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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 research project risk assessment

WI2023-292 Assessing and managing risk in research


Complete ethical clearance process.

Ethical clearance


Complete the site finance budget (mandatory)

WI2023-293 Research funding, budgets and infrastructure support


Prepare research contracts and agreements (as applicable)

WI2023-302 Research contracts and study execution


Prepare any relevant site specific supporting documents

File Site Specific Assessment (SSA) guidance document and checklist

WI2023-301 Site specific assessment in research


Complete the relevant Research Contracts and Study Execution Form to obtain 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 (RCASE) Form single or multi-site


Review research fees.

Schedule of research administration fees


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

WI2023-287 Research integrity


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

Please note: Submission processes differ if you conduct multi-site 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:



Cc/further infomation

Princess Alexandra Hospital

Relevant Head of Department


QEII Jubilee Hospital


Bayside Health Service  


Logan and Beaudesert Health Service

Metro South Mental Health and Addiction Services


Community and Oral Health Services 

Inala Indigenous Health Services



What is considered an acceptable signature?

Metro South Research Governance endorses use of electronic signature platforms, digital signatures OR electronic signature for execution of research agreements including Clinical Trials Research Agreements and the HTQ Passport agreements.

Metro South’s Legal team have stated:

Legally binding signatures recognised and accepted by Metro South Health for the execution of Agreements applied to research, are wet ink and, subject to inclusion of an appropriate consent and reliable and appropriate method clause in the Agreement, any combination of wet ink, electronic signing platform, digital signature or electronic signature’.

To accommodate this the following clause will need to be added as special condition to any given agreement, for Medicine Australia Agreements it can be inserted into Special Conditions Schedule 4 and Schedule 7:

Electronic Execution

(a) Each party consents to this document being executed by any other party through an electronic signing platform, digital signature or electronic signature.

(b) The parties agree that the method described in this clause is reliable and appropriate for the purposes of identifying the signing party and executing this document.

(c) By signing this document, all parties confirm that they have given prior consent, in accordance with applicable electronic transactions laws (including the Electronic Transactions (Queensland) Act 2001) for electronic transmission of any documents, notices or information required to be given under this document, for signing purposes or otherwise, so far as such means of communication have been indicated in this document by the provision of an email address.

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. 

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.

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.
  • Refer to the Schedule fo research fees
  • 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?

When there is a change of Sponsor, CRO or PI what are the Metro South Governance requirements?

Change of Sponsor/CRO requirements:

  1. CTRA amendment
  2. Updated indemnity (Commercially sponsored studies only)
  3. Updated insurance certificate (Commercially sponsored and Collaborative research groups only)

Change of PI requirements:

  1. CTRA/Contract amendment (as applicable)
  2. Updated indemnity (Commercially sponsored studies only)
Last updated 19 December 2023
Last reviewed 19 December 2023