Core Competencies Applied: PRAXIS Australia

PRAXIS Australia has used the Harmonized Core Competency Framework to create flexible learning opportunities for the Australian research sector.

PRAXIS Australia Ltd (PRAXIS) is an Australian not for profit/charity organisation, founded by two of Australia’s leading academic institutions, University of Sydney and Monash University (via another NGO, Global Reconciliation Ltd), and the largest provider of independent ethics review in Australia, Bellberry Limited. Their mission is to enhance the understanding and practice of ethical research for the benefit of the broader community, via the provision of various training options, underpinned by two flagship training models – HREC Essentials and Research Essentials.

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Research Essentials has been created utilising the Harmonised Core Competency Framework and was created to meet a well demonstrated need in Australia to provide relevant, current, affordable and flexible learning opportunities to the Australian research sector broadly – across disciplines and institutional and local jurisdictional borders. 

The model was built as a collaborative project, involving over 80 expert contributors from across the research and research ethics sectors in Australia. Since its launch in late 2016, over 1000 students have enrolled and a growing number of Universities and Medical Research Institutes have embedded elements of the model in their undergraduate, post graduate and higher degree research programs.

Comprised of over 68 individual models and electives, students may choose to undertake a single module of study or choose a more extensive course of learning options. This purpose built system helps students to determine the best path of study based on their area of practice, level of experience and job role.

The overall aim of the project is to upskill the research workforce at all stages of their careers, by use of an innovative, evolving and responsive model of education that is internationally benchmarked,  in order to ensure that Australia maintains its position on the global stage as a site of research excellence.

Melanie Gentgall is CEO of PRAXIS Australia Ltd