Association for the Accreditation
of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. ®

Accreditation: Get Accredited - Overview

Get Accredited

Accreditation uses a set of objective Standards to evaluate the quality of an Organization’s human research protection program (HRPP). Through accreditation, an Organization can demonstrate the overall excellence of its HRPP. The accreditation process involves several steps that are outlined below.

Part 1: Conduct a Self-Assessment

The first step in the accreditation process is to conduct a self-assessment, where you evaluate your HRPP and make improvements as needed.

Part 2: Build and Develop an Application

The application submission process for initial and renewing applicants involves two steps: Once your organization’s policies have been reviewed and revised to meet AAHRPP accreditation standards, you will put together an Application for Accreditation. The Application for Accreditation includes an overview of your HRPP and requires you to identify written materials (e.g., policies, guidance, checklists, manuals) that demonstrate how your organization meets each accreditation Standard and Element.

Part 3: Evaluation of Written Materials

When an organization submits an Application for Accreditation to AAHRPP, a two-part peer review process begins. The first stage of the process involves evaluation of the written materials included in the Application for Accreditation. An individual from an accredited organization will assess the written materials based on the Evaluation Instrument and work with your organization to ensure the materials meet AAHRPP accreditation standards.

Part 4: Evaluation of Practice

After the review of the Application for Accreditation is complete, AAHRPP schedules a site visit, which involves a team of individuals from accredited organizations who evaluate how HRPP policies and procedures are operationalized at your organization through document review and interviews with key personnel. The site visit team will provide written feedback about any areas that need to be addressed to meet accreditation standards.


Following the site visit, the Council on Accreditation makes a decision about accreditation based on the Draft Site Visit Report, the Organization’s response, and the evaluation of the response.


The Council on Accreditation may request that the Organization provide a Status Report after a site visit is complete. If an Organization does not meet accreditation standards, the Council on Accreditation may request that the Organization provide an improvement plan. Accredited Organizations renew their accreditations three years after initial accreditation and every five years thereafter.

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"AAHRPP has really shown this exceptional ability to balance the accountability to those very robust standards with providing flexibility in the accreditation process..."
Martha Jones, MA, CIP
Vice President, Human Research Affairs
Mass General Brigham

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