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Head of Department

In accordance with the NSW Ministry of Health Policy Research - Authorisation to Commence Human Research in NSW Public Health Organisations PD2010_056 all human research that takes place in NSW Public Health Organisations (PHOs) must meet appropriate governance standards, which includes support for research to be received from the nominated HOD for the HNE facility/department where the research will be conducted, prior a recommendation to the HNE Chief Executive Delegate for site authorisation.

The HNELHD Chief Executive Delegate for research authorisation is Professor John Wiggers, Director HNE Population Health and HNE Research

HNELHD REGIS Head of Department (HOD) List

For changes to the HOD list please email HNELHD-ResearchOffice@health.nsw.gov.au with the following information:

  • HNE Site/Department, Outgoing HOD, Incoming HOD, Reason

The HNE Research Office will seek the approval of the appropriate HNE Executive Leadership Team (ELT) member responsible for the site/dept prior to any changes being made.

If you are unable to locate the required HOD or would like advice, please your request to HNELHD-ResearchOffice@health.nsw.gov.au

Head of Department Responsibilities

As part of the HNE Research Governance process, Head of Departments have responsibility to review/approve HNE research site applications to ensure the HNE department/service can support the conduct of the research, considering the following aspects;

  • Whether the research is consistent with the institutional strategic plans
  • Whether the budget/resources are adequate
  • Whether staffing is available from a department/facility perspective
  • Whether the research can be conducted without disruption to clinical services and other routine departmental activities

Head of Departments are required to have access to the Research Ethics and Governance Information System (REGIS) to review and record decision outcome for the HNE site applications relevant to their department or service etc.

For Information: When managers are asked to provide Head of Department support in REGIS, this is one of a number of reviews that the project has, or is concurrently undergoing prior to a research project commencing within Hunter New England Local Health District. There are different types of review a research project may undergo prior to commencement. Whilst all research will not undergo each review process, approval from a Human Research Ethics Committee and the Research Governance review processes are mandatory. Please refer to the HNE Guidance for Managers for details on the different reviews for your information.

MoH Metrics (KPIs) for Research Approvals:  Research Governance application authorisations have received a new KPI within the 2021_2022 Service Performance Agreement from NSW Health. The goal is to assess the efficiency of site authorisation processes and to drive the process improvement. Site authorisation is now timed (in days) from the submission date to authorisation date which includes the time the application is with the HOD for approval as well as the time with the Researchers, the Research Office and the Chief Executive Delegate.  To manage this together, the research office will be sending reminders to HOD’s where applications are outstanding for 14 and 28 days. Escalation may occur via the next HNE delegation for the service if the project has not received any outcome or response from HOD post 30 days.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

  • If you have questions about the project, please contact the site principal investigator listed in the site application.
  • If you have questions about the process or REGIS, please contact HNE Research Office via HNELHD-ResearchOffice@health.nsw.gov.au

If you believe that you are not the correct approver, please contact the HNE Research Office as soon as possible so we can re-allocate this study.

Recording your decision as HOD in REGIS:

The HOD will be asked to confirm support within REGIS with a declaration that:

  • There are suitable and adequate facilities and resources for the project to be undertaken or to use the services of the proposed department, and they are available for the duration of the project
  • The project has been costed appropriately and there are sufficient funds to cover the costs of conducting or accessing the services for the research within the given department
  • If the HOD is either the PI or a member of the research team, the declaration must be obtained from the HOD's manager or a suitable alternative.

The PI must discuss the proposed research project and its resource implications with the HOD (or divisional director or other authority) responsible for the department or service.

See full instructions for providing declarations of support in REGIS: Providing Declarations of Support

See Quick step instructions:  below

How do I provide a Declaration of Support in REGIS? (Quick steps)
  1. Create an account in REGIS.
  2. Click on the Decisions icon
  3. Click on the application you wish to review
  4. Download the application  and review application
  5. Select your decision and provide comments

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