Australasian Spinal Cord Injury Network Ltd

Clinical Trials Committee

Terms of Reference

Committee Function

Facilitate collaboration and support multi-centre spinal cord injury clinical trials.

The Clinical Trials Committee aims to:

  • Foster high-quality clinical trials by providing information and educational opportunities to researchers and clinicians on the conduct of clinical trials and Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
  • Maintain a list of clinical trials and studies (non-clinical trials)currently supported by Spinal Network in Australia and New Zealand to assist planning of clinical trials and studies especially with respect to patient recruitment
  • Promote the development and use of appropriate standardised clinical trial protocols, and internationally recognised and evidence-based data collection tools and assessment measures
  • Foster communication amongst the different states to conduct clinical trials

Committee Functioning

The Clinical Trials Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Spinal Network and is subject to the Board’s direction and control. The work of the committee is supported by the executive of Spinal Network, which will organise meetings, agendas and minutes as required.  

Membership of the Clinical Trials Committee

(i) Chairperson

The CTC Chairperson is appointed by the Spinal Network Board for a period of two years. The CTC Chairperson must be a member representative of Spinal Network.

The Chairperson’s responsibilities include:

  • Providing strategic direction and leadership in clinical trials coordination
  • Inviting specialists to attend meetings when required by the Committee
  • Ensuring all discussion items end with a decision or outcome

(ii) Deputy Chairperson

The CTC Deputy Chairperson is appointed by the CTC for a period of one year. The CTC Deputy Chairperson must be a member representative of Spinal Network.

The Deputy Chairperson’s responsibilities include:
Liaising with the Chairperson and Spinal Network executive to

  • Schedule meetings and setting agenda items
  • Review the draft minutes before distribution  

(iii) Committee Members

Committee members are appointed by the CTC Chairperson. The term will be for two years and members may be re-appointed for a further term of up to two years. Committee members must be a member representative of Spinal Network.

A member of Spinal Network may express their interest in joining the Committee by writing to the CTC Chairperson. As a guide, the ideal composition of the Clinical Trials Committee will comprise of spinal unit directors, clinicians in relevant disciplines, clinical and basic researchers, and people with spinal cord injury. Other expertise in areas such as epidemiology, biostatistics, ethics, health economics, will be sought when necessary.

Committee members will cease to be a member of the Committee if they:

  • resign from the Committee
  • resign from their professional role which makes them eligible for the Committee
  • fail to attend three consecutive meetings
  • breach the Spinal Network code of conduct
  • cease to be a member representative

Committee Meetings

Up to four meetings each year shall be held by teleconference.

A quorum of members must be present before a meeting can proceed. A quorum is determined by the Chairperson as ‘sufficient suitably qualified people to enable agenda items to be discussed and decisions made’.

Specialists may be invited to attend the meetings at the request of the Chairperson on behalf of the Committee to provide advice and assistance where necessary. They have no voting rights and may be requested to leave the meeting at any time by the Chairperson.

Decisions will be made by consensus. The Committee will report to the Board via Spinal Network executive.


The terms of reference shall be reviewed by the Spinal Network Board annually. The above Terms of Reference have been approved by the Board of the Australasian Spinal Cord Injury Network Ltd.