Ethics and governance approval

Changes taking place as part of the WA Health System Ethics Reform

The WA Health system currently has eight HRECs and ethics administrative offices. These HRECs and their associated offices will be consolidated into one HREC, the WA Health Central HREC, which will be supported by a Central Office for Research Ethics (CORE). The move to the central model will be progressively integrated across the system and is anticipated to be complete by mid-2025.

Integration of Women and Newborn Health Service (WNHS) Ethics with Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS) Ethics

As part of Phase 1, WNHS Ethics Department has integrated with CAHS Ethics Department. More than low risk project applications intended for review by WNHS HREC will be redirected to CAHS HREC. WNHS HREC will continue to review monitoring submissions (for example, amendments, safety reports, final reports) for existing projects and new applications that are eligible for review via low-risk review pathways until the WA Health Central HREC becomes fully operational. Oversight of all previously approved projects will then be transferred to the WA Health Central HREC with the system-wide integration anticipated to be complete by mid-2025.

For more information on changes taking place as part of the reform, please see - WA health system ethics reform (external site).


Research projects that happen at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) must be submitted, reviewed and approved by a WA Health or NHMRC certified Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and the KEMH Research Governance Office (RGO). CAHS HREC is certified as Lead HREC under NMA and can review and approve projects across public health organisations across multiple Australian jurisdictions.

The centralised office for the KEMH HREC and RGO is at Perth Children’s Hospital. The team in this office facilitate the ethical and governance review of proposed projects and monitoring of approved research across KEMH and CAHS sites.

The aim of centralised office is to improve the efficiency and quality of ethical and governance reviews, especially for multi-site projects and clinical trials, and to support local clinical researchers to understand and meet their regulatory obligations. Researchers, study coordinators and study sponsors should contact the HREC and RGO administrative team as early as possible when planning a new research project or when considering adding KEMH to an existing project.

Research projects at KEMH require both HREC and RGO review and approval, and applications can be submitted to both review streams simultaneously.

Last Updated: 01/05/2024