Meetings and Dates
The AEC usually meets monthly, to examine applications for approval and to consider related matters. See meeting dates.
Procedures at Meetings
The AEC operates in accordance with the University's standard procedures and guidelines, hence its quorum is half the membership plus one. However, the governing legislation also stipulates that at least one member must be present from each of categories A, B, C & D. If there is no quorum, the meeting may proceed, with decisions ratified at the next regular meeting. The AEC aims to reach decisions by consensus, but is entitled to decide by a majority vote.
Any AEC member involved in a matter requiring decision by the Committee must leave the room while the matter is resolved.
Applications must be made on the UNE AEC Application form. See information about applying.
Closing Dates and Late Applications
Committee meetings are usually held on the last Wednesday of each month. Applications for each month’s agenda close 14 days prior to the meeting, i.e., 12pm on the Wednesday.
Due to the tight time frame, no late applications will be added to the agenda once it has closed.
The Approval Process
Approval is signified by the AEC providing an AEC Authority which includes an approval number; AECxxxxx.
Applications may be dealt with in the following ways:
6.1 Approved with no conditions
6.2 Approved with pre-conditions (which must be satisfactorily addressed prior to the issue of an AEC Authority) or conditions (which will remain in force for the duration of the AEC Authority).
6.3 Approved but approval number temporarily withheld, pending the provision of further information to the satisfaction, in most cases, of the Executive Committee. In such cases the research may not proceed until the approval number is issued.
6.4 Deferred, so that the application can be resubmitted to the Committee in the light of its previous comments.
6.5 Not Approved.
In cases 6.4 and 6.5, the researcher is in most cases requested to consult with the Chair to provide additional information before resubmitting.
If, during consideration of an application, the AEC identifies a point of concern, the Principal Investigator may be contacted by phone during the meeting to resolve the point of concern. This interaction and resolution are to be recorded in the minutes.
Where researchers are only conducting observations with no interference, i.e. no manipulation of the environment, the researchers are required to notify the AEC in writing. This notification should outline the location(s), dates, and species to be observed. If researchers are in doubt about whether an application is required or not, they may contact the AEC Chair or the Research Ethics Officer.
The Executive may not approve new proposals but it may approve minor modifications to existing projects for review at the next AEC meeting (see Attachment 10).
Duration and Completion of Approvals
Approvals may not extend for more than 12 months. If a project is designed to extend beyond a year, it is the researcher's responsibility to reapply each year, while submitting a progress report on work done.
A final report must be submitted on completion of all projects.