Externally approved project guidelines

The National Statement (2007; Ch. 5.3) recommends that institutions minimise duplication of ethical review. To ensure compliance with this recommendation, a study which has been reviewed and approved by a fully constituted and registered Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) at another institution, may be submitted for review as an externally approved project. For externally approved projects, La Trobe accepts the ethical approval of the original reviewing HREC. The researcher must ensure the original HREC is aware of La Trobe's involvement in the study. All modifications, annual reports, final reports and serious adverse event reports should be submitted to the original HREC for review and approval. These documents must be provided to La Trobe in a timely manner for monitoring purposes.

La Trobe reserves the right to place conditions on its acceptance of external approvals if it finds the study does not meet the requirements of the National Statement or other relevant legislation; if La Trobe students are involved as participants; or if the study potentially exposes the University to undue risks.

Who should apply for a review of an externally approved study?

  • A Chief Investigator (CI) who is a La Trobe staff member who is required to gain ethics approval from another institution as they either hold a joint appointment or the study will be conducted at a clinic or centre of the other institution.
  • A Co-investigator of an externally approved study who is a La Trobe staff member.
  • A La Trobe student undertaking research at another institution requiring ethical approval by its HREC may also apply for expedited review.

Above-low risk studies - If an externally approved study was reviewed as above-low risk, it must be reviewed by the University Human Ethics Committee (UHEC) Chair. Please submit to humanethics@latrobe.edu.au

All externally approved studies involving La Trobe students as participants must request review through the UHEC Chair. Please submit to humanethics@latrobe.edu.au

Low risk studies - If an externally approved study was reviewed as low risk it should be sent to the relevant College Human Ethics Sub-Committee (CHESC) Chair for review.

Submission requirements

  • An email requesting review of a study approved by an external HREC, noting the title of the study and the name of the approving institution.
  • A copy of the approved ethics application and all support documents submitted to the external HREC, ensuring that the title of the study on the application form matches the one in the request email.
  • A copy of the final approval letter from the external HREC, with all conditions of approval included.
  • Externally Approved Project  Application Form

A formal acceptance notice will be sent by the relevant La Trobe human ethics committee. Applicants should allow at least 14 working days for notification.