Business College Human Ethics Advisory Network (BCHEAN)

Research Ethics Approval Information

All research conducted by RMIT College of Business staff or students involving humans as subjects must have written approval from the Business College Human Ethics Advisory Network (BCHEAN), or where appropriate the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) prior to the commencement of any research. RMIT staff and students must receive HREC or BCHEAN approval of their research proposal before research can begin. This includes research into teaching and learning practice.

All enquires and applications should be directed to the BCHEAN Secretary, Kristina Tsoulis-Reay and Chloe Patton at

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Research conducted with or about people, their data or tissue is classified as human research and must abide by The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) Updated May 2015 which outlines the national standards for use by any individual, institution or organisation conducting human research.

RMIT University is responsible for establishing procedures for the ethical review of all human research conducted by its staff and students. Research considered low risk or below is reviewed by BCHEAN and research considered more than low risk is reviewed by HREC.

The College of Business adopted a system of rolling or ‘out of session’ reviews in July 2017. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, once they have been assessed as complete by the BCHEAN Secretariat.

BCHEAN Members

School Representatives

Professor Nava Subramaniam
School of Accounting

Dr Sue Reynolds
School of Business IT and Logistics

Dr Stan Karanasios
School of Business IT and Logistics

Dr Shahadat Khan
School of Business IT and Logistics

Dr Adrian Camilleri
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Dr Marta Poblet Balcell
Graduate School of Business & Law

Dr Beni Halvorsen
School of Management

Dr Meagan Tyler
School of Management

Learning and Teaching Representative

Adjunct Associate Professor Rosalie Holian
School of Management


Associate Professor Penelope Weller
Graduate School of Business and Law

Deputy Chair

Professor Robert Hoffman
School of Economics, Finance and Marketing


Dr Chloe Patton
Business Research Office

Ms Kristina Tsoulis-Reay
Business Research Office

Application Lodgement Process

The Human Ethics Risk Assessment and Application Form is available from the Human Research Ethics Committee website. Save this file to your hard drive. Part A contains a risk assessment checklist that will guide you to determine the risk level. Part B will populate only after completion of Part A.

All negligible and low risk applications must be emailed to

Please include all supporting documentation, such as the current Participant Information Sheet/Consent Form.

All new applications for human research ethics approval at RMIT University are governance reviewed on submission, prior to ethics review. The governance review looks to identify and resolve any governance issues with a submission, as well as to facilitate ethics review by ensuring submissions are clear and complete. To view a copy of the governance review checklist. Please note, the timeline for completion of governance reviews by research governance staff is 1-3 working days.

Once your application has been accepted for review, please allow 10 working days to receive the review outcome.

Complaints Process

All complaints regarding participation in negligible risk and low risk research should be directed to the Chair of BCHEAN. Contact the Chair, RMIT Business College Human Ethics Advisory Network, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, 3001, telephone +61 3 9925 5596 email

Research involving student participants

If your research project involves student participants please read the following document.

BCHEAN Recommendations for Research Involving Student Participants (PDF 43Kb)

Using web-based surveys for research

The Internet can be a simple and effective tool to host survey instruments and/or store data, but because of the security deficiencies of the Internet there are ethical and legal risks.

If you intend to use web-based surveys as one of your data collection methods it is important that you read ethical issues associated with web-based surveys.

The RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee recommends the use of Qualtrics as the tool for collecting privacy-sensitive survey information. Qualtrics is an advanced web-based application for building, distributing and analysing online surveys. Qualtrics is free to use for all RMIT students and staff. It is easy to use and makes developing sophisticated web surveys simple. Please see Online Surveys for research projects.

Outcomes of ethics application review

The BCHEAN will determine if an ethics application is:

  • Approved
  • Approved subject to amendments
  • To be re-submitted for review
  • Declined

If you need to amend or re-submit your ethics application, there is a time limit of three months from the date you received your review outcome.


The annual/final report form and the amendment/extension form are available at the Human Research Ethics - New applications website. These forms must be submitted to the BCHEAN secretary via email

  • Annual report and final report
    Continued approval of your research project is dependent on the submission of an annual report. A final report must be provided at the conclusion of the research project or if a research project has been discontinued. The chief investigator of the approved project will receive automated reminders for these reports.
  • Request for amendment or extension of a human research ethics projectApproval must be sought from BCHEAN to amend any aspect of a project including the approved documents. Amendments must not be implemented without first gaining approval from BCHEAN.

If you need to amend or re-submit your ethics application, there is a time limit of three months from the date you received your review outcome.

See also…

RMIT University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC)
Provides the HREC contact details, terms of reference, meeting dates and complaints process.

Research Integrity
Provides information on how to manage your research - including authorship agreements, data management, publication and supervision - ensuring that your research is high quality and is in line with RMIT and legal requirements.

Research at Business
This site provides research information for students and staff as well as news, reports and events.

Chloe Patton
For all enquires and applications please contact Chloe Patton.

Kristina Tsoulis-Reay
For all enquires and applications please contact Kristina Tsoulis-Reay.