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The Departments of Defence
and Veterans' Affairs
Human Research Ethics Committee

The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee (DDVA HREC)



Background

Following a Government decision to merge the Australian Defence Human Research Ethics Committee and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee, the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs (DDVA HREC) was established on 1 July 2017. The DDVA HREC is registered with the National Health and Medical Research Council (EC00460).

Meetings

The committee meets ten times per year between February and November.

The meeting and submission dates are as follows:

Meeting Dates Submission Closing Date
21 August 2017 17 July 2017
18 September 2017 21 August 2017
16 October 2017 18 September 2017
20 November 2017 16 October 2017
19 February 2018 22 January 2018
19 March 2018 19 February 2018
16 April 2018 19 March 2018
21 May 2018 23 April 2018
18 June 2018 21 May 2018
16 July 2018 18 June 2018
20 August 2018 23 July 2018
17 September 2018 20 August 2018
15 October 2018 17 September 2018
19 November 2018 22 October 2018

Research governance requirements

Prior to submitting an ethics proposal for consideration by the DDVA HREC, researchers are required to obtain evidence of organisational support and in-principle command approval for research conducted by or involving Defence personnel (or their data). Approval should be obtained from a commander or manager of a rank/Australian Public Servise (APS) classification no lower than one-Star/Senior Executive Service (SES) Band 1.

Templates to facilitate these approvals are provided in sections 7 and 8 of the Project Description. Individuals providing command approval must be in the direct chain-of-command of the area where volunteers are being sought.

Where volunteers are being sought from multiple areas of the organisation, researchers will need to ensure that approvals for each relevant cohort are obtained.

Further detail on the requirements for organisational support and command approval is available in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines (paragraphs 1.16 – 1.17).

Failure to obtain organisational support and command approval prior to submission will result in delays in consideration by the DDVA HREC.

New proposals

The pro forma for submissions to the DDVA HREC is the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA), which must be accompanied by a Project Description. The HREA,  Project Description and all other relevant supporting documentation including, but not limited to, the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form, surveys and recruitment materials and brief  curriculum vitae (not exceeding five pages) for all research personnel are to be submitted to the DDVA HREC for consideration.  

Research proposals are to be written in clear and comprehensive lay language in accordanc with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct of Human Research.

Please note that hitting the &lso;squubmit’ button on the HREA submits the application into the online system and not to the DDVA HREC. Applications must be downloaded from the system and emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au by the submission closing date.

Following receipt of an application the Secretariat will acknowledge the application and an administrative review will be undertaken. The Secretariat will then advise if further information is required prior to consideration by the DDVA HREC.

Resubmissions

Following review of a research proposal, the DDVA HREC may request further information. The ethical review outcome letter will advise on whether the resubmission requires consideration at a scheduled meeting or out-of-session. For resubmissions that require full review, the resubmission is to be emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au  by the submission closing date.

Amendments

The Principal Investigator is to seek ethical approval of amendments to approved protocols prior to their implementation. The Research Protocol Amendment Form and any relevant supporting documentation are to be emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au. Requests will be considered by the Chair, or delegate, in the first instance. Where consideration is required by the full HREC the request will be tabled for consideration at the next available opportunity.

Extensions to the period of ethical approval

In accordance with the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines, ethical approval is valid for up to three years. If research is to extend beyond the date specified, an extension to the period of ethical approval will be required. The Principal Investigator can either request an extension of period of ethical approval by submitting a Research Protocol Amendment Form or in the Research Project Progress Report for the preceding period prior to the expiration of ethical approval.

Monitoring of Research

In accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct of Human Research, the DDVA RHEC monitors approved research to verify that the research conforms to the approved proposal.

Progress Reports

Progress reports are to be submitted twice per year by 1 June and 1 December for the lifespan of the project. The reports are to completed on the Research Project Progress Report, signed by the Principal Investigator and emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au.

Further detail on the submission and review of progress reports is available in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines (paragraphs 1.60 – 1.61 and 2.77 – 2.79).

Adverse and Serious Adverse Events

The DDVA HREC is to be notified of serious adverse events within 72 hours and adverse events within 30 days. Notification is to be on the Adverse and Serious Adverse Event Report Form.

Further information of reporting of adverse or serious adverse events is available in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines (paragraphs 1.62 – 1.63).

Final Reports

A final report is required on completion or abandonment of a research project. The reports are to be completed on the Research Project Final Report and emailed to ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au

Further information of submission and review of final reports is available in the DDVA HREC Researcher and Administrative Guidelines (paragraphs 1.65 – 1.66 and 2.85 – 2.86).

Members

Prof Colin Thomson Chair
Mr Ian Tindall Deputy Chair
Mr Lindsay Roe Layperson
Dr David Ugalde Layperson
Ms Margaret Proctor Layperson
Ms Vivienne Moyle Layperson
Dr Carl Bryant Professional Care/Counselling
Mr Stephen Brimstone Professional Care/Counselling
CHAP Robert Sutherland Pastoral Care
REV Nicole Coleman Pastoral Care
Dr Wendy Bonython Lawyer
Ms Sarah Byrne Lawyer
Dr Herbert Biggs Researcher
Mr Tony Cotton AM Researcher
Dr Jane Harte Researcher
Dr Rebekah Doley Researcher
Dr Renee Otmar Researcher
Dr Richard Saker Researcher
Dr Victoria Ross Defence Health Graduate
CAPT Nicole Curtis Defence Health Graduate
Mr Christopher Wilson Contemporary Veteran
Ms Catherine Walsh Contemporary Veteran

Contact Us

ddva.hrec@defence.gov.au