PACE's ethical framework

PACE is committed to upholding the ethical standards of the University, which include integrity, respect, equality, responsibility, and justice (Macquarie University, 2007). To this end, and as far as is reasonably practicable, PACE endeavours to ensure that students engaged in PACE are working on activities with partners that do not prompt ethical issues that could be damaging to the student, the partner or the University.

All proposed PACE activities are reviewed to ensure that any potential risks of an ethical nature are considered and addressed prior to commencement of the activity to ensure risks are mitigated, the experiences are enriching and worthwhile for all stakeholders, and graduates are being prepared for the real world.

Research-based activities that involve quality assurance must comply with the ethical guidelines as outlined in the National Statement of Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).

Where an activity involves human research, formal ethics approval is required before the activity may commence. This could be obtained through:

  • an approved ethics Protocol specific to the relevant PACE unit
  • the PACE Ethics Protocol
  • a new research ethics application submitted to Macquarie's Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) by the Unit Convenor
  • an existing ethics application approval held by the partner/activity supervisor which is either internal or external to Macquarie University.

It is the responsibility of Unit Convenors in consultation with the partner, student(s) and other PACE or Macquarie staff as appropriate, to determine whether or not a PACE activity involves low risk quality assurance or low risk human research.

Ethics Resources 

For specific information about ethical considerations, PACE have developed an number of information handouts to help all stake holder groups understand and comply with the ethical guidelines. Please see the different handouts below for each stakeholder group.

PACE Partners  

PACE Unit Convenors 

Students completing PACE units: ENVG380, FOAR300, FOBE200, FOBE300, FOHS300, FOSC300, HLTH300. and SOC301 

Students of all other PACE units


What is Human Research?

Human research is conducted with or about people, their data or issue. It includes, but is not limited to, surveys, interviews, focus groups and accessing personal information. The data from such research is often published. Human research may not proceed without formal ethics approval.

What is quality assurance?

Quality assurance activities seek to evaluate and improve processes or services. The data from such projects remains internal to the organisation, usually for informational purposes only, such as informing organisational policy or decision making. Although no additional paperwork should be required for low risk quality assurance, it must nonetheless be conducted in an ethical manner.