Ethical considerations regarding registration as an individual or the registration of a new site (hospital, day surgery, private practice).

In order to register a new site you will need to consider the ethical implications, in particular whether the transfer of the information complies with the privacy act and that the secondary use of the information is lawful. ANZTADC users have completed many successful ethics applications since commencing the project in 2009.
  • New Zealand has a multiregional ethics approval and so this step is not necessary if your hospital is in New Zealand, in which case you are only required to agree to the terms and conditions, which can be completed online. This will be possible once your registration has been confirmed.
  • Australian users have to consider the ethics requirements separately at each site. This process has been made easier since March 2014 as a result of changes to the Australian Privacy Principles (1). After the changes in 2014 quality assurance projects no longer require formal ethics approval. A document that explains the ethical considerations regarding quality assurance activities has been released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2). This new document states that the ethics implications need to be considered when conducting a quality assurance activity and that the ethical considerations must meet the same standard as a research project. However, it also states that "Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) review processes are often not the optimal pathway for review of these activities". For further information please download the second document listed below (2). ANZTADC is confident that webAIRS meets the ethical requirements for quality assurance activities as outlined in this document. There have been multiple ethics approvals for individual sites in Australia and New Zealand for participation in webAIRS since the project commenced and ANZTADC is not aware of any rejections for ethics approval. There is a more complete discussion of the ethical considerations by ANZTADC in the third document below (3). If you are registering as an individual or if your site does not have an ethics committee and if you agree with ANZTADC’s assessment of the ethics considerations then simply complete the online agreement. If your site has an ethics committee then discuss the need for ethics approval with your ethics committee as the requirements vary from site to site. If local ethics approval is required this is likely to be in a ‘low or negligible risk activity’ category.
  • Before you can register a site your account has to be confirmed.
For more information click on the links below for a copy of the new Australian Privacy Principles, the new NHMRC statement, ANZTADC’s explanation as to the ethics compliance of webAIRS or for the document which may assist with low risk ethics applications (4).

If you require additional help please contact

1. Australian Privacy Principles Guidelines
2. NHMRC statement regarding quality assurance activities
3. ANZTADC statement regarding ethical considerations
4. Document (word format) to assist with low risk ethics applications (cut and paste where relevant).