As both a researcher and a research administrator in healthcare, one of the more vexing issues that I have to deal with on an almost daily basis is how to manage what are termed quality assurance, quality improvement and audit activities. In its 2014 publication entitled “Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and Evaluation Activities”, the NHMRC (NHMRC QA guidance) suggests that these can be loosely gathered together under an umbrella term of Quality Assurance (QA) and/or evaluation. I believe this construct is wrong and reinforces a longstanding approach to ethics review that relies on the category of an investigative activity to determine the level of review that is used. This approach is problematic and leads to some significant unintended consequences.
If you build it, they will come- 2020 Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) Training Conference (online) 18-20 Nov
Approximately 2.5 months from inception to execution, a veritable cornucopia of Australia’s thought leaders on topics such as consent, voluntary
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In this post, Gary, Mark and Kim refect on the draft update to Section 5 of the Australia’s National Statement.
“In recent years in Australia, we have seen some painful cases where research ethics review delegated to a non-HREC review body has failed to guard against projects that proved to be embarrassing for their host institution (see, for example, the ‘Racist bus driver’ and ‘Laughing at the disabled’ projects)….”
The publication of the Hong Kong Principles comes at a time when there has never been more scrutiny of research. In this pandemic, the importance of science has been reinforced time and time again, but the importance of efforts to enhance reproducibility and transparency in research has also come to the fore. What the Hong Kong Principles do is provide a framework whereby research practices that strengthen integrity in research – a core component of reproducibility and trustworthiness – can be recognised, supported and rewarded.
Dr Gary Allen It doesn’t seem so long ago that all that HRECs in Australia needed to do was consider
In this controversial post, AHRECS Senior Consultant Dr Gary Allen poses the challenging question: Should institutions with lean and fast proportional review arrangements leverage them as incentives for ethical behaviour.
AHRECS recommends institutions resourcing reflective practice, rather than police compliance (https://www.ahrecs.com/resources/resourcing-reflective-practice-whiteboard-video-7-5-min) but could such a systemic reward be helpful?
He discusses the behaviour that could be rewarded and how the reward might function.
The post suggests the arrangements, processes and data collection institutions will need to have in place to make such a reward system work.
While we are generally not fans of introducing any punitive element to human research ethics, preferring collegiate approaches that are focussed constructively on an institution’s research culture, this is an interesting idea. It is worth further serious consideration.
In the 1990s, I worked with many community groups and Native American/African-American communities on
JC Gaillard School of Environment, The University of Auckland, New Zealand Unit for Environmental
Professor Jennifer Byrne | University of Sydney Medical School and Children’s Hospital at Westmead
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The Research Ethics Monthly is a free monthly publication about human research ethics and research integrity. It is emailed to our subscribers generally towards the end of every month.
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