Association for the Accreditation
of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. ®

About: Our Mission and History

The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) promotes high-quality research through an accreditation process that helps organizations worldwide strengthen their human research protection programs (HRPPs).

An independent, non-profit accrediting body, AAHRPP uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that HRPPs 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.

Our Mission

AAHRPP promotes ethically sound and scientifically valuable research through the accreditation of high-quality human research protection programs.

Our Vision

AAHRPP envisions a global research enterprise that is inclusive, responds to scientific questions and societal needs, respects and values all contributors to research, and ensures that neither human research participants nor their communities are exploited or exposed to unnecessary risks. 


  • AAHRPP keeps the rights, interests, and welfare of research participants at the forefront. 
  • AAHRPP serves research participants by developing standards to guide individuals and organizations in the safe and ethical conduct of research.  
  • AAHRPP is an accrediting body whose mission is to help organizations adhere to the regulations, ethical principles and AAHRPP standards which ensure the protection of research participants and promote trust in research. 
  • AAHRPP is committed to fiscal accountability, responsibility, and transparency through the use of its resources for strategic priorities that advance AAHRPP’s mission and ensure a positive return on its investment.  


All of us at AAHRPP are accountable to our clients, our colleagues, and the public for setting high standards for human research protection. We share our knowledge and provide encouragement through our enthusiasm, responsiveness, and personal attention to each other and the people we serve. 

Anti-Racism: Black Lives Matter

It is AAHRPP’s mission to defend and protect the safety and welfare of human beings. Painful moments of violence against minorities across our country are a reminder of the importance of our work, as our mission is to protect all people and promote human dignity and ethical behavior. It will take all of us listening to and learning from our good-hearted fellow citizens and wise colleagues and working together to turn empathy and sympathy into righteous action. We are privileged to work in a field where our endeavors contribute to the advancement of our shared humanity. We pledge that, in our words and in our deeds, AAHRPP will remain tireless in our dedication to uphold the time-tested principles of respect, beneficence, and justice, the values that will ultimately determine the fate of our future and soul of our nation. 

AAHRPP Affirmatively Supports DEI

At AAHRPP, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of who we are. Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all our work and around the globe – and they are central to both our mission and impact. We maintain that building and sustaining diversity requires an ongoing commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors. Throughout our work, we support diversity across all lines of difference, including age, economic circumstance, ethnicity, sex, race, range of ability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression. We aim to lead by example, viewing and encouraging diversity as a fundamental and abiding strength of AAHRPP’s community.

AAHRPP's 20th Anniversary

Explore AAHRPP


AAHRPP: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

The Early Years: 2001-2005

The founding members moved quickly to develop new accreditation standards. AAHRPP’s accreditation program—including comprehensive standards, a council on accreditation, and a team of site visitors—was officially launched in 2002. By the end of 2005, AAHRPP was the nation’s sole accrediting body for research programs involving human participants. 

Marjorie A. Speers, PhD AAHRPP's First President & CEO
Reshaping the Research Enterprise: 2006-2012

In this time frame, AAHRPP made significant inroads throughout the research enterprise, accrediting organizations across the U.S. and, increasingly, in international markets. U.S. accredited organizations included hospitals, health care systems, academic medical centers, dedicated research sites, contract research organizations (CROs), independent IRBs, VA centers, government institutions, and research sponsors.

AAHRPP accredited organizations worldwide
AAHRPP 2.0: 2013 – Present

AAHRPP accreditation had become the norm in the U.S. and was beginning to take root abroad. More than 180 organizations representing over 1,000 entities had earned AAHRPP accreditation. In addition, 60% percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 75% percent of U.S. medical schools were either AAHRPP accredited or had begun the accreditation process.

60% research intensive universities and 75% of U.S. medical schools are AAHRPP certified
A Promising Future

Looking ahead, AAHRPP is poised for further growth and impact. The organization remains the only accrediting body for HRPPs in the U.S. and the gold standard for research protections around the globe. AAHRPP’s response to the pandemic and other challenges has increased the organization’s stature as a thought-leader and showcased the advantages of being connected to the AAHRPP-accredited community.

Quote from Jeffery Cooper