Ethics Statement and Human Research Ethics Policy

Reference Code: SPL0004 Classification: Student Services
Approved Date
25 Nov 2009
Date Effective
25 Nov 2009
Review Date
18 June 2020
Approved By
Academic Board


Nan Tien Institute is dedicated to maintaining a learning environment committed to equitable opportunities, free intellectual enquiry and a culture of scholarship which is aligned to the goals of higher education in Australia. Members of the Institute community are committed to ethical values and behaviour:

(a)  Acting responsibly, honestly and with integrity;

(b) Pursuing scholarship courageously and creatively;

(c) Making decisions in a just and compassionate way;

(d) Working with others in a nurturing and cooperative way;

(e) Generating a community of trust, respecting the dignity of others and fostering equality of opportunity, and

(f) Avoiding actions that could be harmful to others.

Policy Statement


1.1  All human research carried out by staff members and students at the Nan Tien Institute requires ethics approval. The Institute’s Code of Conduct sets out the general standards and ethical conduct expected of those who work and study at the institute. There are additional considerations governing the ethical framework for research in order to comply with regulatory requirements.

1.1.1   The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (2007) guides institutions and researchers in responsible research practice and promotes integrity in research.

1.1.2   The NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) sets out the national standards of ethical conduct for research involving humans and should be used by researchers when developing their projects.

1.2  The essential values that guide ethical research are the values of respect for human beings. Research merit and integrity, justice and beneficence guide the design and conduct of human research and help shape a relationship of trust, mutual responsibility and ethical equality between researchers and research participants.

1.3  The basis for approving a research project is the set of guidelines in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007). Researchers should design their projects in accordance with these guidelines. The purpose of this Statement is to promote ethically good research that accords participants the respect and protection that is due to them and is of benefit to the wider community. The Statement clarifies the responsibilities of researchers in the ethical design, conduct and dissemination of results of human research.

1.3.1   Human research’ has a broad definition and includes research conducted with or about people, their data or tissue. Ethics approval is required for certain research activities involving humans. Research projects requiring ethics approval include, but are not restricted to: 

(a) gathering information about human beings (and organisations) through interviewing, surveying, questionnaires, observation of human behaviour, audio/videotaping, administering tests or stimuli;

(b) collecting or using human tissue/bone/blood or other body fluids;

(c) clinical trials, using archived data in which individuals are identifiable, and

(d) study or research in illegal activities. 

1.3.2   Ethics approval may not be required where the project has an educational, or practical experience focus.

1.4  Researchers may not commence their research until they have written advice that their project has (Ethics Statement & Human Research Ethics, Page 2 of 28 July 2011) ethics approval. Students should discuss their projects with their supervisors who will help to develop the project and give due consideration to the ethical issues involved.

1.5  The issues considered in examining a request for ethics approval include:

1.5.1  the aim of the research and methodology; 

1.5.2   the experience and training of the researchers; 

1.5.3   the participants and their vulnerability;

1.5.4   risk versus benefit, risk management and unexpected outcomes; 

1.5.5   recruitment of participants including dependent relationships;

1.5.6   informed consent, cultural sensitivities, confidentiality; and

1.5.7   publication of the research, funding, conflicts of interest and payment to participants.

1.6  Nan Tien Institute will establish a Human Ethics Committee to consider applications for approval of research involving human subjects of the kind described above.

Note: It is not envisaged that Nan Tien Institute staff and students will undertake research involving animal subjects.

Legislation & Regulation

2. Useful websites

2.1  The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, (2007) Updated 2018

2.2  National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)

2.3  Ethical guidelines for research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Version Date Approved Date Effective Approved By Amendment
1 25 Nov 2009 25 Nov 2009 Academic Board