Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Arts and Education Faculty Human Ethics Committee

Levels of Risk and Ethics Committees

CSU has a two tiered system to review Human ethics applications. The Faculty of Arts and Education Low Risk Human Ethics Committee considers Ethics Applications that are of low risk (the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort) [National Statement 2.1.6].

  • High risk - This is defined as any research that can cause severe harm to a participant psychologically, physically, socially, economically, cause legal harm or decrease a person's self worth (NS 2.1).
  • Low risk - This is defined as where the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort (NS 2.1.6). Under the National Statement, Low risk applications may be considered by the Faculty of Arts and Education Human Ethics Committee.

STEP 1: Determining the level of your ethics application

To determine if your research is low or high risk, complete the Low Risk Review Form.

Low Risk Review Form

All questions are to be answered.

All undergraduate projects must be low risk

If it is low risk follow the submission process (STEP 2).

Not a low risk application?
If your ethics application is not low risk, you must submit it to the University Human Research Ethics Committee

Waiver of Consent

If requesting a Waiver of consent the application must be submitted to the University HREC.

Approved prior by another Institution's Ethics Committee

If your application has already received ethics approval from another fully constituted committee, fill in the appropriate form Projects Already approved by Another HREC from the University Research Ethics Committee HREC page and submit it to the University HREC.

STEP 2: Submission process for Faculty of Arts and Education (Low Risk) Human Ethics Committee

  • The Faculty of Arts and Education Human Ethics Committee meets once a month to review low risk applications
  • Applications for review must be submitted by 3pm on the agenda closing date which is one week prior to the meeting.
  • Please check the closing dates below

Don't leave your ethics application to the last minute.

You cannot start your research until you have ethics approval and are allocated a protocol number. Allow time for the committee to provide feedback which can be up to 14 days after the meeting.

  1. HREA (Human Research Ethics Application) FORM: Log on to HREA site. Fill out the HREA keeping within the word limits of each section. 

The applicant must sign the HREA form prior to submission to the FHEC. Supervisors of students must also approve (by email) the submission of the application.

Please note that the University Human Research Ethics Committee recommends that the minimum requirement for data storage is at least FIVE (5) years after the last publication arising from the data. This is a MINIMUM requirement and you may keep the data for longer. For short-term research projects that are for assessment purposes only, such as student research projects completed by students, retaining research data for 12 months after the completion of the project may be sufficient, however, you may wish to consider keeping the data on the chance that you will use again. 

  • LOW RISK CHECKLIST – Send this with the completed HREA.
  • SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION – Submit all supporting documentation with the HREA, Project Description and Low Risk Checklist.

These may include:

Please ensure the consent and information forms reflect the correct ethic committee's contact details for the Faculty of Arts and Education Human Ethics Committee (as opposed to the CSU HREC committee):

IMPORTANT: The following information must be placed at the bottom of Information Letters and Consent Forms.

NOTE: The Faculty of Arts and Education Human Research Ethics Committee has approved this project. If you have any complaints or reservations about the ethical conduct of this project, you may contact the Committee through the Executive Officer:

Executive Officer
Faculty of Arts & Education Human Ethics Committee
Charles Sturt University
02 6338 4966
Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully and you will be informed of the outcome.
The Committee is unable to review incomplete applications and they will be returned.

Do not submit an ethics application without proof reading and double checking that all relevant sections have been answered.


Students must make sure that their supervisor has reviewed and signed their ethics application before submitting the application.

Chief Investigators must make sure that they have read and reviewed applications prepared by other parties, such as research assistants, before signing and submitting the application.

Please submit signed ethics applications and associated documentation to

STEP 3: Approval Process

The faculty committee is comprised of a member from each school in the faculty, a Chair, an external member and an executive officer. The members of the committee review each application at the meeting.

You will receive a written response from the committee within 14 days of the application being reviewed at the meeting.

There are four possible outcomes:

  1. Approved – you will be issued with a protocol number
  2. Approved pending clarification of minor points or grammatical corrections by committee members
  3. Resubmission - requiring it to be considered at a committee meeting once research/ethical issues are addressed or altered
  4. Not approved – the committee cannot approve it and it may be forwarded to the main HREC as it is considered not to be low risk.

Applicants who have received approved pending clarification can make the required changes and send the amended application for review by members of the committee. In this case you will be advised which documents to change and send to the committee.

Applicants advised to re-submit an application must submit it to a future meeting with all documentation.

If you are unclear about anything the committee has asked you to do, please contact the Executive Officer via

Clarifying or resubmitting your submission

If you are asked to review or amend your submission - you should provide your responses in a table such as that below and highlight any changes that have been made within the HREA [using Adobe Acrobat PRO or using a word table].

Tips for responding to a reviewed application
Committee CommentsResponse
Section 3.1.1Your response
Section 6.4.2 Will other researchers have access to the data?Your response
Information Letter - needs to state that return of anonymous survey is implied consentYour response

STEP 4: Managing Approved Projects

CSU ethics committees grant approval for a 12 month period from the original date of approval.

The following are conditions of approval:

  • Report On Research Project
    It is a condition of approval that researchers complete a report annually to comply with monitoring requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • Completion Report
    The University's Human Research Ethics Committee and all CSU Faculty Committees, grant approval for a 12 month period from the original date of approval. It is a condition of approval that researchers complete a report at the conclusion of their research to comply with monitoring requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
  • A Variation to Research Project
    If after an ethics application that has been approved necessitates an alteration to the research project you must submit a Report on Research Project detailing the changes made and any supporting documentation to the appropriate ethics Committee.
  • An Extension to Research Project
    If a researcher requires approval to extend the period of research an extension is to be submitted with the appropriate documentation detailing the reason to the appropriate ethics Committee.

Please submit an extension or variation report with enough time to be reviewed at a meeting. You can find the appropriate form on the University Human Ethics Committee forms page.

Meeting Dates and Contacts Details

For applications submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Education Faculty Human Ethics Committee for consideration, the projected time for the Committee's decision to be communicated is 14 working days after the meeting. Any application that the committee decides is not low risk will be sent directly to the CSU HREC committee (applicants will be informed).

Ethics applications must be
submitted by CoB
Faculty meeting dateHigh Risk
Just a Note:
University HREC Agenda Closing Dates
6 March 201714 March 201717 March 2017
3 April 201711 April 201713 April 2017
8 May 201716 May 201719 May 2017
5 June 201713 June 201716 June 2017
10 July 201718 July 201721 July 2017
7 August 201715 August 201718 August 2017
11 September 201719 September 201722 September 2017
9 October 201717 October 201720 October 2017
6 November 201714 November 201717 November 2017
4 December 201712 December 2017No Meeting


Links to resources