NSW Population & Health Services Research Ethics Committee

NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics Committee

A joint initiative of the Cancer Institute NSW and NSW Ministry of Health. 

NSW Population & Health Services Research Ethics Committee

COVID–19 - Advice to Researchers regarding Changed Data Access Arrangements

The PHSREC has become aware that researchers may be experiencing changes to working arrangements as a result of measures taken to combat the spread of the COVID–to19 virus.

Please consult the following advice if your access to NSW Health data is changing:

  • For already-approved personnel who will exclusively access de-identified unit record data via SURE, or approved instances of eRICA, there is no need to seek an amendment.
  • If access to de-identified unit record data is managed via a VPN service, and the data are not leaving the Institution’s IT infrastructure, then there is no need to seek an amendment.
  • Where the approved study documentation explicitly states that unit record data will not be accessed remotely, and the Investigator team has been instructed to work remotely, please contact the Secretariat for further advice.
  • For all other scenarios, please contact the Secretariat for further advice.

The PHSREC secretariat can be contacted on cinsw-ethics@health.nsw.gov.au . Please include your Project’s REGIS Reference number and CINSW Reference number in the Subject Line. We will endeavour to respond to your query as soon as possible.

The Committee

The NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics Committee undertakes scientific and ethical review of population health and/or public health research which utilises or links to routinely collected health (and other) statewide data.

The Committee reviews submissions that seek to access data held by the NSW Ministry of Health or Cancer Institute NSW for the purposes of research.

The committee has been certified under the National Approach to Single Ethical Review process, administered through the National Health and Medical Research Council and is accredited in NSW as a lead Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for multi-centre ethical review processes for population health and/or public health research.

Multi-jurisdictional record linkage projects
The PHSREC is a specialist data linkage HREC able to provide the single scientific and ethical review of multi-jurisdictional data linkage studies under the NMA scheme.  Multi-jurisdictional data linkage studies that include NSW Health data may be reviewed by any specialist NMA HREC for multi-jurisdictional data linkage studies. Please contact MOH-ResearchEthics@health.nsw.gov.au for more information.

NSW-only studies using and/or linking unit record data comprising personal & health information from only NSW Health Statewide data collections must be reviewed by the PHSREC. Please contact CINSW-ethics@health.nsw.gov.au for more information.

The Committee has the authority to:

  • grant ethical approval for research proposals
  • request modification/s and/or clarification of research proposals
  • reject research proposals on ethical grounds
  • monitor ethically approved proposals
  • approve protocol amendments
  • suspend approved protocols
  • withdraw ethical approval
  • form appropriate subcommittees as required for expert advice
  • seek expert advice as required.

Read more about the PHSREC:

Terms of Reference (PDF)

Standard operating procedure (PDF)

Standing Expression of Interest for Researcher Committee Members
The NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics Committee (PHSREC) would like to invite researchers active in the fields of public health, population health, health economics, health services and clinical academic research to join the Committee. This position provides a unique and prestigious opportunity to contribute to human research that meets the highest scientific and ethical standards. The position would be most suitable for mid-career to senior researchers. Training and mentoring are available. To learn more please see the full EOI on our membership page.