Bellberry’s primary focus is to provide safe, high quality Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) ensuring the safety and welfare of research participants.
The role of a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)
A HREC’s primary role is to protect human research participants. The committee conducts an independent review of research studies to decide if they are ethical. In order to do this review a HREC has a composition of committee members as set out in the National Statement (Section 5.1.29 & 5.1.30). Members have a mix of backgrounds i.e. scientific, non scientific, legal, community representatives, pastoral care and a diversification of gender, age and ethnic and cultural background which assists in promoting a balanced review of the research.
The National Statement is based on Values, being respect for human beings, research merit and integrity, justice and beneficence which help to shape the relationship between researcher and participant as one of trust, mutual responsibility and ethical equality. The Committees must be satisfied that the above values have been addressed and met and also considers the following main points:
- Design and research conduct of the study. The ethics committee should consider the impact on the safety of the participants in the design of the study.
- Recruitment of participants. The ethics committee should examine how participants are recruited and what recruitment and advertising material will be used and where it will be placed.
- Protection of research participants. The ethics committee must look at how the study positively or negatively affects participants or their communities.
- Informed consent. The ethics committee must decide if the consent forms and process are adequate.
- Confidentiality. The ethics committee must ensure that the researchers have measures in place to protect the participants’ privacy.
The study is only approved and able to commence when all questions and issues have been satisfactorily answered.
For further general information about Research please visit the Information page.