Saturday, October 31, 2009

AAHRPP Retreats from "Objective Data"

In July I posted my comments on AAHRPP's Proposed Revised Standards. At the time, I applauded Element I.5.B for insisting that "based on objective data, the Organization identifies strengths and weaknesses of the Human Research Protection Program, makes improvements, when necessary, and monitors the effectiveness of the improvements."

How disappointing, then, to find that the Final Revised Accreditation Standards omit the phrase about objective data. Are we to infer that AAHRPP considers objective data too difficult a standard, and wants institutions to base their programs on subjective impressions? Of course, most of the IRB regime is based on such guesswork, but I had thought that AAHRPP seeks to raise the level of IRB review.

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