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Human ethics clearance

Human ethics clearance must be sought for all research involving humans.

Categories requiring clearance

As per the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research your research will need human ethics clearance if it includes the involvement of human beings through any of the following:

  • taking part in surveys, interviews or focus groups
  • undergoing psychological, physiological or medical testing or treatment
  • being observed by researchers
  • researchers having access to their personal documents or other materials
  • the collection and use of their body organs, tissues or fluids (e.g. skin, blood, urine, saliva, hair, bones, tumour and other biopsy specimens) or their exhaled breath
  • access to their information (in individually identifiable or re-identifiable form) as part of an existing published or unpublished source of database.

Categories not requiring clearance

You do not require USQ human ethics clearance for:

  • market research
  • use of statistical data
  • use of non-identifiable archival data
  • projects that are not reporting on or publishing the results of the findings externally provided the nature of the research involves only minimal or negligible intrusion or risk to participants
  • research for the purpose of reviewing current teaching programs, courses, services, policies or procedures, provided the nature of the research involves only minimal or negligible intrusion or risk to participants and the findings will not not be published or presented externally e.g. teacher/course evaluations
  • student projects with an education, training, or a practical experience focus do not normally require approval
  • quality assurance/audit projects that do not involve access to or collection of private, sensitive or health data and the findings will not be published or presented externally.

Definitions

Non-identifiable data is data which have never been labelled with individual identifiers or from which identifiers have been permanently removed, and by means of which no specific individual can be identified.