Research integrity at SALHN

As per The National Statement 5.5.1, each institution has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring, via its research governance arrangements, that all its approved research is monitored.

Monitoring research is important, as it:

  • enhances the safety of patients and staff participating in research
  • protects human participants' rights and well-being and ensures that research data is high quality
  • encourages transparency and provides research oversight
  • promotes good research practice
  • mitigates institutional sponsorship risks or participation in investigator-initiated research studies and clinical trials.

At SALHN all approved studies will be monitored by the Office for Research via the below channels:

  • Annual report and (where applicable) safety report
  • Desk top audit
  • Risk register
  • Interviews with researchers and
  • Participant feedback
  • Providing templates for researchers to self-monitor

Annual reports / safety report

All templates and guidelines can be found on the Office for Research Post Approval page.

Desk top audits / site visits

Projects are selected for monitoring for a variety of reasons such as:

  • study protocol change
  • the classification of risk
  • random selection
  • a complaint
  • annual report verification.

Audits and site visits are not designed to find fault, but rather to assist our researchers in reviewing how the research is conducted, and to detect, correct and prevent potential and existing problems. It is also an opportunity to assist our researchers in ensuring they have the tools to achieve the above.

If your research is selected for a desk top audit, you will receive an email advising which study is being audited with an attached audit form to complete.

If your research is selected for a site visit, you will receive a letter from the SALHN Office for Research advising which study or studies are being audited and the date of the visit.

Risk register

Applications submitted to the Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee will need to include in the protocol a safety monitoring plan via a Risk Register.

Risk registers are an important document, that enables the study risks to be identified, managed and tracked.

Please see the Risk Register template (XLSX 23KB).

Interviews with researchers

As part of the Office for Research ongoing commitment to high quality research, we conduct interviews with researchers and research participants.

Upon submission of a final report (see SALHN Research website for template), the SALHN Research Integrity Officer will ask if the researcher would like to take part in an interview about their research. The conversation will be around what worked, what didn’t work, areas for improvement, successes and what they would change on reflection. The results will be de-identified and used for quality improvement purposes.

Participant feedback

Participants are invited to provide their feedback via an anonymous survey. Posters are positioned around the hospital, with a QR code that links to the survey. Participants are also invited to contact the Office for Research if they prefer.

Researcher Self-Monitoring Templates

Researchers should continually monitor their own research and implement tools to ensure adherence to the approved protocol by creating Standard Operating Procedures, keeping an up to date delegation log and conducting self-audits. A Self Audit Tool has been designed to help researchers review their current research project/s at any time to ensure the research is still compliant with the HREC approved protocol, the National Statement, Good Clinical Practice and the Australian Code for Responsible Research. Please see self-audit tools/templates (DOC 33KB).

Delegation log

The responsibilities of the site Principal Investigator (PI) are outlined in the approved protocol and in the Guide for Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The principal investigator may delegate some of their responsibilities to other members of the study team.

In accordance with ICH GCP E6 Guideline Sections 4.1.5, and 8.3.24 a Signature and Delegation of Duties log must be maintained at the site to demonstrate which tasks have been delegated and to whom and capture the signature and initials of the PI and all staff.

The log must be updated regularly to document changes in staff responsibilities throughout the study.

Please see the delegation log template (DOCX 33KB).