AAHRPP Accreditation


The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc., (AAHRPP) is an independent accrediting body that works to protect the rights and welfare of research participants and promotes scientifically meritorious and ethically sound research by fostering and advancing the ethical and professional conduct of persons and organizations that engage in research with human participants.  AAHRPP achieves its mission by using an accreditation process based on self-assessment, peer review, and education

Site Visit Interviews 

The AAHRPP site visit is scheduled for October 5, 2016 - October 7, 2016.  Research community members from the Chicago, Evanston and Qatar campuses will be asked to take part in the process.  The purpose of the visit is to evaluate the implementation of our policies and procedures.  The AAHRPP site visitors will interview institutional and organizational officials, IRB members, key research offices, investigators and research study team members regarding the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) here at Northwestern.  In order to ensure everyone is ready for the visit, there will be informational sessions scheduled in the coming months on both campuses.  Also, we have prepared the resources below as reference material.


AAHRPP Interview Guide for Researchers and Research Staff

AAHRPP Interview Guide for IRB Members and Staff

AAHRPP Interview Guide for Administrators

Site Visit FAQ's

1. Why is AAHRPP Accreditation important to NU?

AAHRPP accreditation bolsters the university’s reputation as a leader in human subject’s research. Research sponsors and other research partners increasingly consider AAHRPP accreditation before pursuing collaborations, or providing funding, for research.

2. What happens during the site visit?

The site visit team meets with the HRPP team and senior management to ask some organizational questions and conduct a record review. They then conduct interviews of senior management, IRB members, staff, and chairs, as well as investigators and research study team members. They also interview key organizational officials, such as those who review contracts, manage financial conflicts of interest, lead departments involved in research, and provide legal advice.

3. How will people be selected for interviews?

The AAHRPP team will select people to be interviewed from the Northwestern University IRB website and from lists they will be provided per their request. Investigators will be selected who reflect the ranges of experience, protocol volume, types of ongoing research, and research risk levels at the organization. In addition to investigators, site visitors will interview coordinators, co-investigators, and other study team members.

4. What interview questions will AAHRPP ask?

AAHARP is interested in your awareness of and knowledge about key concepts and policies, including, but not limited to:

  • Human subject research regulations such as the Common Rule (45 CFR 46), FDA regulations, the Belmont Report, and Conflict of Interest policies
  • Human subject protections and the procedures you use to implement them such as elements of informed consent, strategies for minimizing risk, adverse event and unanticipated problems
  • The strength and effectiveness of the HRPP, including education and training, adequacy of resources for researchers, researcher accountability, HRPP structure, and perceptions of the HRPP

The specific questions you will be asked by the AAHRPP site visitors depends upon your role within the NU HRPP.  Review the interview guide for your role to prepare for the AAHRPP site visit.