Committee membership is constituted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007 – updated 2018) and consists of lay members, a Lawyer, a Minister of Religion and members representing the relevant disciplines, who have scientific/research backgrounds. The representative of the relevant department/discipline may be approached by the researcher prior to the committee meeting to ensure that the representative (or his/her alternate) will be in attendance at the meeting. They will be able to provide further information on the committee, the interview and procedures to be followed.
Each committee comprises:
- a chairperson
- at least two members who are lay people, one man and one woman, who have no affiliation with the institution and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work
- at least two members with current research experience that is relevant to research proposals to be considered at the meetings they attend
- at least one member with knowledge of, and current experience in, the professional care, counselling or treatment of people; for example, a nurse or allied health professional
- at least one member who performs a pastoral care role in a community, for example, an Aboriginal elder, a minister of religion
- at least one member who is a lawyer.
Requests from Pharmaceutical Companies for lists of HREC members’ names and positions are quite common. Researchers are advised that it is a policy of the Board of Monash Health that this information cannot in any circumstances be released. However, a standard letter is provided at the time of final approval, stating that the committee is legally constituted in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (NHMRC, 2007). This is acceptable to pharmaceutical companies.