AAHMS welcomes the development of a guide for Research Integrity Advisors. In this submission, we have provided specific feedback on the guide, highlighting the need for further clarification regarding training and the RIA’s role in reporting matters relating to the Code.

The National Health and Medical Research Council called for feedback on a new draft guide for Research Integrity Advisors (RIAs), which supports the 2018 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (‘The Code’). Eight guides have been developed to support aspects of The Code, including the Guide to Managing and Investigating Potential Breaches of the Code, the Peer Review Guide and the Publication and Dissemination of Research Guide.

Our submission provides feedback on three key areas of the draft guide for RIAs:

  1. The need for diversity in the appointment of RIAs at research institutions, which will encourage reporting from a broader range of researchers and support broader efforts for workplace diversity;
  2. The need for guidance on training for RIAs including greater detail of the type and extent of training required; and
  3. The removal of obligatory reporting by RIAs so they may provide a trusted point of contact for researchers to discuss matters of research integrity in confidence.

The Academy has provided this feedback to assist the NHMRC in developing clear guidance for individuals in the role of Research Integrity Advisor and their institutions.

AAHMS Response Guide for Research Integrity Advisors