DF/HCC Receives AAHRPP Accreditation - DF/HCC Receives AAHRPP Accreditation - "With this confirmation... we can focus on efficiency and collaboration"

November 25th, 2020

Recently DF/HCC celebrated reaccreditation through the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs - AAHRPP. This process, which occurs every 5 years, took DF/HCC just under 1 which is well below the average time to completion, behind the leadership of OHRS associate directors Lara Sloboda and Caroline Kokulis, who were joined recently by incoming OHRS director Sarah Kiskaddon, JD.

Normally accreditation is accompanied by a large in-person site visit, but in the COVID-19 era, it was conducted over a 2 day period on Zoom, where reviewers interviewed key staff and poured over records, policies, committee structures, even including policies outside of DF/HCC's clinical research offices of OHRS, ODQ, and RIO, spanning to conflict of interest policies and more. In the end, the accreditation site visit team found no major issues, and forwarded the application for approval.

"The AAHRPP site visitors mentioned that the scientific review process was very rigorous, they liked our COI process, and they were particularly impressed by the expertise and professionalism of all of the teams that were interviewed—particularly by how engaged and involved the IRB Chairs were" said Sarah Kiskaddon, JD, who then added, "with this confirmation that our regulatory base is firm, we can focus on efficiency and collaboration with our investigators."

With only 257 AAHRPP accredited organizations in the United States, this accreditation reaffirms that DF/HCC and it's leadership team at CCSG grant-holder DFCI, but also across all 7 DF/HCC institutions, are committed to regulatory excellence, to protect research participants, and to not put speed and quantity over quality.

When asked what the key to this flawless reaccreditation was, Sarah Kiskaddon said, "On behalf of Lara and Caroline, I'd like to thank all the OHRS staff, ODQ Staff, RIO staff, and the hundreds of other stakeholders that helped to put together this reaccreditation - they took things to the next level and we never would have received this result without their dedication and commitment to the cause, and their tenacious follow-through on all of the individual pieces that made up this submission. We have an amazing team here and I am so pleased to become a part of it."