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Operating procedures

From 1 July 2012, Health and Disability Ethics Committees (HDECs) are required to act in accordance with the procedural rules contained in the Standard Operating Procedures for Health and Disability Ethics Committees (SOPs). View the Standard Operating Procedures.

The SOPs have been developed to give effect to Government decisions announced in September 2011 following a parliamentary inquiry into clinical trials. View feedback received during consultation on a draft of the SOPs.

Updated SOPs and Terms of Reference

The SOPs and Terms of Reference have had some minor updates.  These changes don’t require researchers to have to do anything differently. The changes are summarised below:

  • Amending the HDEC terms of reference to state that HDECs must act consistently with New Zealand law.
  • Amending the HDEC terms of reference to Amended to require the appointment of a lawyer, preferably with medico-legal experience, to each HDEC.
  • Clarifying that reports can be reviewed by one HDEC member, rather than two and that amendments and expedited reviews should be reviewed by two members (one of whom may be the Chair). Previously this work had to be reviewed by the Chair and one other which caused problems when a chair was unavailable.
  • Amending the SOPs to provide more flexibility to co-opt members across committees for full meetings and expedited review work and to include a statement that HDECs are required to act consistently with New Zealand law.