Ethics: Manage your Ethics Committee Submission, Review, Amendment and Approval process.
Currently being developed for La Trobe University’s Animal Research and Training Facility,
helps you manage the workflow around your ethics committee.
Construct your application form, have researchers complete and submit their applications then use our review
and comment workflow to help streamline the process through committee. Amendment comparison tools help
rapidly identify what has changed between versions of an application, to streamline the review and approval
process and identify the key issues for discussion.
- The Form Builder – create a document or form, add sections to the document and add
sections. Questions can be text, long text, numeric, boolean (radio buttons/check boxes), date pickers
and sub-records, or form items such as subheadings or explanations.
- The submission component – researchers select a document (as created with the form
builder) and prepare
a submission against that particular document. Responses are saved and the submissions can be
discontinued and resumed as required.
- Live document updating with backward compatibility – Responses to individual questions
are linked with
the question. We recognize that it’s a dynamic process - things change. So we’ve taken steps to ensure
that the committee is free to revise and update the form when they need to - without breaking things.
Adding questions, changing wording, moving questions or updating the structure of the document does not
effect any previous or in progress submissions - the answers are preserved and simply show up in the new
- Validation and Submission – Applications are validated to ensure that the mandatory
questions have been
answered, if they have, the researcher "submits" the completed form, locking it to prevent further
modification until feedback is received from the committee.
- Committee Review Tool – members of the committee receive a list of completed
submissions that require
review. They can view the application and add reviews or comment on the answers given, indicating which
responses require clarification, further information and so forth. During this process, feedback or
comments are visible to other members of the committee, meaning members can see when a problem has been
addressed, reducing redundancy in the process and helping speed up the review. These comments and
reviews can then be used to help plan the next meeting, generating a list of discussion points for each
application and helping determine which applications need extensive review, and which can be quickly
- Researcher Feedback Tool – The Comments and reviews can be “marked off”, giving a
record of which
concerns were satisfied by discussion or subsequent information, and which require further input from
the researcher. Outstanding feedback and instructions can be sent back to the researcher (with the
identifying information removed) and the relevant questions unlocked for further amendment. This process
repeats until the submission is approved or is finally rejected.
- Amendment Comparison Tool – Researchers have the ability to create an amendment from an
approved submission. This creates a complete copy of the original version of the submission, leaving the
original intact as a reference. From the researcher’s point of view, it potentially saves a huge amount
of re-typing or copying and pasting. On receiving an amendment, the committee members also receive a
summary of changes, with clear, color-coded highlighting indicating what has changed – additions,
deletions, changes etc. No more reading and re-reading long technical procedural descriptions to try and
work out what has changed between the original version and the amended version. See the changes,
determine what may of concern and deal with it.
- Printed Applications – because some people simply prefer to review a paper copy.
- Link to Colony Management Systems – approved animal totals can be updated automatically
in our Genotrack Product, ensuring tracking is based on up-to-date approval
- Simple access controls – easily managed group memberships determine which features of
the system a user