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Accreditation Tip: Get Rid of the Silos!

One of the first points we make with clients beginning the accreditation process is to remind them about the name of the accrediting body. It is AAHRPP – the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. It is not the Association for the Accreditation of IRBs, as AAHRPP evaluates an organization’s entire HRPP, not just the IRB. What this means is that AAHRPP looks at how well all of the units that impact human research (IRB, Sponsored Program, Legal Counsel, Compliance, Pharmacy, etc.) work together to protect human subjects. This requires coordination and communication between these units; thus they cannot function in silos but must have formal mechanisms for coordination and communication. For most organizations this is the most challenging part of the accreditation process. Organizations looking to get accredited should begin developing these mechanisms early in the process.