National Mutual Acceptance

National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) is the system of single scientific and ethical review of multi-centre human research projects across Australian jurisdictions (public health organisations only). New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the ACT, Western Australia and South Australia are current NMA participants, and other jurisdictions may join in the future.

Scope

While previously limited to the review of clinical trials, as of 14 December 2015, NMA supports the single review of all multi-centre human research proposals as defined in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) or any replacement of that document, for which an application must be made to a HREC for the purpose of being conducted at a public health organisation. This includes low and negligible risk research review by a full HREC using a national ethics form.

Exclusions

The following research proposals are excluded from consideration under NMA in South Australia:

  • Phase 0 (first time in human) and Phase 1 clinical trials - these must be reviewed by the local (SA Health) HREC responsible for the public health organisation where the clinical trial is taking place.
  • Human research proposals involving South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants or which have an Aboriginal health focus, for which applications will need to be reviewed by the SA Aboriginal Human Research Ethics Committee (AHREC) in addition to a NMA certified HREC.

Submission requirements

To submit a research proposal for review under NMA, the proposal must be completed on the HREA hosted on Online Forms and submitted to a suitable Certified SA Health HREC.

For information on specific HREC requirements including meeting dates, prospective HREC applicants should contact the appropriate SA Health HREC directly.

Data linkage projects

Researchers are now able to apply to a number of specialist HRECs within the NMA scheme to seek the single ethical and scientific review of data linkage studies involving NMA public health organisations. The ethical approval of these HRECs will be accepted by participating jurisdictions in accordance with standard NMA approval processes.

In South Australia, the Department for Health and Wellbeing HREC is certified to undertake the review of these projects.

As with all NMA HREC applications, all projects need to undergo any local research governance processes that may apply within participating jurisdictions.  Researchers are encouraged to contact the relevant data custodian/s or data linkage unit to discuss the requirements for their project as soon as possible in the planning stages of the project, prior to the submission of the ethics application.

The associated guidance document (PDF 325KB) should be reviewed by researchers seeking further information on data linkage application processes and requirements within the NMA scheme.

Research governance requirements

It is a requirement that a Site Specific Assessment (SSA) form is completed by the Principal Investigator and submitted to each SA Health site/organisation where a NMA project is being conducted.The SSA should be submitted to the appropriate Research Governance Officer (RGO) for review.

The SSA must be completed on Online Forms.

For further information on SA Health RGOs, please refer tothe Research Governance Officer contacts (PDF 45KB).

Certified Ethics Committees

The following SA Health Human Research Ethics Committees (HRECs) have been certified by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to conduct the single ethical and scientific review of NMA human research proposals relevant to their expertise.

Women's and Children's Health Network HREC (EC00197)

Women’s and Children’s Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee certification categories include:

  • clinical trials phase I, II, III, IV
  • clinical trials drugs and devices
  • clinical trials surgery
  • clinical trials other
  • clinical interventional research other than clinical trials
  • population health and/or public health
  • qualitative research
  • mental health
  • paediatric research
  • other health and medical research
    • women’s health
    • genetic studies
    • oncology
    • tissue banking.

Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00188)

Southern Adelaide Clinical Human Research Ethics Committee certification categories include:

  • clinical trials phase I, II, III, IV,
  • qualitative research
  • mental health
  • paediatric research
  • other health and medical research:
    • palliative care
    • oncology
    • intensive care.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00192)

Central Adelaide Local  Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee certification categories include:

  • Clinical trials – Phase I, II, III, IV
  • Clinical research other than clinical trials
  • Population health and/or Public health
  • Qualitative health research
  • Mental health

SA Department for Health and Wellbeing Human Research Ethics Committee (EC00304)

SA Department for Health and Wellbeing Human Research Ethics Committee certification categories include:

  • population health and/or public health
  • qualitative research
  • mental health
  • other health and medical research
    • data linkage research.

Further information

For further information on National Mutual Acceptance, please see the following documents:

For general enquiries about NMA in South Australia, please contact Health.DHAResearch@sa.gov.au