The Ethics Committee is a registered Human Research Ethics
Committee (HREC) that approves all high risk research projects. The
- reviews research proposals, ensuring the privacy, welfare and
rights of those involved are upheld
- offers independent advice to RACS via the Professional
Development and Standards Board (PDSB) on ethical matters
- aims to develop policies and position statements relevant to
the protection of those taking part in research projects.
The committee reports to RACS through the Professional
Development and Standards Board and submits an annual HREC
report to the National
Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to declare its
observance of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human
If your research proposal has been approved by an external HREC
it is not necessary to resubmit an Ethics Committee
The National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) has been replaced by
the Human Research Ethics Application (HREA). Information about
HREA is available from the HREA website.
From Friday 31 March 2017, users will no longer be able to
create new proposals using NEAF. Users can access their NEAF
accounts to copy or export any proposal data they wish to keep up
until Friday 30 June 2017.
The NEAF website will be decommissioned on Friday 30 June 2017
and users will no longer have any access to NEAF. NEAF proposal
data will not be retained.
Researchers who generate and submit applications to Australian
public hospital Human Research Ethics Committees as part of the
jurisdictional National Mutual Acceptance scheme, can continue to
use Online Forms. A transition to the HREA for
these public hospitals is anticipated to occur in mid to late 2017.
More information about HREA is available from the HREA website.
All low risk non-HREC Ethics requests for ethical considerations
in quality assurance and evaluation activities (ie. audits,
registries, data collection etc) bypass the RACS Ethics Committee
and are approved by a separate mechanism - via the Executive
Director of Surgical Affairs (EDSA) who will provide ethics
approval letters separate to the RACS Ethics Committee. Please
refer to the NHMRC guidelines Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and
Evaluation Activities (link to NHMRC).
Please send all low risk non-HREC Ethics requests via email
directly to RACS Executive Director of Surgical
All Ethics applications involving the conduct of surveys of RACS
members bypass the RACS Ethics Committee and are approved by a
separate mechanism - via the Executive Director of Surgical Affairs
who will provide ethics approval letters separate to the RACS
Ethics Committee. Please refer to the RACS policy Approval to Conduct
Please send all Ethics application survey requests via email to
Evaluation and Surveys Coordinator, Education and Development
and Research Department within RACS.
Enquiries & Applications
The Ethics Committee will meet on the following dates.
Applications are required by the closing date
6.00pm (AEST), Monday, 24 October 2016 - face-to-face
(Closing date for applications:
Monday, 29 August 2016)
6.00pm (AEDT), Monday, 27 February 2017 - by
(Closing date for applications: Monday, 2
6.00pm (AEST), Monday, 26 June 2017 - by teleconference
(Closing date for applications: Monday, 1 May
6.00pm (AEST), Monday, 23 October 2017 - face-to-face
(Closing date for applications:
Monday, 28 August 2017)
High risk application enquiries
Please forward your high risk HREC Ethics Committee
application enquiries to the Secretariat.
Low risk application enquiries
Please forward your low risk non HREC Ethics application
enquiries to the EDSA.
Research Survey enquiries
Please forward your Research Survey enquiries to the Evaluation and
Committee Terms of Reference
Committee Chair - Mr Neil Vallance FRACS
Executive Director of Surgical Affairs (EDSA) - Dr John
Evaluation and Surveys Coordinator - Mr Michael Rasmussen
Ethics Commmittee Application Report Form (PDF
Request to change an original Ethics Committee
Application Form (PDF 595KB)
National Statement for Ethical Standards in
Research Involving Humans (Link to NHMRC)
Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of
Research (Link to NHMRC)
Ethical Considerations in Quality Assurance and
Evaluation Activities (Link to NHMRC)
Ethics Committee Secretariat
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
College of Surgeons' Gardens
250-290 Spring Street
East Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia
Telephone: +61 3 9276 7446
Fax: +61 3 9276 7432