The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. headquartered in Washington, D.C. has announced on 20 March 2018, that Singapore Management University (SMU) is the first University in Singapore to become an AAHRPP accredited research organisation.
In its announcement, AAHRPP’s President and CEO Elyse I. Summers said “In today’s increasingly collaborative research enterprise, AAHRPP accreditation offers an assurance that an organization can be trusted to protect research participants and produce accurate, reliable results.” AAHRPP also stated that to earn AAHRPP accreditation, organisations must show that they have built extensive safeguards into every level of their research operation and that they adhere to high standards for research.
With SMU’s receipt of the accreditation status, there are now 35 research organizations across the whole of Asia that are AAHRPP accredited. Among these organizations, 33 accredited organizations are medical-related, such as hospitals, medical universities and medical centres. Besides SMU, the only other university-level accredited organisation in Asia (not specific to a medical-related research unit), is Peking University.
Professor Steven Miller, SMU’s Vice Provost (Research) and the Institutional Official of the university’s Human Research Protection Programme (HRPP), said “SMU has worked hard to create the processes and culture for protecting the safety, welfare and rights of the individuals who participate in our research. We are proud to be the first and only social sciences oriented research university in Asia that is AAHRPP accredited, and one of the few specialized social science research universities in the world to receive this accreditation.”
Examples of the processes and culture that SMU has built into the research operations to protect the safety, welfare and rights of research participants include the establishment of additional safeguards to protect the vulnerable populations in research, the regular evaluation of SMU Institutional Review Board’s composition and performance to ensure high quality reviews of human participant research, as well as the inclusion of compliance measures to ensure the proper conduct of transnational research by the SMU researchers.
Professor Lily Kong, SMU’s Provost, said “SMU is a relatively young university and our ability to meet AAHRPP’s rigorous standards for our Human Research Protection Programme is a testament to the very substantial progress that SMU has made as a research university.”
To read AAHRPP’s press release on SMU’s Full AAHRPP accreditation achievement, click on this link.