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The University of Maryland’s human research protection program (HRPP) was awarded Full Accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) for five years, effective December 15, 2021.
The University of Maryland is one of approximately 250 national and international organizations earning full accreditation status from AAHRPP, demonstrating the university’s commitment to high-quality, ethically sound research.
What is AAHRPP Accreditation?
AAHRPP is a non-profit accrediting body that promotes ethical research through processes that help organizations to evaluate and strengthen their human research protection programs.
AAHRPP enhances research quality and protection by accrediting organizations using educational, peer-review processes conducted by independent experts. Accreditation standards are based on regulations and HRPP best practices. To earn accreditation, organizations must demonstrate (e.g., through policies, procedures, and practices) their commitment to ethical scientific and scholarly research and to continuous quality improvement.
What is the Goal of Accreditation?
The goal of AAHRPP accreditation is to benefit organizations, participants, and the overall research enterprise. By applying high standards to the organizational systems that must work together to protect participants, AAHRPP accreditation also enhances the overall quality of an organization’s research practices.
In working towards accreditation, organizations typically implement changes to their HRPPs to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of HRPP policies and procedures, research applications and review procedures, and educational offerings for researchers, research staff, IRB members, IRB support staff, and participants.
For information on specific benefits of accreditation, see AAHRPP’s Why Accreditation Matters.
When was UMD awarded Accreditation?
The University of Maryland’s human research protection program was first awarded Full Accreditation by AAHRPP in December 2018.
The university’s HRPP was reaccredited in December 2021, following a two-day, virtual site evaluation in July 2021. The virtual site visit was performed by independent experts who conducted record reviews and interviewed several researchers, university administrators, IRB members, and staff involved in supporting UMD’s HRPP.
To maintain AAHRPP accreditation, UMD must submit an annual report and re-apply and repeat the accreditation process (including submission of the application and the on-site evaluation) every five years.
What does this mean for UMD researchers?
The university will continue to enhance the human research protection program through quality improvement initiatives designed to facilitate research, ensure regulatory compliance while minimizing administrative burdens, and strengthen protections for participants.
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