Changes to ethics and governance

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The Women’s is working towards the closure of the Women’s Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) single site approval in late 2024, due to the increasing need for National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) ethics approvals.

All existing Women’s single site HREC approved projects will be transferred under the umbrella of the Royal Melbourne Hospital HREC by late 2024. Until the transfer, all Women’s approved projects will remain under the Women’s HREC.


Not accepting new applications

The Women’s HREC is no longer receiving new applications. 

The last Women’s HREC was held on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

Current approved projects

All existing Women’s single site HREC approved projects will stay under the Women’s HREC until the transfer.

All post-approval reporting, minor / administrative amendments, progress and final reports, safety and adverse event reports and serious breaches will continue to be submitted to the Women’s Research Office via the Ethical Review Manager (ERM) platform.

Submission of new ethics applications

There are 7 NHMRC certified National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme HRECs in Victoria. These HRECs are based at Melbourne Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Alfred Health, St Vincent’s Hospital, Austin Health and Monash Health.

All of these committees charge fees related to HREC submissions and amendments for commercially sponsored and non-commercially sponsored / investigator-initiated projects. For more information, please visit the individual HREC websites. Fees are incurred at the cost of the researcher.

The Women’s will accept NMA HREC approved projects that have the Women’s listed as a site.

More details of the NMA Scheme are available at Clinical Trials and Research in Victoria.

Which NMA HREC committee should I submit to?

Researchers can submit their ethics application to any of the NHMRC approved NMA HREC committees.

Note: The Women’s needs to be listed as a site in the approved application.

The Women’s Research Office recommends:

  • submission to the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) HREC. We are working closely with the RMH Office for Research, with many processes being aligned between the offices.
  • specialised projects should submit to specialised HRECs e.g. newborn research to the Royal Children’s Hospital HREC, cancer research to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre HREC.


All research governance relating to research activity and projects occurring at the Women’s will remain within the Women’s Research Office going forward.

All applications for site specific assessment (research governance) must be submitted via the Ethical Review Manager (ERM) platform.

As part of the changes, the Women’s Research Committee will continue to review projects (scientific/ research and feasibility) prior to submission to an NMA HREC. This is to improve the quality and ensure projects align with Women’s governance.

This review process will become a mandatory component of all Women’s site specific assessment submissions.

Meeting dates and deadline TBC.

Date reviewed: 24 June 2024

Date reviewed: 24 June 2024