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Custom configured for NHMRC Ethics management platform image

Ethics management platform Custom configured for NHMRC

NHMRC: National Health and Medical Research Council

NHMRC is Australia’s leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards. With the mission "Working To Build A Healthy Australia", NHMRC invests in high quality health and medical research and researchers, supports translation of medical research into clinical practice, policy and health system, and maintains a strong integrity framework for research and guideline development.

Configurability through Intuitive SmartForms


The National Ethics Application Form (NEAF) is widely used by researchers throughout Australia to submit ethics applications for review by a Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). The research community had provided feedback that NEAF has numerous limitations. The form was too long and the question logic did not link with the content required, making it complex for users to use and navigate. It did not support non-biomedical research well and contained requirements for unnecessary information. Moreover, the output of the form is not user-friendly.


NHRMC required a range of functions in addition to a highly flexible forms capability. Some of the key functions are:

  • Ability to modify the HREA themselves without involvement from the vendor
  • System is intuitive and informative
  • Self-registration by the user
  • Guest (anonymous) user - Export partially or fully completed form for uploading at a later time thus not storing any data in the HREA server
  • Collaboration allowing several people by invitation to complete the form
  • External research management systems are able to obtain HREA data to integrate into their system
  • Flexible reporting – fields of the form, system related information
  • Solution branded as NHMRC
  • Accessible on any modern smart device using a web browser
  • Vendor to provide responsive support and maintenance of the solution
  • Vendor who can make enhancements if required

NHMRC's Ethics solution; Highly configurable system architecture

F1 Solutions OmniEthics system meets the requirements and provides a complete solution.

Flexible forms capability is provided using OmniEthics’ embedded SmartForms technology (Intelledox Infiniti). The client is able to make changes to the form in a controlled manner, which allows them to be responsive to their users’ needs. Version control is supported, making change management easy to control and implement. The solution includes an admin portal and a public facing site. The admin portal allows internal administrator users to perform advanced configuration and management of the form system as well as modify and publish the SmartForms based. Human Research Ethics Application form. The public facing site is a portal in which external users e.g. researchers and external administrators can access to complete HREA form as a registered user or a guest user.

OmniEthics supports Application Programming Interface (APIs) that allow external research management systems to obtain HREA data programmatically. Working code and documentation is available which makes data extraction straight forward to implement. OmniEthics also has the capability to integrate with external systems such as ORCID, email, document management and FMIS. This capability reassures NHMRC that when integration with an external system is required, it is achievable. The ad-hoc reporting, audit log and ability to export data for use by external systems functions are greatly valued by NHMRC.

OmniEthics is available as Software as a Service or on premise installation. NHRMC opted for the SaaS solutions as it includes SIT, UAT and Production environments. The SaaS offering has allowed NHMRC to implement enhancement s to OmniEthics and have them deployed efficiently and cost effectively.

Building the complete Ethics governance process; agile. automated. tailored. secure.

This project was completed within the timeline and allocated budget. It commenced around September 2015 and was soft-launched in January 2016. A prolonged soft-launch is designed to obtain feedback and incorporate the feedback quickly. The go-live date was scheduled August/September 2016.

The roll out of the project will help NHMRC reduce the amount of rework in producing many similar documents while maintaining content governance, accuracy and consistency of style. The new form which is intuitive, easy to navigate with incorporated logic will solve existing problems associated with NEAF.