Concord Hospital Concord Hospital
The Concord Research 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.


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

Tasmania and Northern Territory now part of National Mutual Acceptance (NMA) Scheme - April, 2021 

The NMA scheme has recently been bolstered to include all Australian states and territories. NSW NMA certified HRECs, in their capacity as a lead HREC, can approve the addition of sites in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

 To conduct research in the Northern Territory applications will need an additional review by a specialist ethics committee formed by Menzies School of Medical Research. If there are further questions about conducting research in Tasmania and Northern Territory please do not hesitate to contact the Tasmanian Research Governance Office or Menzies HREC. Guidance on the Northern Territory site specific assessment (SSA) process and forms are available from the NT Health research website, contact


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 - CRGH, 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. (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:
SA: Research GEMS

Please refer to the relevant jurisdiction’s website for further information - Victorian Health/Queensland Health/Western 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.


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, 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. 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.