is incomplete and/or of insufficient quality, additional information will be sought which will result in a longer time to approval.
You can find more information on the Clinical Trial Research Coordinating Office Website.