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Health alert: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visitors are able to attend our facilities in Metro South Health. Please refer to the visiting restrictions for more information.

Find out where to get tested at one of our fever clinic locations, where to get vaccinated, our COVID-19 response and read the latest Queensland Government information.

SSA authorisation

Site Specific Assessment (SSA) considers the legal compliance, financial management, accountability and risk management associated with research. SSA authorisation provides a separate review and is distinctly different from the ethical clearance process, however it is recommended that research project/s can be submitted for review to both departments for review in parallel.

The online SSA Form, used is developed via the ERM Applications portal. Only one SSA form needs to be submitted for multiple Metro South sites.

SSA authorisation process



More information


Complete ethical clearance process

Ethical clearance


Complete the site finance budget (mandatory)

Research Funding, Budgets and Infrastructure Support Procedure


Prepare research contracts and agreements (as applicable)

  • A research agreement is not required if your research only involves researchers or resources within MSH

Research Contracts and Study Execution Procedure


Prepare any relevant site specific supporting documents

Site Specific Assessment Procedure


Complete the Research Contracts and Study Execution Form to obtain ‘wet ink’ signatures from Head of Department, Business Finance Manager (if funds are over $10k) and MSH Facility Managers. Authorisation can also be obtained electronically via email and then uploaded via the ERM website.

Research Contracts and Study Execution Form


Review research fees

Research Fees Procedure


Complete SSA form via the ERM Applications portal – declare conflicts of interest

Research Integrity Procedure


Upload supporting documents, sign and submit application via the ERM Applications portal

Please note: Submission processes differ if you conduct multi-centre research and MSH is not the reviewing HREC. If any documentation has been updated after HREC review, forward it to our Research Governance Office available on the contacts page. Research governance authorisation cannot occur until HREC approval is granted.

ERM Applications


  • Receive outcomes from:
    • HREC – ethical clearance
    • SSA authorisation
  • Commence research





Note: If you are conducting a clinical trial, please view our specific information about clinical trials.

Frequently asked questions

What is an SSA form?

  • The online SSA form is the core document to manage the SSA authorisation requirements.
  • The SSA form holds the information on how the research project will be conducted at the site/s, including mandatory signatures and related supporting documentation. 
  • All research submissions require an SSA, allowing the institution to consider whether the research project complies legally (ie contractual arrangements, insurance and indemnity requirements are being addressed) it has sufficient physical resources and staff,  site is capable of conducting the research, financial management is in place, accountability is addressed and risk management is in place for the associated MSH participating site/s and any other relevant requirements are met.

How do I submit my forms online?

All new SSA applications need to be submitted via ERM Applications

1. Login to ERM Applications or create an account if you do not already have one

2. Select the tile Create Sub-form from the list of Actions on the left-hand side

  1. On the Create Sub-form page, select Queensland Health as your jurisdiction and SSA Form QLD as the Main Form type, then select Create

​3. Complete the SSA and attach relevant supporting documents, including your site finance budget

Training material and Instructions on how to use the system can be found here. An SSA form can be generated after the HREA has been created.

Who is my facility manager?

Signatories Metro South Health facility managers as at June 2020 are as follows:




Princess Alexandra Hospital

Relevant Head of Department


QEII Jubilee Hospital

Adrianne Belchamber, Executive Director

Bayside Health Service

Anne Coccetti, Executive Director

Logan and Beaudesert Health Service

Dale Seierup, Director, Medical Services

Metro South Mental Health and Addiction Services

Kieran Kinsella, Executive Director

Community and Oral Health Services

Mario de Silva, A/Executive Director 

Inala Indigenous Health Services

David Eastgate, Director, Health Equity & Access Unit


What is considered an acceptable signature?

Acceptable signatures in the ERM Applications portal required by the SSA form includes:

  • electronic signature
  • wet ink signatures uploaded on a PDF form
  • letter/s and
  • email/s.

What elements comprise SSA authorisation?

