Release of new Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement

News article

20 December 2019

The National Ethics Advisory Committee (NEAC) is pleased to announce the release of the revised new Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement. The revised Standards merge the two 2012 guidelines into one cohesive document, with a wider jurisdiction that covers all of health and disability research and also addresses gaps and ethical issues raised by new technologies from the 2012 Guidelines.

In 2015 NEAC committed to review the 2012 Ethical Guidelines for Intervention Studies and Ethical Guidelines for Observational Studies: Observational Research, Audits and Related Activities.

This work aligns with the Health Research Strategy 2017, which addresses investment and strengthening health research in New Zealand, particularly focusing on reducing inequity and improving health outcomes. The ethical guidelines also a part of a general strengthening of the regulatory environment for health research, as the Therapeutic Products Bill recognises that ethics is an integral part of research conduct, resulting in the protection and safety of research participants.

‘We believe the 2012 Guidelines were out of date and do not address a number of research concerns and options that are now clinically feasible and requested by the public, such as the use of emerging technologies.’
– Neil Pickering, Chair of NEAC

The revised Standards are mostly targeted at individual researchers but are also useful to ethics committees, research sponsors and for training and educating researchers.

To access the full consultation document and summary of submissions prepared in 2018, please go to the NEAC website.

About NEAC 

NEAC is an independent advisor to the Minister of Health. NEAC was established in 2001 under section 16 of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. NEAC’s statutory functions are to:

  • provide advice to the Minister of Health on ethical issues of national significance in respect of any health and disability matters (including research and health services)
  • determine nationally consistent ethical standards across the health and disability sector and provide scrutiny for national health research and health services.

For more information, visit the NEAC website.

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