AHPA’s Health Promotion Ethics Project (HPEP) aims to advance critical practice and build the evidence base for health promotion in Australia. We’re seeking a small number of organisations to participate in a pilot project to evaluate the process required to provide ethical advice to health promotion organisations and practitioners across Australia. We’re ultimately aiming to develop a mechanism for providing organisations with ethical oversight for their projects, where access to a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) is usually difficult.
Who should participate?
Organisations who usually find it difficult to access a HREC and are looking to build staff capacity for ethical practice are encouraged to participate.
- The pilot will involve each organisation submitting an ethics application using provided templates, which will be assessed by an expert committee in terms of the extent to which it complies with the NHMRC guidelines and health promotion values and principles.
- Documents/templates will be provided to organisations and will include instructions, participant information sheet and consent form templates, example project protocols, and a protocol template.
- Application support will be available to each participating organisation.
- We’re seeking participation between Dec-Mar 2023. Estimated time to complete an application ranges from 3-10 hours, depending on the project.
- We envisage the following timelines for each application (once submitted):
- Review phase: 1-3 weeks (application is assessed by the committee)
- Completion phase: 1-2 weeks (applicant responds to reviewer comments)
- Once the application and review are completed, organisations will be invited to provide feedback on the application and review process to inform the next stages of the HPEP. This will include a brief online survey to assess the usability of the application process/system and an interview to discuss this further.
Our previous research has indicated that ethical health promotion practice is often framed by practitioners as related to formal ethical approval for research. Barriers to ethical practice identified by our research related to obtaining ethical approvals and working with specific population groups and communities. Enablers included professional development opportunities, access to a specialised human research ethics committee, and a better understanding of what is meant by 'ethical practice'. This study has informed the above pilot project which recognises the need for increased dialogue about the ethical foundations of health promotion. Whilst we won’t be able to provide ethical approval at this stage, we will be able to provide ethical advice for the projects and build the ethical practice capacity of practitioners in each organisation, which will benefit the target communities. The pilot project will inform the next stage of the HPEP and will bring us one step closer to a sustainable ethics model for Australian health promotion organisations.
How can organisations participate?