RPA RPA
Research Ethics and Governance Office

NMA Projects

The following information is for researchers who wish to submit their research proposals for review under the National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) scheme. This information will tell you where to complete Ethics applications and Site Specific Assessment (SSA) applications for NMA studies.

Definitions:

NMA - the system of single scientific and ethical review of multi-centre human research across Australian jurisdictions (for research conducted in public health organisations).

CPI or CI – Co-ordinating Principal Investigator or Chief Investigator: the person who has overall responsibility for the research project and submits the project for ethical review. For single-centre research, Co-ordinating Principal Investigator and Principal Investigator are synonymous.

PI – Principal Investigator: the person responsible for the conduct of a study at a site

In 2018, some National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) jurisdictions moved - or are in the process of moving - from using the common Online Forms research application platform, to using various other platforms.

As of 16 July 2018, six NMA jurisdictions (NSW, Victoria, Queensland, ACT, South Australia and Western Australia) are using three different application platforms. While research applicants proposing studies under NMA will need to work within multiple platforms, the theory behind the process for creating those applications remains the same:

  • Applicants still only create and submit one Human Research Ethics Application (HREA) form. This is done in whichever online system is being used in the jurisdiction where the reviewing Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is located. For research being submitted to the Sydney Local Health District HREC - RPAH, the HREA is completed in REGIS.

  • SSA applications are created and submitted in the online system of the jurisdiction where the site is located.

For example:

HREC Location Site Location(s) Online System for SSA
NSW or ACT Health  NSW and/or ACT Health

Most NSW sites will require submission of SSA through REGIS but check with the individual NSW site first as some SSAs may still be attached to a HREA on the On-Line Forms site. (Check ACT Health for SSA requirements)
NSW or ACT Health  VIC/QLD/WA/SA (NMA participants) SSA and minimum dataset form (MDF) to be completed in each jurisdiction’s portal:
VIC/QLD: ERM
WA: RGS
SA: Online Forms

Please refer to the relevant jurisdiction’s website for further information - Victorian HealthQueensland HealthWestern Australia Health/ South Australia Health
VIC/QLD/WA/SA (NMA participants) NSW Health  Most NSW sites will require submission of SSA through REGIS but check with the individual NSW sites first as some SSAs may still be attached to a HREA on the On-Line Forms site.


Generating an SSA in REGIS for NMA projects

REGIS has been developed with the intention of supporting NMA projects. For projects that have been reviewed by a participating public health jurisdiction HREC (VIC/QLD/WA/SA) but involves a NSW Health site, the SSA for the NSW Health site should usually be generated in REGIS but check with the individual NSW site first as some SSAs may still be attached to a HREA on the On-Line Forms site. For a step-by-step guide on how to register the project and create an SSA in REGIS, please refer to the quick reference guide here (regis.health.nsw.gov.au/media/1333/qrg-resapp-nma-guide-v1.pdf).