A biobank is defined as a collection of biomaterials (for example, blood, urine, tissue samples) linked to relevant personal and health information, and held specifically for non-diagnostic purposes such as research.  Biobanked specimens and data, and the research they enable, make a significant contribution to increasing the understanding, detection, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of complex diseases.

Advisory group

Establishing a sound policy framework to support ethical access to human biological materials and associated data is considered essential to support the future of biological research in South Australia.  An advisory group comprising key SA Health staff was formed, with membership covering the key areas of clinical and research activities, ethics, privacy, policy, legislation and data management.  This group has collaborated on a guidance document to help entities involved in the collection of biomaterials meet community expectations and the needs of researchers. 

Guidance document

The Guidance Document for Human Research Biobanks and Associated Data (PDF 247KB) draws reference from national and international sources to provide guidance to South Australian biobanks on the:

  • minimum standards required for biobanking
  • principles and best practices related to biobanking governance, business planning, funding, data management and consent
  • management of risks.

Further information

For more information please email