In Victoria, all reporting to the reviewing HREC aligns with the guidance of the NHMRC – Safety Monitoring and Reporting in Clinical Trials Involving Therapeutic Goods (NHMRC, 2016). In this guidance, the responsibility of reporting to the reviewing HREC is assigned to the sponsor of the research project. The sponsor may be an institution, investigator, collaborative group or commercial company.

Office for Research News Update: Reduced Services over Christmas holiday period

The Melbourne Health Office for Research (OFR) will close over the Christmas holiday period from 12pm, Thursday 20th December 2018 inclusive and reopen on Monday 7th January 2019.

Leading up to this time, the OFR will be on reduced services. The OFR will continue to accept post approval items such as amendments/safety reports/breach reports/progress and final reports. However the review of these items will be deferred until mid-to-late January 2019.

Where there is a need for urgent review of an amendment or a safety report which may impact patient wellbeing, researchers are strongly advised to telephone the office on (03) 9342 8530 to ensure that the urgency of your correspondence is clearly understood so that review can occur in a timely manner.

Serious Breach report form (Sponsor)

Serious Breach is a breach of Good Clinical Practice or the protocol that is likely to affect to a significant degree the safety or rights of a research participant or the reliability and robustness of the data generated in the research project.

Serious breaches must be notified to the reviewing Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

This form must be completed by the sponsor when reporting a serious breach to the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) or when a sponsor is providing additional/follow-up information following notification by an individual / institution of a confirmed serious breach.

Serious breaches at a site should also be reported by the site Principal Investigator (PI) to their site Research Governance Officer (RGO) using this form.

Suspected Breach report form (Third Party)

Suspected Breach is a report that is judged by the reporter as a possible serious breach but has yet to be formally confirmed as a serious breach by the sponsor.

Serious breaches must be notified to the reviewing Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

This form must be completed when a third party (e.g. individual / institution) wishes to report a suspected breach of Good Clinical Practice or the protocol. This should be reported directly to the reviewing HREC without reporting through the sponsor.

Non-serious Breach - Deviation Report

A Deviation is any breach, divergence or departure from the requirements of Good Clinical Practice or the clinical trial protocol and does not have a significant impact on the continued safety or rights of participants or the reliability and robustness of the data generated in the clinical trial. Deviations that are considered to be a serious breach should be reported using the Serious Breach Report Form (Sponsor).

To fulfill ICH-GCP requirements any deviations are to be reported to the sponsor. Not all deviations require reporting to the reviewing HREC but sites should decide according to site policy. A copy of this report should be provided to the Research Governance Officer (RGO) at the Principal Investigator’s site.

The sponsor in collaboration with the site Principal Investigator should complete this form to report a non-serious breach - deviation.

How to submit serious breaches

  1. Complete and submit a Breach Report
  2. Submit a copy of the Breach Report via the email templated to: and attach the relevant report.
  • Name the file and the subject of the email so that it includes the project number, the type of document and the date it was sent (such as 2015.001 Serious Breach Report Form (Sponsor)1 March 2018).
  • An automatic email reply will be sent to you to confirm receipt of the correspondence by the Office for Research.
  • Acknowledgement and/or queries will be emailed to you by the Office for Research in due course.