The Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) of the NHMRC is currently coordinating a public consultation with regard to a new Chapter 3.1, significant revisions to Chapter 3.5, associated minor changes to Section 5 and proposed additions to the Glossary of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia (UA) are seeking the input of a wide range of researchers, research ethics reviewers and research office staff.
You can find the details of this public consultation process here.
Three members of the AHRECS team (Gary, Colin and Mark) were members of the 10 person committee that drafted the new Chapter 3.1. The drafting committee’s recommendations were considered and endorsed by the National Statement Review Working Group, which includes nominees from the ARC and UA. The AHRECS team are proud of our role in the drafting of the new Chapter 3.1 and the additions to the Glossary. We believe that this material will provide useful guidance with regard to the ethical design and the review of human research across a far wider range of human research (sub)disciplines, methods and designs than is addressed by the existing National Statement.
We also believe the proposed changes to Chapter 3.5 make a welcome contribution with regard to genomic research.
With full acknowledgement that we are not an unbiased commentator with regard to these changes, we urge members of the AHRECS community to read through the changes and consider submitting a response to the public consultation. Making a submission is important even if you are supportive of the proposed changes. Indeed, given the significance of what has been proposed an expression of support may be essential to ensure the changes are included in the National Statement.