Procedures & Standards

In order to get an overview of accreditation and begin thinking about applying, first review the following documents:

AAHRPP Accreditation Procedures (July 9, 2019)
Gives an overview of the procedures AAHRPP uses to provide accreditation services.

AAHRPP Evaluation Instrument (May 2019)

Introducing New Element I.1.H. on Emergency Preparedness


Element I.1.H. The organization has and follows written policies and procedures specifically designed to protect the rights and welfare of research participants during an emergency.

The Covid-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the need for HRPPs to prepare for emergencies, and AAHRPP is introducing a new Element on emergency preparedness.  Emergency preparedness and response should be an integral part of the entire HRPP. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of research participants is paramount. Organizations should develop a risk-based emergency preparedness and response plan to ensure sustainability of the HRPP to ensure the rights and welfare of research participants are protected.

As with all Standards and Elements, organizations have a great deal of flexibility in how to meet this new Element, and the plans will vary depending on the size of the HRPP and the type of research conducted—one size does not fit all HRPPs.

Organizations should develop an emergency response plan appropriate to the size and complexity of the HRPP, and periodically evaluate the plan.  People in the HRPP should receive education appropriate to their roles.  The bottom line is that organizations plan for emergencies, educates those in the HRPP, and is able to respond effectiveness to ensure the sustainability of the HRPP.

When will AAHRPP start evaluating emergency response plans?

  • Council will start evaluating emergency preparedness plans starting in March 2023. 

  • Reaccreditation applications must contain plans for emergency preparedness in Step 1 applications starting with applications due in March 2022. 

  • New organizations applying for accreditation will need to include emergency plans in written materials starting with applications received after January 1, 2022.

Learn about the new Element: