The Washington-based Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) has accredited its first independent investigative facility, HOPE Research Institute of Arizona.

HOPE Research was one of nine organisations newly accredited by AAHRPP, a US non-profit that works with groups conducting human research to raise protection levels for participants. Three-year accreditations are granted if these organisations can “demonstrate they provide participant safeguards that surpass the threshold of state and federal requirements”.

The inclusion of HOPE Research “extends AAHRPP’s higher standards to a key sector of the research enterprise: the private research sites that conduct an increasing share of industry-sponsored clinical trials”, the association notes. As an accredited site, HOPE Research will now rely exclusively on AAHRPP-accredited institutional review boards (IRBs) to assess its studies.

Other AAHRPP-accredited organisations include community hospitals, a contract research organisation, independent IRBs, teaching hospitals and universities. To date, the association has signed up 138 organisations representing more than 600 entities in total.

“AAHRPP’s goal is to improve protections for research participants by setting uniform, high standards across the research enterprise,” said president and chief executive officer Dr Marjorie Speers. “The accreditation of HOPE Research Institute is a significant step toward achieving that goal.”