North Texas Regional IRB: Update on AAHRPP Accreditation Efforts

To our NTR IRB Human Subject Research Community:


As many of you may be aware, the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC), in affiliation with the North Texas Regional Institutional Review Board (NTR IRB), is in the process of seeking accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. – or “AAHRPP” for short.


Through AAHRPP accreditation, we hope to further promote high-quality and ethically-sound research for all NTR IRB researchers, by ensuring that our program meets rigorous standards for quality and protection of human subjects in research. This will not only be beneficial to our current researchers and program, but also to any future collaborations. More benefits of AAHRPP accreditation can be found here:


We have spent the last year conducting a rigorous self-assessment of our program, ensuring that we are complying with each of the standards set by AAHRPP. Following this process, AAHRPP has confirmed that the HSC HRPP and the NTR IRB are now ready for an AAHRPP Site Visit to occur in August of this year. After the site visit, our application will be reviewed at their December Council meeting.


The AAHRPP Site Visit has been scheduled for August 6th – 7th, 2024. During this time, the site visitors will meet not only with our IRB staff, Board members, and Leadership, but also with selected NTR IRB Researchers/Research Team Members.


We are still awaiting a detailed agenda and specifics about the visit from AAHRPP, however, we wanted to ensure that our researchers were aware of this effort and the information regarding the site visit. Similarly, we are not yet certain of who from our research community the AAHRPP site visitors would like to meet with. However, the NTR IRB office will be reaching out once these details are received and ensuring the individuals selected are available and well-prepared for the interview questions.


Additional Note: In order to help us prepare for and conduct the site visit, we will be cancelling the August 6th, 2024 IRB Meeting. We have already reached out to investigators who have study renewals to be reviewed in August to ensure the projects are approved well-ahead of expiration. However, if you have a new project that you were planning to submit to the NTR IRB for the August meeting, please reach out to us asap to discuss (NorthTexRegIRB@unthsc.eduor 817-735-0409).


The goal of the AAHRPP site visit and AAHRPP accreditation process overall is meant to be educational and is set up as a “peer-review” process. The site visit will not be like an audit. Site visitors/reviewers are not going to point out what our HRPP/IRB and/or our researchers are doing “wrong” – rather, they will be having discussions with the different areas that make up our HRPP and will review our policies/processes and provide guidance and best practices. If you have any concerns about the AAHRPP process or this site visit, we invite you to reach out to the NTR IRB office.


We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the important work that you do and the research you conduct! As noted, one of the main goals of obtaining this accreditation is to help ensure we are continuing to conduct high-quality and ethical human subject research – we appreciate you partnering with us on this journey and look forward to getting our AAHRPP “seal of approval” and increasing research collaborations across North Texas (and beyond)!


Thank you for your support!