New applications: The first submitting/lead site must consult BA F1.1.17 PICF submission pathways to determine how the master study documentation will be submitted. There are now three submission pathways:

  • Option 1 for single centre submission;
  • Option 2 is a flexible submission pathway (which is the same as currently in place);
  • Option 3 for where the initial submitting/lead site takes submission responsibility.

A question has been added to the application form asking the Principal Investigator to confirm which PICF pathway has been chosen for the submission. Only one pathway may be selected per study for review by a Bellberry HREC. Each additional site will need to align with the study’s nominated pathway, chosen by the first submitting/lead site.

Sites are no longer required to submit tracked and clean site-specific PICFs and other site-specific participant facing documentation to Bellberry. This change allows sites with research governance offices (or other formal institutional arrangements for reviewing site-specific documentation) to go ahead without the need for further HREC review. Sites that do not have a formal institutional arrangement will be responsible for developing a local procedure for document management.

The PICF submission pathway will determine what documentation is required from each site. Major site-based changes (e.g. radiation, pregnancy, reimbursement) to the PICF/participant facing documentation may be written in the master document as placeholders, or by the completion of BA F1.1.12 Site-specific clauses. The content will be reviewed by the HREC in the format determined by the PICF pathway. Minor administrative changes will be the responsibility of the site and do not need to be submitted to Bellberry. These include adding the site name, Principal Investigator details, amending footers, formatting, and other typographical errors.

For current/ongoing studies: Most studies will already be consistent with one of the PICF pathways. If a site has submitted a site-specific PICF/document to Bellberry, the HREC will have already approved the site-specific content and listed it on an approval letter. If the master document is updated, the site can continue to imbed previously approved clauses into the new site-specific PICF/document without the need for further HREC review. If the site wishes to change a clause, the site must submit an amendment using the BA F1.1.12 Site-specific clauses template.