Latest updates

HDEC Implementation of the new National Ethical Standards

The new NEAC National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement came into effect on December 19, 2019.

Visit the National Ethics Advisory Committee – Kāhui Matatika o te Motu (NEAC) for more information about these standards.

From December 19, 2019, all new HDEC applications, Provisional Approvals in progress and any HDEC Post Approval Forms will be assessed using these new standards. All current HDEC approvals remain valid.

As the HDEC system is continual and research is submitted/reviewed every week, there was not an opportunity to implement the Standards where in progress applications would not be impacted. The HDEC will work with the Ethics Secretariat and researchers to minimise any disruption or complications that may eventuate during the transition between the old and new standards and for any of the in-progress review applications.

The Ethics Secretariat acknowledges that the current HDEC application forms that are located on Online Forms is not yet aligned with the new standards. The Ethics Secretariat is currently working with the HDEC on a new suite of application forms as well as updating its IT infrastructure.  The new forms will be introduced in July 2020. The Ethics Secretariat thanks you for your patience during this time.

For current research approved under the 2012 (or earlier) Ethical Guidelines for Observational Studies or the Ethical Guidelines for Intervention Studies researchers, must meet or exceed the new standards when undertaking health and disability research. 

The coordinating Investigator has the overall responsibility of the ethics of their research and have the primary responsibility for identifying and addressing any ethical issues that may occur as a result of this change. If you determine that a substantial amendment is required, this should occur through the Post Approval Form Pathway.

If you have any questions on the HDEC implementation of the NEAC Ethical Standards, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Ethics Secretariat via email:  hdecs@health.govt.nz


HDEC Secretariat Availability for 20-24 January 2020
16 January 2020

The revised National Ethical Standards for Health and Disability Research and Quality Improvement are live
19 December 2019

HDEC and Ministry of Health Christmas Season Hours
22 November 2019

The revised National Ethics Standards
24 October 2019

HDEC Chairs' Message to Sector – July 2019
07 October 2019

Template for participant information sheet and consent form update
07 October 2019

Important reminder: Muscle biopsies may only be performed by a health practitioner
15 March 2019


How do I apply for HDEC review?

All applications to HDECs must be submitted through the Online Forms website. This site allows you to answer questions in the HDEC application form, upload documents, request electronic signatures from other parties involved in your research, and track the progress of your application. For more information, check the section HDEC review and approvals: