VA Program That Boosts Safeguards for Research Participants Wins
Approval from Accrediting Body
WASHINGTON (August 24, 2011) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Human Research Protection Program (HRPP), which helps ensure high
ethical and scientific standards for multi-site research projects
involving Veterans or their health information, has been accredited by
the nonprofit Association for the Accreditation of Human Research
Protection Programs (AAHRPP).
A key component of the HRPP is the Department of Veterans Affairs
Central Institutional Review Board (IRB), launched in 2008 by VA's
Office of Research and Development. VA's Central IRB oversees large
clinical trials and other human research projects conducted at multiple
VA medical centers and often involving hundreds or even thousands of
Veterans. More than 100 VA sites have approval to conduct human research
projects, and often collaborate on projects. VA's Central IRB is able to
ensure that local issues also are addressed.
Recognition from AAHRPP means the VA Central IRB meets the highest
standards for human subject research, surpassing what is required under
Federal policies and regulations. According to AAHRPP, "through the
rigorous accreditation process, organizations must demonstrate that they
have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research
operation and that they adhere to the highest standards for research."
"The new accreditation gives Veterans who take part in VA studies
reassurance of the protections they are afforded," said Dr. Joel
Kupersmith, VA's chief research and development officer. "Veterans who
volunteer for VA research can expect the highest level of protection."
Based in Washington, D.C., AAHRPP uses what it calls a "voluntary,
peer-driven, educational model." The organization says its process
"typically results in system-wide improvements that enhance protection
for research participants and promote high-quality research." In
addition to its recognition of the VA HRPP and the VA Central IRB,
AAHRPP has accredited the local human research protection programs at
the more than 100 VA sites nationwide.
For more information on VA's research program, visit
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Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars