Research governance is a framework through which an institution is accountable for the scientific quality, ethical acceptability and safety of the research it allows to be conducted.

What is site specific assessment?

Site specific assessment (SSA) forms part of good research governance and is an essential component of the responsible conduct of research. It enhances ethical and scientific quality, promotes good research practice and accountability, reduces adverse incidents and ensures lessons are learned, thus reducing the likelihood of poor performance and research misconduct.

Research governance is:

  • A framework through which institutions are accountable for the research they allow to be conducted under their auspices
  • A way of thinking about and managing research and applies to all individuals involved in research – staff and students, in all professional groups, no matter how senior or junior
  • About how research is conducted and about facilitating good (ethical and worthwhile) research
  • About responsibility and about managing risk

When can I submit my Research Governance – Site-Specific Assessment (SSA) for review?

SSAs may be submitted to the Office for Research at any time irrespective of whether ethics approval has been granted. The SSA will not be issued until ethics approval is obtained and received by the Office. 

The SSA submission will be reviewed at application entry for completeness. Incomplete submissions will not be accepted for review. The review will begin upon submission of a complete SSA package (Sections 1 to 6 below) to the Governance Office inbox at

For participating site submissions, the Office for Research will accept late receipt of HREC documentation as per Section 2 until ethics approval is obtained. 

In Victoria, the ERM platform is used to create the SSA form for your governance application (Section 1b). A complete SSA package includes the signed ERM-SSA form emailed to:

Before starting your submission, does the following circumstance apply to your research project?

Does your investigator-initiated clinical study require the RMH to formally act in the capacity of sponsor as per GCP? If yes, please continue reading

Submit a governance application for site specific assessment

Section Mandatory As applicable
Section 1: All components in this section are mandatory and must be completed
Section 2: For projects where ethics approval was not undertaken by the RMH HREC
Section 3: Projects that involve collaboration with any other organisations
Section 4: Projects involving Radiation and/or GMOs
Section 5: Applicable only to drug and/or device clinical trials
Section 6: Submission procedure
1a. Obtain a local HREC project number
1b. Victorian SSA form
1c. Statement of Approval forms and Departmental forms
1d. Budget Review

Tips for preparation of budgets

  • Allow one to two weeks for departments to complete Statements of Approval for your research project
  • Governance review is facilitated by the submission of complete budgets
  • Use the appropriate template as provided on this page for budget preparation
1e. RMH Participant Information and Consent Forms (PICFs)
1f. REDCap survey and the EPIC Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
1g. Research Governance Checklist for a Site Specific Application
1h. Fee payment

Section 2: Provide the following documentation where ethics approval was not undertaken by the RMH HREC

2a. Submit HREC application documents where ethics review was not undertaken by the RMH HREC

Section 3: Projects that involve collaboration with any other organisation

3a. Research Agreements

Section 4: Complete the elements below where projects involve radiation and/or genetically modified organisms

4a. Radiation element: Research involving ionising radiation
4b. GMO element: Projects involving Genetically Modified Organisms

Section 5: Complete the following section only if your project is a clinical trial investigating a drug and/or device

5a. Drug and/or Device Clinical Trial Documentation
5b. Site selection dates for externally sponsored clinical trials
5c. CTN information

Section 6: Site Specific Assessment submission procedure

There are no submission deadlines for Site Specific applications however Site Specific applications for projects reviewed by the RMH HREC should be submitted as soon as possible.

To submit your governance application to the RMH Office for Research, you must use both the ERM platform and our Governance Inbox.

  • First, use the ERM platform to create and finalise the SSA form and document package for your governance application. When all of the signatures have been made, make sure you submit the SSA form and document package via ERM. 
  • Secondly, to complete your governance submission, the document package including the ERM-submitted SSA form MUST additionally be sent to:
Contact us
Office for Research: Governance Office
The RMH Parkville
300 Grattan St, Parkville, Victoria
Last updated 14 March 2023