21 Nov 2022

First HREC Leaders’ Summit a huge success

Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) members and leaders from ethics and research offices from across NSW met recently to share knowledge, create new professional networks and learn from the experts.

The HREC Leaders ’22 Summit, jointly organised by Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE) and Sydney Health Partners (SHP) was a huge success with over 97% of the 77 delegates saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the experience.

The morning opened with a keynote address by Professor Ingrid Winship AO who provided delegates with insight into the roles and responsibilities of ethics committees, the changing nature of ethics review and the implications for research.

Workshops held across two sessions encouraged active participation from delegates on topics including: how to ensure research design and quality of a clinical trial, issues of consent, the challenges of genetic research and best practice for consumer involvement in research design.

Summit delegates were invited to provide a ‘tricky” issue for discussion on the day which included topics such as the level of risk committees are willing to accept, the use of recruitment through social media, and whether data stewards should be members of HRECs.

Associate Professor Angela Todd closed the Summit with an insightful history of research in Australia and explained that due to its quality research and ethics committees, Australian research is highly respected around the world.

You can read the key discussion points from the day at https://www.sphereclinicaltrials.com.au/ethics-committee-professional-development or download the full document here

In addition to a day spent sharing knowledge and learning, there was an overall sense that this coming together was a celebration of the role and value of ethics committees and the important contribution they make to the research process. Delegates were not only satisfied with the day itself but also expressed a keen interest (97.5%) in attending a similar Summit in the future. 

SPHERE and SHP are enthusiastic to progress this idea and build on the day’s highlights and the feedback received from delegates. More information will be shared in 2023.

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