The University of Nevada, Reno Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) has been awarded full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. on December 7, 2012. The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), an independent, nonprofit accrediting body, ensures that programs meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. To earn accreditation, organizations must provide tangible evidence-through policies, procedures, and practices-of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement on a three year or five year rotation. Accredited Organizations renew their accreditations three years after the initial accreditation and every five years thereafter, by performing the same self-assessment and gap analysis required for the initial accreditation application.
In order to be accredited, organizations must provide tangible evidence - through policies, procedures, and practices - of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research, and to continuous improvement. AAHRPP accreditation serves as a "gold seal" that assures research participants, researchers, sponsors, government regulators, and the general public that an organization's human research program is focused first and foremost on excellence.
The AAHRPP accreditation process involves several steps, including: a rigorous self-assessment where an institution evaluates its human research protection program and makes improvements; an on-site evaluation conducted by a team of experts who review materials and conduct interviews to evaluate the program's performance with respect to AAHRPP accreditation standards; a review by AAHRPP's Council on Accreditation of the application, draft site visit report and the institution's response. The Council then determines the institution's accreditation status.
In certifying the university's reaccreditation, which lasts for five years, AAHRPP noted some of the human research program's strengths, including: a high level of institutional support; researchers, research staff, and IRB members/Chairs are knowledgeable about and committed to the requirements for the protection of the safety and welfare of human research participants and notable improvements by OHRP staff in the efficiency and process of the review of protocols, including revised checklists for members and Minute templates.
The Office of the Vice President for Research continuously strives for improvement in all of its operations, including professional development of staff and the programs they administer. Attainment of full accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs is evidence of the high standards set and achieved by the University of Nevada, Reno Office of Human Research Protection.