CWRU awarded full AAHRPP accreditation for Human Research Protection Program

The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) has awarded full accreditation to Case Western Reserve University’s Human Research Protection Program, a designation that assures research participants, researchers, sponsors, government regulators and the general public of the program’s excellence.

The nonprofit AAHRPP provides accreditation for organizations that conduct or review human research and can demonstrate that their protections exceed the safeguards required by the United States government. Through this accreditation process, the university has demonstrated its commitment to quality research and the ethical inclusion and treatment of human subjects in research.

Case Western Reserve’s human research protections program focuses on the effective management of the campus’ Social/Behavioral/Educational Research (SBER) Institutional Review Board (IRB), the ethics committee that reviews and oversees human research studies to protect the rights and welfare of study participants.

“Achieving AAHRPP accreditation is a real honor and signals to the broader community that, at Case Western Reserve University, we uphold the very highest standards for scientific integrity and respect for research subjects,” said Suzanne Rivera, the university’s vice president for research. “I’m very proud of the Office of Research Administration staff, the IRB members, the investigators and other members of the community who worked together to make this possible.”

The accreditation process is lengthy, involving two paper applications and a site visit to review and re-visit each aspect of a human research protections program. According to AAHRPP, “To earn AAHRPP accreditation, organizations must demonstrate that they have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research operation and that they adhere to high standards for research.”

In achieving accreditation, Case Western Reserve joins Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Case Medical Center and MetroHealth Medical Center, in addition to more than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and more than 65 percent of U.S. medical schools.

In today’s global, collaborative research enterprise, organizations increasingly rely on AAHRPP accreditation status to help identify trusted research partners.

As a fully accredited Human Research Protection Program, the university is now strategically positioned to increase collaboration in local and statewide IRB consortia, and to compete in areas where the federal government may require the use of a single IRB for a multi-institution study.