ASSAf would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for the overwhelming responses and comments in the development of the Code of Conduct for Research, as per Chapter 7 of POPIA.
Following the announcement to the research community in February 2021 of ASSAf’s intention to draft a Code of Conduct for Research, stakeholders were given multiple opportunities to share insights and provide comments on the development of the Code of Conduct:
- ·ASSAf hosted two large stakeholder events (Public (3 May – 654 participants) and NHREC (18 May – 280 participants) that were attended by scientists and researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and several smaller stakeholder events. During these meetings, stakeholders shared insights and provided comments.
- ·Commentary and discussion documents were published in SAJS on 3 May, with a further invitation to comment.
- ·An electronic form was created on the ASSAf website for comments and input on the CoC.
The ASSAf Committees are currently working through the comments that were received and, when appropriate, will incorporate them into the draft CoC or its addenda. A draft of the CoC will be shared with identified experts in the law, ethics, research and other stakeholders by mid-June. We will not be able to respond to all the comments in writing, but will contact individuals or groups for clarification or further elaboration. It is ASSAfs intention to submit the draft CoC to the Information Regulator (IR) by early July. This draft will then either be published by the IR or by ASSAf; we are seeking guidance from the IR on this matter. This will then constitute a further opportunity for comment on the actual draft CoC. The guidelines from the IR stipulate that they will take up to 13 weeks to approve a CoC once it has been submitted.
We thank all who have contributed to the discussion and debate to develop a CoC for Research that will provide both legal and practical guidelines on the interpretation of POPIA in the research sector.
Steering and Drafting Committees of the CoC