Considering Accreditation

Accreditation Step-by-Step

Tip Sheets

Accreditation uses a set of objective Standards to evaluate the quality and level of protection that an Organization provides research participants. Through accreditation, an Organization can demonstrate the overall excellence of its research program by providing the most comprehensive protections for research participants. The intensive self-assessment is the first and most important step in the process that results in continuous improvement. 

Accreditation benefits research participants and organizations in many ways. Each time a new Organization becomes accredited, the global benchmark for human research protection in science is raised.

The accreditation process includes several steps:

Application preparation
The first step in earning accreditation is to conduct a self-assessment, where you evaluate your Human Research Protection Program and make improvements. An application includes a seven-page application form, a program overview (seven-page maximum), copies of documents used by your Organization, and an index to those documents. Further instructions on the final preparation of your application can be found in the Instructions to Apply for Accreditation.

On-site evaluation
A team of experts reviews your materials and schedules an on-site visit. During the visit, the team evaluates your program's performance with respect to the AAHRPP Accreditation Standards.

Council review
AAHRPP's Council on Accreditation reviews the application, Draft Site Visit Report and your response, and determines your accreditation status.

Notification of accreditation status
Your Organization receives a report detailing the status of your accreditation. Organizations that have achieved accreditation must be re-evaluated three years following their initial accreditation, and every five years after that, in order to remain accredited.

Click here for a detailed description of AAHRPP's accreditation procedures.