Striving for a cancer-free future

Research ethics and guidelines


Human research

In Australia, all research involving humans must meet ethical standards and comply with laws and guidelines that protect research participants. Cancer Council Victoria has a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) made up of volunteer experts who, with support of the Research Governance and Optimal Care team, are responsible for the oversight and monitoring of research. 

Research proposals (and amendments) are reviewed against relevant guidelines, including the National Statement, to ensure ethical standards are met and participant confidentiality is protected. The Cancer Council Victoria HREC does not review applications involving animal research, clinical trials involving investigational medicinal products or studies involving investigational medical devices. The review of applications that do not involve Cancer Council Victoria researchers is discretionary.

Cancer Council Victoria does not itself conduct research involving animals. The research Cancer Council Victoria conducts mainly involves analysis of human behaviour and analysis of statistical information on cancer incidence, survival and deaths in Victoria. Research proposals involving animals are not reviewed by Cancer Council Victoria's HREC.

Key guidance documents

National guidance documents

Cancer Council Victoria documents

Note: * documents are currently under review  and will be updated to align with the National Statement (2023) .

  • Research Policy (2022) Outlines the expectations for research led by or conducted in collaboration with Cancer Council Victoria.
  • *Human Research Ethics Committee Terms of Reference Describes the roles, expectations and structure of the committee.
  • *Human Research Ethics Procedures (Doc 250kb) Details of committee memberships, roles and working procedures.
  • *Quality Assurance Project Procedures(Doc 151kb) Describes the procedures for use by our staff.

For more information contact:

Research Program Governance Inbox at