Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrating Our Successes Together

Our 2012 AAHRPP Conference was a reminder of how far we’ve come together since AAHRPP introduced its accreditation standards in 2002. Three years later, we hosted our first conference and drew a respectable crowd of nearly 300 participants. This year, approximately 450 individuals attended. That says a great deal about both the educational value of the conference and the support for accreditation and research protections.

AAHRPP’s early conferences focused almost exclusively on building human research protection programs (HRPPs) and on the accreditation process. This year, as in the past, we offered pre-conference sessions to help organizations that are new to accreditation or in the midst of the accreditation process. For the main conference, we took a different approach and concentrated on protecting vulnerable participants. This issue is central to human research protections but often is misunderstood. It also relates directly to our accreditation standards.

Why the shift? Primarily because AAHRPP and the research enterprise have matured considerably in the past decade, and our conference and other education efforts reflect this changing landscape. Once a rarity, HRPPs are now firmly entrenched in research organizations around the world. Furthermore, more than 240 organizations have demonstrated their commitment to research protections by achieving accreditation.

If your organization is among them, we commend you for your continued commitment to high-quality, ethical research. If you have yet to apply for accreditation, we invite you to learn more about AAHRPP and the accreditation process—and to join us and our accredited organizations as we pursue our goal of one standard worldwide.

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