Low Risk Research

To assist in identifying whether your research is eligible for expedited review and is low risk research, refer to the following examples:

  • Social science questionnaires on non-controversial, non-personal issues.
  • Social science questionnaires on non-controversial, non-personal issues.
  • Social science questionnaires on non-controversial, non-personal issues.
  • Interviews involving non-personal or non-intrusive information.
  • Observation studies in public situations which focus on non-sensitive issues.
  • Studies of existing de-identified data, documents, records, pathological or diagnostic specimens.
  • Studies that do not involve an intervention that could result in significant harm to participants.
  • Collection of certain biological specimens, including hair, nail clippings or saliva.
  • Applications for approval of amendments to previously approved research protocols and studies that are substantially similar to another study already approved.

For External Ethics approval for SCU HREC ratification download the "Minimising Duplication of Ethical Review Form". For Q&A Evaluation research on behalf of external clients of the University download the "Q&A Evaluation Ethics Application Form". These forms and other documents are available at: Human Ethics Research forms

Submission Process

The Southern Cross University Human Research Ethics Committee has established, in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research - Section 5/Processes of Research Governance and Ethical Review, a procedure for expedited review by a delegated authority. The delegated authorities are the Chair, Deputy Chair or relevant HREC sub-committee.

Expedited applications do not need to wait to be submitted to the HREC meetings. The Chair and Deputy Chair of the HREC have delegated approval by the HREC to consider and approve expedited ethics applications. They are distributed by the Secretary to the relevant person.

The applications, after consideration and approval, are ratified by the full HREC at the next appropriate HREC meeting.

If the full HREC does have further queries, then researchers are expected to respond to these queries before research commences or continues.

There are two established HREC Sub-Committees that have delegated approval by the HREC to expedite low risk ethics applications, which are HRECSC - Gold Coast Campus and HRECSC - Coffs Harbour campus.

Enquiries and submission of ethics application forms should be directed to one of the following contacts depending on your campus location:

Ethics Lismore
Ethics Coffs
Ethics Gold Coast

Forms and Documents

Human Research Ethics Forms

Updated: 09 May 2014