For this reason, the Human Ethics office always seeks to understand the nature of any research concern that is expressed.
Through explanation and appropriate response, most concerns do not result in a formal complaint; therefore, where they feel that it is appropriate, people are always encouraged to contact the Human Ethics office for preliminary discussion of any concern.
Notwithstanding encouragement to discuss a potential research concern, Chapter 5.6 of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research outlines provisions for complaints to be made about researchers, or the conduct of research, or about the conduct of a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) or other ethics review body.
Complaints may be made by research participants, researchers, staff of institutions, or others.
Where complaints about researchers or research raise the possibility of misconduct fitting this description, they will be addressed under the provisions of the Code.
Any individual or organisation may initiate a complaint about research involving human participants. Without limiting the nature of a complaint, a complainant may have concerns about:
"Any complaint received in relation to research should be considered an event that may impact on the ethics approval of a project. As such, all complaints should be registered with the Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU) either by email to [email protected], or on-line at https://www.uwa.edu.au/university/complaints/community/submit.
Staff in the CRU will ensure that the complaint is registered and the relevant ethics office advised of the event. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will receive notification of complaints that require consideration under the policy."
Any issues raised will be treated in confidence and investigated fully and any person expressing a concern or making a formal complaint will be informed of the outcome.