AAHRPP Accreditation

UC Davis progresses to next phase of AAHRPP Accreditation: Site Visitors will be at UC Davis January 5-7, 2015

The University of California, Davis has advanced to the final stages of receiving institutional accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP). As an independent, non-profit accrediting body, AAHRPP uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that Human Research Protection Programs (HRPPs) meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. The UC Davis Institutional Review Board (IRB) Administration worked closely with AAHRPP to successfully complete the first two steps of the accreditation application.

AAHRPP accredits only the highest quality HRPPs that promote excellent, ethically sound research, surpassing state and federal regulations. The accreditation signifies that an organization follows rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research, fostering public trust and confidence in human research at UC Davis and placing us among the most respected, and trustworthy research organizations in the world. The benefits of AAHRPP’s comprehensive approach to accreditation extend beyond participants to our HRPP as a whole.

AAHRPP-accredited organizations:

  • Earn the respect and meet the expectations of their peers.  More than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 65 percent of U.S. medical schools are either AAHRPP accredited or have begun the accreditation process. Of the five UC Academic Medical Centers, three are currently accredited.
  • Play a leadership role in collaborative efforts. AAHRPP accreditation instills trust among research partners and, therefore, is becoming a requirement for collaboration. AAHRPP-accredited organizations often insist that accreditation status be a determining factor in decisions on external IRB review.
  • Gain a competitive edge with sponsors and other funders, who recognize that AAHRPP-accredited organizations have more efficient operations, provide more comprehensive protections, and produce high-quality data. Some sponsors consider accreditation status when choosing investigative sites.
  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance. AAHRPP accreditation signifies that an organization has built the necessary infrastructure for a quality human research protection program (HRPP). AAHRPP-accredited organizations tend to have more streamlined, effective policies and procedures. These organizations also typically keep better records and are more likely to avoid costly shutdowns and problematic inspections.
  • Enhance their standing with U.S. federal agencies, which are more likely to target non-accredited organizations for inspections. Federal agencies have begun seeking AAHRPP accreditation for their own HRPPs. The central IRB for the National Cancer Institute earned AAHRPP accreditation in December 2012.
  • Benefit from a common commitment to continuous quality improvement. AAHRPP-accredited organizations share innovative practices and collect data to help establish benchmarks and assess quality improvement. AAHRPP compiles and distributes these data to aid organizations, sponsors, government agencies, and participants in identifying and promoting high-quality practices.
  • The upcoming site visit is the next step in the accreditation process. The AAHRPP site visitors are peers chosen from institutions that have received AAHRPP accreditation. They will be completing a thorough assessment of UC Davis’ HRPP, which will include interviews with faculty and staff who are engaged in human subject research. Individuals to be interviewed will be selected by AAHRPP in early November, and IRB Administration staff will contact each individual to schedule a one-hour training and interview preparation session.

If you have any questions about this accreditation process, please contact Kathryn Smith at kathryn.smith@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu, or by phone at 530-304-8051.