Research Ethics and Governance

If you wish to access data, consumer or staff resources at the Mental Health Commission for research purposes, the following approvals are required.

1. Ethics approval

The MHC does not directly grant ethics approval, but requires research projects to be approved by a Western Australian Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

If you do not have Western Australian Health HREC approval, please apply for ethics approval from the North Metropolitan Health Service, Mental Health (NMHS-MH) HREC.

What if I already have ethics approval from a non-Western Australian Health HREC?

Please note that approvals from non-Western Australian Health HRECs will not be accepted (e.g. university HRECs). You must apply to the NMHS-MH HREC.

The NMHS-MH HREC may grant approval on the basis of pre-existing ethics approvals; however you must request this from the NMHS-MH HREC via the formal application process.

How do I apply for NMHS-MH HREC ethics approval?

Applications should be lodged online using the Western Australian Health Research Governance Service.

Ethics applications are processed by the NMHS Mental Health Research Ethics and Governance Office (REGO).  For assistance with this process, please contact the NMHS Mental Health REGO Executive Officer at or (08) 93476502.

2. Governance approval

Research governance approval is granted directly by the MHC. The purpose of research governance is to assess the suitability of the site(s) to be involved in the project.

Do I have to wait for ethics approval before applying for governance approval?

No, it is not necessary to obtain ethics approval before submitting an application for governance approval. You may choose to submit your governance application while awaiting the HREC outcome. However, final research governance approval will only be granted once final HREC approval has been confirmed.

As part of your governance application, you will be required to submit your HREC application documents. Therefore, your full HREC application should be completed before you apply for governance approval.

How do I apply for governance approval?

You will need to complete a Site Specific Assessment (SSA) form and accompanying forms and submit this to the MHC Research Governance Officer (RGO).

Governance applications forms


Please direct queries about the MHC research approval process to

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