ACAP Research Ethics

The Australian College of Applied Psychology believes that all research should be conducted with honesty and integrity, and follow responsible and ethical research practices. All ACAP students, staff and research partners engaged in research with ACAP are expected to adhere to the standards of ethical conduct prescribed in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007), as well as the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007), each developed jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC) and Universities Australia.

Additionally, researchers at ACAP engaged in research involving indigenous concerns or participants must adhere to the Values and Ethics: Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research (2003), developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Guidelines for Ethical Research in Indigenous Studies (2012), developed by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Research Involving Human Participants

All research undertaken by ACAP students and staff that involves human participants requires ethics approval from the Navitas Professional Institute Human Research Ethics Committee (NPI HREC) before the research is commenced. Through this ethics approval process research is assessed for quality, safety, privacy, risk management, financial management and ethical acceptability in accord with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

This process of ethical review and approval reassures researchers that their research project complies with the Code and Standards and related statutory requirements, and has moral validation as well as institutional backing. It also provides researchers with an opportunity to enhance the rigour and quality of their project. Researchers of ACAP HREC approved human research projects are also required to submit an annual progress report to the ACAP HREC.

Further information can be found in ACAP’s Introductory Research Guide, as well as the ACAP Human Research Approval and Conduct Guide.

Navitas Professional Institute Human Research and Ethics Committee

Professor Carolyn Noble Chair
Professor Mike Innes Research Expert
Dr Katrina Andrews Research Expert
Ms Robyn Rudner Person with knowledge of professional care, counselling or treatment of people.
Associate Professor Frankie Merritt Aboriginal Leader/Pastoral Care
Ms Ann Gibson Lawyer
Associate Professor Sharon Moore Research expert
Dr Elizabeth Watson Research Expert
Ms Bicky Winkler Layperson (woman)
Dr Ben Morrison Research Expert

Important HREC Documents

NPI HREC Meeting Dates in 2017

Document deadline

Monday 23 January 2017

Meeting

Thursday 2 February 2017

Document deadline

Monday 13 February 2017

Meeting

Thursday 23 February 2017

Document deadline

Monday 13 March 2017

Meeting

Thursday 30 March 2017

Document deadline

Monday 10 April 2017

Meeting

Thursday 27 April 2017

Document deadline

Monday 15 May 2017

Meeting

Thursday 25 May 2017

Document deadline

Tuesday 13 June 2017

Meeting

Thursday 29 June 2017

Document deadline

Monday 10 July 2017

Meeting

Thursday 27 July 2017

Document deadline

Monday 14 August 2017

Meeting

Thursday 24 August 2017

Document deadline

Monday 11 September 2017

Meeting

Thursday 21 September 2017

Document deadline

Monday 9 October 2017

Meeting

Thursday 19 October 2017

Document deadline

Monday 13 November 2017

Meeting

Thursday 23 November 2017

Document deadline

Monday 4 December 2017

Meeting

Thursday 14 December 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to apply for ethics approval?

All research involving human participants conducted by staff and students of Navitas Professional Institute (ACAP, NCPS) must undergo ethical review by the HREC prior to commencement of the research. 

2. What do I need to submit with my ethics application?

On submitting your ethics application the following documents are required:

  • A completed Human Research Ethics Application (HREA);
  • A participant information sheet for each participant group (if applicable);
  • A consent form form for each participant group (if applicable, noting that research projects which involve online or anonymous paper based surveys do not require a consent form, but rather a statement at the beginning of the survey advising participants that clicking ‘submit’ on the survey implies consent). 
  • Copies of any questionnaires, interview schedules, research advertisements, or any other documents relevant to the research. 

3. How do I submit my ethics application?

Students
Student ethics applications can be submitted to the HREC Secretary either yourself, through the research supervisor or through the relevant staff member in your School.  

Staff
Staff conducting research can submit ethics applications directly to the HREC Secretary.       

4. How strict are submission closing dates for the HREC?

Due to the volume of applications received, and the short time frame for HREC members to review applications, HREC document submission deadlines cannot be overridden.  Applications received after the document deadline will be held over to the next HREC meeting. 

