The accrediting agency is the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by several educational organizations. The HRPP exists to ensure the protection of the rights and welfare of individuals recruited to participate in research conducted under the auspices of the University. The University strives to adhere to the highest ethical standards in its protection of human research participants in addition to ensuring compliance with all relevant federal regulations.
The accreditation process includes two major phases: preparation of a written application addressing each of the AAHRPP accreditation standards and a site visit by a team of professionals assembled by AAHRPP to inspect program operations.
While preparing the written accreditation application, Research Integrity Office/HRPP conducted a lengthy self-assessment of its operations, including the operations of the IRBs, to assure that these comply with federal regulations and federal guidance applicable to human research protections. Some changes in IRB practices were made as a result of this review to bring some IRB practices into alignment with federal guidelines and AAHRPP expectations. The written application to AAHRPP was submitted in December 2011.The second phase of AAHRPP accreditation, the site visit, occurred in June 2012, and required additional education of IRB staff, IRB members, and researchers. Within 30 days of the site visit, AAHRPP provided UNR with a written evaluation of its findings .The written application, site visit findings, and response to the AAHRPP report are then reviewed by AAHRPP's Council on Accreditation. The Council granted the University full accreditation on December 2012, for five years.
The AAHRPP web site contains a number of useful documents such as information on AAHRPP's history and formation in 2001, its approach to evaluation, and standards for accrediting human research protection programs.