The Full review pathway is outlined in chapter 5 of the SOPs for HDECs(external link).

Applications that are valid for review under the full review pathway are reviewed at the nearest available HDEC full meeting. A list of upcoming ones for the year can be found under Meeting Dates, Venues and Minutes.

An application will only be validated with the clock starting once the agenda has closed at 12pm on the day specified in the schedule. Following this, you will receive a validation letter in Ethics RM confirming the date and time of the review of your application.

If a study is submitted after the cut-off for the agenda, it will be validated for the next agenda. If a study is submitted before the cut-off but could not be allocated due to the meeting having max capacity, it will be validated for the next agenda and the clock will be backdated to the agenda it would have been assigned to.

Zoom Meetings 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand, all full meetings have been moved to online Zoom meetings. There is no longer an option to attend in person, and there are currently no plans to shift away from online meetings in the near future. 

If joining a Zoom meeting, please ensure your name is clearly displayed. This helps the Secretariat run the meeting. 


It is at the descretion of the researcher(s) who attends with them or in their stead, and can circulate the meeting details independently without seeking permission from the HDECs.

The HDECs strongly encourage PhD students to have their supervisor in attendance with them.


As the meetings are public, observers are welcome to attend for the review of any applications provided they are not considered closed. If you would like to attend an HDEC to observe, please email the Secretariat ( with what meeting you would like to attend. 

The first 30 minutes of every meeting is reserved for Committee administrative business. For minimal disruption, please ensure your mic and camera is turned off. 

What to expect from HDEC full review

The Health and Disability Ethics Committee (the Committee) that your application has been assigned to will read your submission ahead of the meeting timeslot. During the meeting, the Committee will ask questions or make comments based on their read-through of your application. Each application has 2 lead reviewers - a Lay and Non-lay member - who lead the discussion.

It is highly recommended that someone in the study team attends the allocated timeslot to answer any questions the Committee may have. Some items can often be resolved in the meeting itself. 

Having access to study documents during the review will aid in your ability to answer any questions they may have. It is at the discretion of the study team who attends the review on behalf or alongside, including sponsors or other investigators/coordinators. It is preferred if the Secretariat are notified ahead of time of attendance, and who will be attending.

Regardless of attendance, a letter summarising the points discussed and decision made will be available in Ethics RM following completion of the Minutes by the Secretariat. The Secretariat aims to have these completed as soon as possible, but can experience delays of up to two-weeks following the meeting if there are significant considerations causing delays. 

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