SSA requirements include:

  • confirmation of ethical clearance
  • compliance with legislation, regulations, guidelines and codes of practice
  • legal matters, including contracts and indemnity/insurance frameworks
  • financial management, risk management and SSA
  • institutional policies and procedures for responsible research conduct and managing research misconduct
  • management of collaborative research
  • reporting requirements.

How long does the SSA authorisation process take?

  • Timely responses to queries between the principal investigator/trial coordinator (on behalf of participating site/s) and the reviewing Research Governance Office is crucial to avoid delay in commencing research. 

Where do I find more information regarding the site specific supporting documents?

Please see the following procedures for more information:

I am University employee/student, what agreements or contracts are required?

  • Research undertaken by a University employee or student requires an agreement/contract or sub-contract between MSH (via the name of the relevant MSH site/facility) and the relevant university.
  • You must request a contractual arrangement by contacting your University’s legal representative, see the following listed University contacts (as applicable).


What are the indemnity and insurance requirements and how does it apply to me?

  • The indemnity protects a party for and against certain specific actions, claims or losses, and is required when an external organisation/researcher undertakes research in private rooms or wishes to utilise the services of the MSH site/facility.

Note: If you are conducting a clinical trial, please view our specific information about clinical trials.

Do I need special approval to collaborate with researchers from international government owned entities?

A new Act (Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020) is in force that requires government departments to seek approval from Federal and State ministers if they intend to enter into formal arrangements with a government owned or controlled international entity. 

This means that specific approval may be required when collaborating with international researchers.  It is important that you contact the Metro South Research office via as soon as possible if you have recently entered into formal arrangements with international researchers (since January 2021) or are considering collaborating with international researchers who are affiliated with an international government owned entity.  Ensuring all legislative compliance requirements are met will enable timely approval of your study, including execution of a contract as applicable. 


  • The Act is designed to ensure a consistent, national, approach to Australia’s international engagement by ensuring arrangements entered by ‘state/territory entities’ are not inconsistent with Australia’s foreign policy and do not adversely affect Australia’s foreign relations.
  • The Act creates the Foreign Arrangements Scheme, and imposes new obligations on Qld which will impact ‘state/territory entities’ including departments/agencies, local governments and universities.
  • Under the Act,  “state/territory entities” are required to engage with the Commonwealth Minister for Foreign Affairs prior to entering negotiations or entering new arrangements:
    • For core foreign arrangements, approval is required from the Commonwealth Minister prior to negotiation of, or entering into, the arrangement.
    • For ­non-core foreign arrangements, Qld has to notify the Commonwealth Minister of any proposals to enter an arrangement.
  • The Commonwealth Minister will have discretion to authorise for the negotiation for arrangement to continue, or declare a State/Territory entity cannot enter an arrangement.
  •  If the Commonwealth Minister for Foreign Affairs considers an arrangement is a risk to Australia’s foreign relations, it can be declared invalid, unenforceable or no longer in operation. This poses potential legal, reputational and fiscal risks to Qld.


  • core foreign arrangements- between an Australian State/Territory (including departments) and a foreign nation;
  • non-core foreign arrangementsbetween a State/Territory and foreign sub-national government and any arrangements between local governments and universities and foreign entities; and
  • subsidiary arrangementsagreements designed to implement a foreign arrangement (this may include commercial contracts).

Full details are available at the DFAT website

Is there a research fee associated with ethical clearance and SSA authorisation and when do I need to pay it?

  • A research fee may be applicable to an application depending on individual circumstances. A fee is always applied to commercial research projects where there is a named sponsor in the application, and they are invoiced directly - so please ensure the relevant invoicing details are included.
  • For non-commercial studies, a fee may still be applicable depending on whether the clinician or researcher is from MSH, Queensland Health or an external party.
  • Should a clinician or researcher have any further questions about whether a fee is applicable please contact us to discuss further.

How do I make an amendment to my research project?

Last updated 11 August 2021
Last reviewed 22 July 2020