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 accredits high-quality human research protection programs in order to promote excellent, ethically sound research. Through partnerships with research organizations, researchers, sponsors, and the public, AAHRPP encourages effective, efficient, and innovative systems of protection for human research participants.

Our Vision

AAHRPP, through accredited research programs worldwide, will ensure that all human research participants are respected and are protected from unnecessary harm.

Our Values

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.

We operate under high ethical standards to earn and sustain the trust and respect of the public, research participants, and the research community.

We constantly improve the accreditation process, so that it remains independent, unbiased and confidential, and responds to the needs of our clients and the public.

We include and partner with organizations and research participants and their communities to encourage best practices and set effective, reasonable standards that add value to human research protection programs around the world.

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