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Policy framework statement

The Research Policy Framework specifies the research requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) must comply with in order to ensure effective and consistent research activity across the WA health system.


The purpose of this policy framework is to ensure:

  • compliance with relevant legislation, policies, standards, codes of conduct and national best practice guidelines
  • clarity about the expectation for HSPs to support research and encourage its integration into service provision
  • research effort across WA health system will be conducted in accordance with the highest ethical and scientific standards
  • support for the consistent management of research governance and intellectual property across the WA health system. 

This policy framework recognises research as a core function. It promotes a culture of continuous improvement and excellence through research and innovation to help deliver a high quality and sustainable health system.


This policy framework is binding on each HSP to which it applies or relates. Specifically, individuals within HSPs who conduct, manage, review and/or govern research and/or access participants, their tissue or their data.


The key principles that underpin this policy framework are:

Those undertaking research activities work to ensure strong collaboration among internal and external stakeholders including national and international partners.

Consistency and efficiency
Research is managed in a way that promotes consistent and efficient practices across the WA health system.

Consumer engagement and protection
Research involving participants will have a people-centred approach with relevant engagement and protection of participant rights.

Wherever feasible, research activities should be integrated as a core function within routine healthcare delivery, to increase opportunities to conduct research.

Research is of highest ethical and scientific standard, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and its progressive translation to relevant policy and practice through innovative technologies and programs that improve health outcomes.

Research should offer the prospect, either directly or through the generation of preliminary results, of improved patient outcomes and/or improved healthcare productivity.

Research activities are managed in a sustainable manner to support and promote research, maintain and develop a skilled research workforce, provide the best possible research infrastructure and foster future investment in research.

Champions of academia and research will attract and retain high calibre health professionals who, while producing and translating their own research, will ensure the early introduction to Western Australia of knowledge and advances within their areas of expertise.

Legislative context

This policy framework is made pursuant to ss 26(2)(a)(d)(l) of the Health Services Act 2016.

The Health Services Act 2016 refers to policy frameworks in ss. 26-27 and s. 34(2)(c). Other relevant parts in the Act that relate specifically to this policy framework include ss. 4(f) and (g), 34(1)(b), 36(3)(d), 44-46, and Part 17. 

The legislation below, may also apply: 
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs must comply with all mandatory requirements* including:

Other Policy Frameworks relevant to the Research Policy Framework include:  

Policy framework custodian

Deputy Director General

Enquiries relating to this Policy Framework may be directed to:


This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Effective to Amendment(s)
5 17 August 2022 Current Research Policy Framework - Policy Framework Custodian amendment from Assistant Director General, Clinical Excellence Division to Deputy Director General. 
4 8 June 2021
17 August 2022 New MP 0162/21 Research Governance Policy to supersede OD 0411/12 and OD 0446/13.
3 15 April 2021
8 June 2021

New MP 0156/21 Intellectual Property Policy to supersede IC 0228/15.

Rescindment: OD 0299/10.

2 21 December 2017
15 April 2021
Updated Policy Framework Custodian in online PDF Document only. Changes were not made to Policy Framework landing page until 10 January 2018.
1 1 July 2016 21 December 2017 Original version


This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr D J Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date01 July 2016
Date published21 December 2017
File numberF-AA-40157


This policy framework is binding on those to whom it applies or relates. Implementation at a local level will be subject to audit.

Glossary of terms

Term Meaning
Applicability Under Section 26 of the Health Services Act 2016, policy frameworks may apply to:
  • All Health Service Providers
  • A type of public health service facility
  • A type of public health service
  • A type of staff member of a health service provider.
Health Service Provider Means a Health Service Provider established by an order made under section 32(1)(b) of the Health Services Act 2016.
Intellectual Property

The legal rights which result from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary, artistic, musical and dramatic fields and include all rights including without limitation:

  1. Patents, copyright, moral rights, rights in circuit layouts, plant breeders’ rights, registered designs, trademarks, and the right to have trade secrets kept confidential.
  2. Any application or right to apply for registration of any of those rights.
  3. Any rights which may be introduced or come into existence through international and national laws (WA Government Intellectual Property Policy, 2015).
Research Governance A process used by an organisation for the oversight, assessment, authorisation and monitoring of research conducted at one or more of its sites or under its auspices. A research governance framework includes good research culture and practice, organisational strategy, role definition and accountabilities, risk, resource and financial assessment and management, compliance with legal, regulatory and contractual requirements, competencies and training of personnel, site assessment, scientific review, ethical review and approval, site authorisation, monitoring of research, and management of conflicts of interest, complaints and allegations of research misconduct (Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, 2014).
WA health system Pursuant to section 19(1) of the Health Services Act 2016, means the Department of Health, Health Service Providers and to the extent that Contracted Health Entities provide health services to the State, the Contracted Health Entities.