Research Governance

Research projects that involve health information from the Department of Health’s Data Collections must undergo site-specific assessment through the Department of Health Research Governance Office (RGO) and receive site authorisation from the Director General (DG) or relevant delegate before data is accessed, used, or disclosed for research.

The Department of Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and the RGO will monitor the project throughout its lifespan.

The purpose of a site-specific assessment (also known as a ‘Governance Review’) is to ensure that the principles, requirements, and standards of research set out in the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC’s) Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research 2018 are met.

During a research governance review, the following criteria are assessed:

  • Suitability of the site and investigators for the research
  • Protection of research participants
  • Safety and quality of the research
  • Privacy and confidentiality of research participants
  • Transparency and responsible financial practices in research projects, including budgeting, fund allocation, and financial reporting
  • Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements
  • Adherence to risk management requirements
  • Suitability of monitoring arrangements for research projects

Research Governance review plays a crucial role in ensuring ethical and responsible research conduct, participant safety, data privacy, financial integrity, and compliance with legal and regulatory standards. It is separate from the ethical and scientific review undertaken during a HREC review process and can begin before HREC approval is granted.

Research Governance Offices play a crucial role in supporting WA Health sites and the Department of Health in effectively governing research. They provide guidance and assistance to ensure responsible and accountable research practices.

Any questions about research governance requirements or applications should be directed to Department of Health Research Governance Office via email or to the relevant Research Governance Office at a Health Service Provider, whose details are available on the RGS Contact page.

To learn more about accessing linked data for research, including approvals for ethical and responsible research, please refer to our Application Process page.