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Online Forms: application and file upload – guidance

How to set up an Online Forms account, uploading documents, submitting your application and managing correspondence or post-approval requirements.

Getting started

Before you create your account in the Online Forms website, check that you:

  • know about what documentation is required for your type of study
  • have read the relevant guides for your type of study.

1. Create an account in Online Forms

To create your application or access your current account, go to the Online Forms website.

Follow the instructions in the Online Forms User Manual.  This is a useful step-by-step guide to setting up and managing your account and application.

2. Complete the screening questions

Once you have created a ‘project’, you can complete the screening questionnaire for your type of study. This will help you work out if you need to apply for HDEC review.

For more information about the screening questions, read Section 7. Complete the form in the Online Forms User Manual.

3. Upload documents

Follow these tips for naming and uploading your application documents.

File names: Label each document you intend to upload with a useful title, version number and date. These details are important in helping everyone keep track of all the elements of your application. All appropriate file names will be included in any correspondence.

File size: You cannot upload documents over 32 MB or zip files.

File format: Save your files as MS Office or PDF format only. If your documents can’t be opened, your application can’t be validated or reviewed.

4. Track progress and edit your application

You can save your application at any time, log out of your account and return later.

You can also print out a PDF of your application at any stage.

However, once you’ve submitted your application, you can’t make further changes. See step 7. Submit your application.

5. Allow others to edit your application

You can authorise another Online Forms user to access and edit your work. Read about allowing temporary access in Section 9. Transfer a form to another user in the Online Forms User Manual.

Transfer permanent control of your project

You can transfer a project permanently to another Online Forms users.

6. Send an authorisation request, if required

If you want someone to give their approval to be associated with your application, you need to send them an authorisation request.

7. Submit your application

It’s important to give your application a final check before you submit it for HDEC review as you can’t log back in to change anything once you have submitted it:

8. Acknowledging receipt of your application

Once you submit your application, the HDEC Secretariat will give it an initial check to ensure it includes everything that is needed and is an appropriate application. They will notify you by letter to your Online Forms account that your application is either valid or invalid.

Application is valid

Valid means that your project will be reviewed by the HDEC. The review will be either an expedited or a full review.

Application is invalid

Invalid means that either:

  • your project is outside HDEC scope of review, so you don’t need to seek HDEC approval or
  • your online form was not completed correctly or
  • your project requires supporting documents that were not included in your application.
What you can do
  • If your application was deemed outside HDEC scope of review, you can use the letter as evidence that HDEC review is not required for your study.
  • If your application was not completed correctly or you did not provide the correct supporting documents, you may resubmit your application after addressing these issues.

If you have any questions about or disagree with this initial decision, contact the HDEC Secretariat:

9. Processes for review

The steps in the review process are set out in the HDECs Standard Operating Procedures: HDECs SOPs.

Applying for expedited review

If your application is assigned for an expedited review and is validated by an advisor, then you will receive a letter confirming this within five working days.

Application for full review

If your application is assigned for a full review, you will receive a letter after the agenda for the meeting you are assigned has closed (at least five working days).

We may also contact you by phone or email to clarify any issues with your application.