Today’s clinical research enterprise reflects a decades-long effort to continually raise the bar for research ethics, safety, and quality. This effort has its roots in the Nuremberg Code, Declaration of Helsinki, and Belmont Report, three documents that set forth the guiding principles for research involving human participants.
Together, the Nuremberg Code, Declaration of Helsinki, and Belmont Report underscore the research community’s determination to prevent the mistakes and abuses of the past. Equally important, the documents call for an unwavering commitment to maintain high standards to protect participants and strengthen public trust and confidence in research.
WIRB-Copernicus Group® (WCG™) has demonstrated this commitment from the start.
Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB®) pioneered the concept of ethical research review by an independent board in 1968—even before the passage of the National Research Act of 1974 and the issuance of the Belmont Report.
In the years since, the WCG family of companies consistently has taken the lead not only in ensuring compliance with research regulations but also in embracing innovations that enhance protections and advance high-quality research. In April 2003, for example, WIRB once again earned a place in history by becoming the first independent IRB to attain accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs® (AAHRPP™). Then, in 2010, sister company Midlands Independent Review Board® (Midlands IRB) became AAHRPP-accredited, underscoring its commitment to high-quality clinical
Another WCG company, Copernicus Independent Review Board® (Copernicus IRB), was the first independent review board to achieve International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for quality management. WIRB has since attained ISO certification as well. WIRB and Copernicus remain the only independent IRBs to have earned this distinction.