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 2009 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.

January- June 2017

Meeting Number

Meeting Dates Tuesday

Applications Due COB Monday (2 weeks prior to meeting)


7 February 2017

30 January 2017


7 March 2017

20 February 2017


4 April 2017

20 March 2017


2 May 2017

17 April 2017


6 June 2017

22 May 2017

June- December 2017

Following the 6 June 2017 BCHEAN meeting, the College of Business will transition to a system of rolling reviews.

What does this mean?

From July 2017 the BCHEAN will no longer meet to review Negligible and Low Risk applications. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, once they have been assessed as complete by the BCHEAN Secretariat.

As this is a period of transition, please check the website for updates before submitting your new application.

BCHEAN Members

School Representatives

Associate Professor Robert Inglis
School of Accounting

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

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

Coursework Masters students

Coursework Masters students undertaking negligible risk or low risk projects are required to submit their completed forms to the relevant BCHEAN school representative (see BCHEAN members above). Negligible risk applications will be reviewed by the BCHEAN school representative and low risk applications will be forwarded to the BCHEAN secretary for assessment at the monthly BCHEAN meeting.

Research students (Honours, Masters by Research, PhD and Professional Doctorates) and RMIT staff

Applications for review of negligible risk and low risk research need to be submitted to the BCHEAN secretary.

The approval process will generally take 4-6 weeks. Your application must be complete and include all of the required documentation. Research students must prepare their application in conjunction with their supervisor. Their supervisor must be listed as the Chief Investigator on the ethics application.

Applications that are incomplete or unintelligible will be returned to you for amendment or resubmission. The approval process timeframe can be reduced if applicants submit complete documents that provide well considered, proof read content.

Plese email the application form including any supplementary information to the BCHEAN secretary at least 10 days prior to the monthly scheduled meeting (see the application deadline table above).

You need to download the application form and all of the supplementary documents directly from the HREC website to ensure that you are using the most up-to-date forms.

Ethics application step-by-step guide

  1. Go to Go to Human Research Ethics - New applications.
  2. Review contents and select 'Human Ethics Risk Assessment and Application Form'. Choose 'Save Link As' to download the form.
  3. Review contents and complete 'Part A: Risk Assessment Checklist' to determine the risk level of your research.
  4. Once the risk level has been determined the relevant application form will appear as ‘Part B’

Participant information and consent form (PICF)

Your application must include a complete participant information form (plain language statement) and your process for obtaining consent. On the webpage Resources for researchers you can download a document titled ‘How to prepare your Participant Information and Consent Form’ that will assist you with preparing your PICF. You are strongly encouraged to utilise the PICF template format provided.

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.
  • 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.