AAHRPP reaccreditation — an update, and where to find the HRPP plan (please read it!)

The first big hurdle on the road to reaccreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) is behind us — our application has been submitted. There will be several other steps in the months ahead, one of which will be an AAHRPP visit to our site. During that visit, we expect AAHRPP to meet with some of our reviewers. We’ll have a series of blog items in the weeks ahead designed to familiarize our reviewers with the AAHRPP review process and accreditation criteria.

The Evaluation Instrument for Accreditation describes in great and gory detail all the things that AAHRPP looks for when considering an accreditation application. “Great and gory detail” means 131 single-spaced pages, specifically. We encourage you to take a few minutes sometime and at least scan the document, looking for the highlighted items titled “Standard” or “Element.”

For example, the first Standard requires the organization to have a “systematic and comprehensive Human Research Protection Program” (HRPP) and the organization’s staff to be knowledgeable about the HRPP. Our response to this element addresses the availability of a written HRPP plan and the applicable IRB policies. You can access a copy of UAMS’ HRPP document on the IRB’s website. We hope all of our IRB members will read this this document in the weeks ahead. (This one’s only 11 pages, and, while it too is single-spaced, it has wide margins and a fair amount of white space.)

Please contact the IRB office if you have any questions about the HRPP plan or about the AAHRPP accreditation process.