CONSORTIUM OF
INDEPENDENT REVIEW BOARDS

T

 

he Consortium of Independent Review Boards (CIRB) invites your organization to apply for membership.

What is CIRB?

CIRB is a non-profit organization whose central mission is to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants while promoting an understanding among independent IRBs on ways to support this goal. Approximately 40% of clinical research in the United States is conducted in non-academic settings, and independent IRBs review a majority of this research. As a member of CIRB, your organization would have a voice in fulfilling this mission.

What does CIRB do?

CIRB protects and promotes the interests of both its membership and the public by careful, collaborative assessment of the issues and their impact and development of strategies and policies to successfully intercede on behalf of the group and its membership, wherever and whenever necessary.

Many changes have taken place in the way research is conducted, and a number of proposals by the government that would affect IRBs directly are currently under consideration. As part of CIRB, your organization can impact how these proposals are considered and implemented. Additionally, membership in CIRB can provide powerful, industry-wide representation and valuable access to colleagues at independent, professional review boards.

CIRB has participated collectively in a number of important initiatives, including the following:

  • Submitted written comments on the Department of Health and Human Services OIG 1998 reports concerning Institutional Review Boards.
  • Commented on human subject protection legislation proposed by Representative Diana DeGette, which was ultimately included in the Children’s Health Act of 2000, and passed by Congress on 27 September 2000.
  • Testified before several federal and private bodies. One of our members provided comments on IRB accreditation before the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Assessing the System for Protecting Human Research Subjects, which was commissioned by DHHS to study IRB accreditation. Other members have testified before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission and a Congressional oversight hearing.
  • Member representation on national committees. For example, one of our members was on a national committee commissioned to draft a proposed accreditation program for human subject protection programs.
  • Met periodically with federal officials representing OHRP and FDA to provide insights on human research subject protection.
  • Met with Massachusetts officials to discuss how the clinical research laws in that state impact independent IRBs.
  • Developed a compilation of state clinical research laws.
  • Developed a CIRB Code of Ethics.
  • Met with representatives of Senator Kennedy and Senator Gregg regarding proposed national human subject protection legislation.
  • Met with both accreditation organizations regarding accreditation of independent IRBs.
  • Provided guidance in 2002 to the CIRB membership about the impact of HIPAA on the research process.
  • Persuaded OHRP to open up the November 2005 Central IRB workshop to the public.
  • Provided written commentary and oral testimony to FDA in 2005 regarding the problems with IRBs being overwhelmed with review of Adverse Events.

 
Additionally, CIRB meets twice a year to address ongoing issues that affect independent IRBs. The meetings are normally scheduled to coincide with national industry meetings attended by most CIRB members. Interacting with CIRB members either at one of the biannual meetings or privately, provides you with access to industry leaders. This is an invaluable resource.

We hope your organization is interested in becoming part of CIRB.


In the event your organization seeks membership, please complete and forward CIRB’s Membership Application Form to

Consortium of Independent Review Boards
PO Box 562
Rockville, MD 20848

Membership applications will be considered within approximately two weeks of receipt.
Annual dues are $500.

CIRB appreciates your interest and looks forward to your participation as a member.