5. Will my application be approved straight away?

Currently, approximately 15% of applications are approved as submitted. There are a number of factors which can prevent your ethics application from being approved on initial review. One of the most common factors being inexperience by the researcher in submitting ethics applications. Students submitting an ethics application must have the application reviewed by their supervisor prior to submission to the HREC. Supervisors will have experience in completing HREA and an understanding of what is required by the HREC.

Please see the Helpful hints for completing the HREA information to assist you in addressing common issues. 

6. What happens following the review of my application by the HREC?

Once your application has been reviewed the minutes of the meeting are compiled for approval by the HREC Chair. The feedback from the meeting is then sent in a Notice of Outcome via email to the applicant and supervisor. 

7. I’ve received my Notice of Outcome and I need to address a few issues.  How do I respond to the Committee’s feedback?

The Notice of Outcome will list the changes that need to be made or the additional information that is required.  Where the Committee says 'for noting', this is not something that must be changed but should be acknowledged by the applicant. 

If revisions are required, changes should be done on the HREA. It is not necessary for you to log back in to the HREA site to amend your electronic application, you can make the necessary amendments in the word documents that you would have downloaded when you submitted your original application.  The revised HREA, any revised attachments and a summary of the changes made should be returned to the HREC Secretary with an explanatory letter addressing each point raised by the Committee.  Please note that if the explanatory letter is not received with the revised HREA your resubmitted application will not be reviewed. 

8. What happens once I have submitted my revised application?

On return of the revised HREA the application will then follow one of two courses of action as indicated on the ethics notice.  These consist of the following:

  1. Full review by HREC;
  2. Review by Chair.

You will be notified of the outcome of your revised application within 7 business days of receipt by the HREC Secretary. 

9. What if I disagree with the decision of the HREC?

It is uncommon for an application to be rejected by the HREC.  If the applicant disagrees with the feedback of the HREC the applicant will need to submit information in an email to the HREC Secretary addressing why the applicant disagrees with the feedback.  This will be assessed by the HREC Chair for review and determination. 

10.  I need to make changes to my approved research or I need more time to complete it. 

To request approval for changes to approved research or an extension of time, an email outlining the request/changes needs to be sent to the HREC Secretary.  If there are any ethical implications that arise due to the change, this will need to be addressed in the email, and updated information sheets and consent forms submitted if necessary. 

11. Do I need to submit a progress report?

Yes.  In accordance with Section 5.5.5 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct on Human Research (2007), progress reports on approved research must be submitted at least annually.

The ethics approval notice will advise the date that you need to submit your progress report.  Progress reports are to be emailed to the HREC Secretary and should be completed using the progress report template.

Helpful hints for completing the HREA

1. The  application must list the student researcher as Associate researcher and NPI ACAP supervisor as Principal Investigator/ researcher (PI) and the HREC will return applications submitted without allocated supervisors and appropriate signatures. The Principal Investigator/ Researcher is the main contact for participants. Student’s private email and phone numbers are not to be given out or used for contact.  You must also complete the HREA cover sheet and submit it with your HREA. 

2.  Guidance on word limits for questions: where free text boxes are provided in the HREA, please keep answers succinct and limit responses to 250 words where possible.  

3.  Project description and attachments (consent forms, participant information statements etc) must be uploaded and submitted with the HREA.  

4. In the HREC's experience with ACAP applicants all projects to date carry some risk. Please ensure that this is addressed in Q2.3.1 and Q2.3.2 and attach list of referral services to application.

5. Permission to use other sites must be attached to application.  

6. Resubmitting applications: if you are required to resubmit your application to the Chair or Committee, it is not necessary for you to log back in to the HREA site to amend your electronic application.  You can make the necessary amendments in the word documents that you would have downloaded when you submitted your original application, then send these through to hrec@navitas.com.

7. Ensure that once you are ready to submit your application, that any 'draft' watermarks are removed from the document.