The RMH Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is an NHMRC-accredited ethics committee and is qualified to review applications for the approval of clinical trials.

Before starting a research or quality assurance project, researchers must have ethics and governance approval.


The RMH HREC acts by way of delegated authority of the Board of Directors and has executive authority conferred on it to fulfil the roles and carry out the functions detailed in our Terms of Reference.

The HREC is established pursuant to the bylaws of the RMH as a sub-committee of the RMH Executive and operates within the guidelines of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The HREC reports to the Chief Executive through the Director of Research.

Scope of responsibility

The HREC has been established to conduct scientific and ethical reviews of proposals for human research:

  • To be undertaken at or under the auspices of the RMH
  • Received by the HREC in the exercise of its function as an accredited HREC within the streamlined ethical review of clinical trials program of the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria
  • Received by the HREC in the exercise of review processes accepted, accredited or certified for the purposes of any other system designed to eliminate unnecessary duplication of ethics review of human research, including the National Mutual Acceptance program operating throughout Australia.


The roles of the HREC are to:

  • Ensure that the design and conduct of any human research that it reviews within the scope of its responsibilities conforms with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2008 (National Statement) and other relevant national codes of human research ethics and also with the ethical standards to which the RMH is committed
  • Ensure that participants in any human research that the HREC reviews and approves are accorded the respect and protection that is due to them
  • Facilitate and foster human research that is of benefit to Australian communities
  • Ensure that any decision it makes complies with relevant Victorian and Australian laws


In fulfilling these roles, the HREC will:

  • Receive and review proposals for human research projects to determine whether they meet all relevant ethical standards
  • Ensure that it is sufficiently informed on all aspects of a research proposal, including its scientific and statistical validity, before deciding whether a proposal is both acceptable on ethical grounds and conforms with the National Statement
  • Decide whether participants in all reviewed and approved human research projects will be accorded the protection and respect that is due to them
  • Advise the RMH and researcher applicants whether reviewed research proposals meet relevant ethical standards and have or have not been approved and provide reasons, linked to the National Statement, for those decisions
  • Determine, for each reviewed and approved research project, that there will be mechanisms to monitor the conduct of the research and that the frequency and type of those mechanisms reflect the degree of risk to participants
  • Offer relevant advice and assistance to other institutions without formally constituted HRECs
  • Implement systems adopted by the RMH to promote the efficient ethical review of multicentre research projects to minimise unnecessary duplication of ethical review of human research
  • Have the authority to delegate to a subcommittee any of its powers and functions that are capable of being delegated to assist in the expeditious and effective ethical review of research proposals. The HREC will remain responsible and accountable for the activities and recommendations of any subcommittees
  • Consider issues referred by the Board of Directors of the RMH and, where appropriate, provide advice to the Board of Directors especially on policy issues with ethical implications
  • Provide a forum in which staff, patient, carer or student concerns regarding ethical issues in research can be considered and investigated
  • Promote a deeper understanding of ethical issues related to research within the RMH through educational activities


The RMH HREC will be constituted in conformity with the National Statement and will have at least eight members, both men and women, namely:

  • A chairperson, with suitable experience, whose other responsibilities will not impair the HREC’s capacity to carry out its obligations under the National Statement
  • At least two members who are lay people, one man and one woman, who have no affiliation with the institution and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work, and who are preferably from the community in which the institution is located
  • At least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example a nurse, medical practitioner, or allied health professional
  • At least one member who performs a pastoral care role in a community, for example, an Aboriginal elder or a minister of religion
  • At least one member who is a practicing lawyer, but where possible one who is not engaged to advise the institution
  • At least two members with current research experience that is relevant to research proposals to be considered at the meetings they attend
  • Additional members as required from time to time to assist with scientific review and ethical decision-making

HREC Terms of Reference

The RMH HREC Terms of Reference (221KB - pdf document)

HREC membership lists

2024 membership

HREC membership April 2024 (226KB - pdf document)
HREC membership January 2024 (230KB - pdf document)

2023 membership

HREC membership June 2023 (137KB - pdf document)
HREC membership February 2023 (136KB - pdf document)

2022 membership

HREC membership August 2022 (519KB - pdf document)
HREC membership May 2022 (104KB - pdf document)
HREC membership March 2022 (104KB - pdf document)

2021 membership

HREC membership April 2021 (180KB - pdf document)
HREC membership February 2021 (97KB - pdf document)

Previous years' membership

HREC membership June 2020 (401KB - pdf document)
HREC membership May 2019 (37KB - pdf document)
HREC membership April 2018 (184KB - pdf document)
HREC membership August 2017 (195KB - pdf document)
HREC membership July 2019 (64KB - pdf document)
HREC membership March 2016 (63KB - pdf document)
HREC membership February 2015 (36KB - pdf document)
HREC membership July 2014 (36KB - pdf document)
Contact us
Office for Research: Chair Human Research Ethics Committee
The RMH Parkville
300 Grattan St, Parkville, Victoria