Under an expedited review procedure, the IRB chair—or one or more experienced reviewers designated by the chair from among the members of the IRB—reviews the research protocol. Timeline: One to two weeks.
Expedited review doesn’t require convening a meeting of the IRB. The term "expedited" is misleading—this type of review isn’t faster or less detailed, it just requires fewer reviewers for approval.
IRB reviewers may exercise all of the authorities of the IRB, except that they may not disapprove the research. A research activity may be disapproved only after review by the convened IRB.
In general, research may be considered for expedited review if it:
- Involves no more than minimal risk
- Doesn’t include intentional deception
- Doesn’t use sensitive populations or topics
- Includes appropriate consent procedures
Expedited review may also be used for amendments or modifications when minor changes have been made to a previously approved research project.
Studies that qualify for expedited review still require a full application form and an informed consent statement. As with all research, researchers must engage in practices that minimize risk, maximize benefit and ensure confidentiality.
The list of research categories that qualify for an expedited review process was updated in 1998, and Children’s or the IRB aren’t able to make changes to—or extrapolate from—this list. For example, an expedited review procedure can’t be used for the initial review of either research that involves minimal risk but doesn’t appear in the Federal Register’s categories of published research or research that involves greater than minimal risk.
Learn more about OHRP expedited review categories