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Other Considerations involving Human Research Ethics

Organisational permission to access employees, clients, data and information

Researchers are required to obtain written permission from any organisation to access their employees or clients, data associated with these people or other organisational data for research purposes.

Ethics approval does not mean that permission to access staff, clients, students, data or other information is guaranteed. This permission is separate from the ethics approval process and is usually required from the Chief Executive Officer or another authorised person. The decision to grant researchers permission to access staff, clients, students, data or other information is entirely up to the authorised person in the organisation.

Relevant University policies and guidelines

Confidentiality of students' personal information (A-46.1)

Acceptable Use of Information Technology (IT) Facilities (C-22.1)

Guidelines on Electronic Communications with Students

Guidelines for staff on use IT facilities including email and the Internet

Guidelines for students on use of IT facilities including email and the Internet

Relevant Commonwealth Acts

Privacy Act 1988

The Commonwealth Spam Act (2003)

Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) Approval

All research and evaluation activities involving DECD sites, children, young people, staff and carers must be submitted to DECD for review by their Research and Evaluation Unit.

It is the researcher's responsibility to ensure that all necessary DECD approvals and permissions are in place before commencing their research.

Further information is available on the DECD website:


National Criminal History Record Check and Screening Assessment

Researchers who intend to undertake research in South Australia with minors or to enter a school, pre-school, childcare centre or other educational facilities in any capacity are required to obtain a police check and an employment clearance check (requirements of the SA Department of Education and Child Development and Department of Communities and Social Inclusion).

Researchers who undertake research with vulnerable adults or aged care services are also required to obtain a criminal history clearance before undertaking work at the organisation. Please note that it is entirely the responsibility of the researcher to obtain the criminal history clearance.

Details of the procedures to follow are explained at the following two websites:


Clinical Trial Registration

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) defines a clinical trial as a form of human research designed to find out the effects of an intervention. Health-related interventions can include drugs, surgical procedures, devices, behavioural treatments, dietary interventions or process-of-care changes. If your project is a clinical trial, you are required to register it in a publicly accessible trials registry prior to enrolment of the first participant (for example, the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry) as a condition of ethics approval.

Clinical drug trials notification forms can be accessed via the Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

Radiation Safety

If you are using radiation (ionising or non-ionising) for research or technical purposes, you must refer to the University Radiation web pages.

Where participants in human research are exposed to ionising or non-ionising radiation, approval must be sought from the University Radiation Safety Committee as a condition of ethics approval.