Projects with approval by another HREC.

By participating in the NMA, the Northern Territory is generally agreeing to accept the ethical review from an accredited NMA reviewing HREC without further ethical review for research in the NT’s public health services. However, like other jurisdictions, specific requirements and exceptions will be in place. The HREC may accept the review and approval granted by another certified HREC for multi-centre research when the application conforms with NT requirements. 

The NT HREC is not currently certified to be the lead reviewing HREC for other NMA sites.

NMA application requirements

To conduct research in the NT, NMA applications should include the following documents:

  1. Cover letter describing the study and its NT context including naming the NT sites and NT co-investigators.
  2. Ethics application that was previously approved by the lead NMA-certified HREC, including all supporting documents e.g. HREA, protocol, PIS/CF
  3. Approval letter from lead NMA-certified HREC; and correspondence from lead HREC acknowledging ethical oversight of NT sites if applicable and if not included on original approval letter.
  4. Part D attachment to HREA NMA

Submission documents should be combined as one pdf and emailed to

NMA review process

The Chair of the HREC and the ethics administrator will undertake a risk-based assessment of applications with prior ethical approval, based on elements of a project which affect vulnerable people or communities and determine if further review is warranted.

The Chair will either issue a reciprocal approval letter based on the prior NMA approval or refer the application to the appropriate NT HREC for further review.

Triggers for full NT HREC review

As stated in the NMA Standard Principles of Operation, approval from the appropriate NT HREC is required where the research project involves research with, or concerning:

  • the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as an explicit focus of all or part of the research;
  • data collection explicitly directed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as a group, are to be examined in the results;
  • a significant number of the population are likely to be of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin;
  • the information has an impact on one or more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; or
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health funds are a source of funding.
Site Specific Assessment

Please note, the NMA processes apply to ethics clearance. Participating organisations’ Site Specific Assessment (SSA) requirements still apply.

For NT Health SSA requirements, please consult the NT Health research governance office at and the NT Health research website: