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HREC Self Evaluation Guide

This guide compliments our HREC Essentials online course, Australia’s most comprehensive HREC Training Model. 

HREC Essentials is the ideal training solution for anyone new to Research Ethics or those wishing to upskill and increase their knowledge in this unique area of practice.

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Welcome

Welcome to the PRAXIS HREC Evaluation Guide and Toolkit.

It aims to help HRECs to assess their function, structure, and culture through advice and a set of tools.

 

Options for evaluating your HREC

Broadly, there are three ways an HREC might undertake an evaluation:

  • An internal evaluation of the HREC, instigated and conducted by the committee
  • An externally conducted evaluation of the HREC(s) for reasons to do with a HREC’s desire for independent feedback, or in response to concerns about performance raised by the Research Office or members of the HREC
  • An externally conducted review of an HREC and/or the Research Office, mandated by the institution of by circumstances related to, for example, a complaint, a breach or process or governance concerns

This Guide and Toolkit is focussed on the first of these: the establishment of an internal evaluation process.

Why do Self Evaluation as an HREC? 

An evaluation process can provide an HREC with an opportunity to reflect on how well the committee is meeting its responsibilities as defined by the National Statement. Like all committees, HRECs can benefit from regularly asking, and answering, two key questions:

  • what does our HREC do well?
  • what could our HREC do better?

A Self-Evaluation process can offer a HREC an opportunity to reflect on how well the committee is meeting its responsibilities as defined by the National Statement.

Through the process, an HREC might:

  • Consider the quality and effectiveness of its ethical decision making
  • Provide an avenue to identify and discuss issues related to meeting processes and resourcing of the committee’s work
  • Define performance benchmarks, such as timelines for approval of applications
  • Consider how committee culture and leadership influence its performance and improve the effectiveness of meetings 
  • Identify areas for training and development as part of a continuous improvement process 
  • Reflect on the quality of the relationships between the committee and its key stakeholders:  institutional staff (such as the Research & Governance Office), researchers (internal and external), management, and research participants.
This guide compliments our HREC Essentials online course, Australia’s most comprehensive HREC Training Model. 
HREC Essentials is the ideal training solution for anyone new to Research Ethics or those wishing to upskill and increase their knowledge in this unique area of practice.