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IRB News

Update - Common Rule & Other Changes

Delay in Implementation of the Revised Regulations until January 21, 2019

On April 19, 2018 the Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) announced that the implementation of the revised regulations will again be delayed until January 21, 2019. The original date of implementation was January 19, 2018, which was subsequently delayed to July 19, 2018, and now the additional delay was proposed. The notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM) for the delay was published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2018. OHRP will take comments on the proposed delay until May 21, 2018 and then publish a final rule. The delay is proposed to allow institutions more time to prepare for the switch-over to the revised regulations.

This NPRM proposed to permit institutions to voluntarily implement three provisions in the 2018 Requirements during the period that the general compliance date is delayed (July 19, 2018 until January 21, 2019). Those three provisions, intended to reduce burdens on regulated entities, are:

  1. the revised definition of "research," which deems four categories of activities not to be research;
  2. the allowance for no annual continuing review of certain categories of research; and
  3. the elimination of the requirement that institutional review boards (IRBs) review grant applications or other funding proposals related to the research.

Except for implementing these three provisions, our IRB must follow the previous regulations until January 21, 2019.

The date of implementation of the cooperative research provision (single IRB) has not changed and is still January 20, 2020.


01/17/2018: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an Interim Final Rule delaying the implementation of the final revisions to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (a.k.a. the "Common Rule") until July 19, 2018.

The new regulations do not impact studies approved prior to July 19, 2018.

Major Regulatory Changes

Continuing Review

The Revised Common Rule removes the requirement for continuing review for minimal risk research and for full-board research that is in long-term follow-up or data analysis only, unless the research is FDA-regulated.

Exempt Research

New Exempt Categories and revisions to existing exemptions: For details, see the NYUWH IRB Exempt Research decision Trees.

Limited IRB Review

When reviewing the exempt categories 2 and 3 the limited IRB review assures adequate protections for the privacy of subjects and adequate plans to maintain the confidentiality of the data.

Broad Consent

The term “Broad Consent” as defined by the Common Rule implemented in 2018 applies to consent for storage and secondary research of identifiable private information or biospecimens. This concept must be implemented on an institutional level and requires tracking of individuals who decline to provide consent. Because there is no guidance from OHRP and because of the implications of tracking individuals who do not provide consent and excluding their data from all future research, NYUWH is not pursuing broad consent at this time. Investigators can continue to use biospecimens that are coded or to seek a waiver of consent for use of biospecimens with identifiers retained consistent with current practices.

Informed Consent

Consent Documents must begin with a concise and focused presentation of key information that participants want in order to make a decision (e.g., statement that the project is research and that participation is voluntary and a summary of the purpose, duration, procedures, risks, discomforts, benefits, appropriate alternatives, costs and payment). This summary will be included in a revised informed consent template.

New elements of informed consent must be included (when applicable):

  • Potential for future use of deidentified information
  • Potential for commercial profit and sharing of profits with subjects
  • Whether clinically relevant research results will be disclosed to subjects and, if so, under what conditions
  • For research involving biospecimens, whether the research will involve whole genome sequencing
  • Certain clinical trial consent forms must be posted on a government website. This requirement applies to studies that are conducted or supported by a federal agency. The posting must occur no more than 60 days after the last study visit by any subject. The specific government website has not yet been named.

Single IRB-of-Record (sIRB)

The new Common Rule states that federally funded studies where the same protocol will be conducted at more than one domestic site must use a single IRB. The single IRB provision is effective for grant applications received for due dates on or after January 25, 2018. For contracts, the policy applies to all solicitations issued on or after January 25, 2018. When developing the budget for your research grant, you should take into account the possible costs related to using a single IRB. Additional information about NIH single IRB requirements can be found on the NIH Single IRB for Multi-site Research FAQs page.

What to Expect

For new studies, expect to see:

  1. IRB application changes
  2. Informed consent template revisions
  3. IRB Policy & Procedures Manual updates

Decisions Made to Date (posted 03/31/2018)

Existing Full Board Protocols  Protocols that were reviewed by a full board and are open to enrollment or still in an intervention phase will see the fewest changes under the new Common Rule. At the time of the next renewal that occurs after 7/19/18, you will be requested to update the waiver and consent form to meet the new requirements.

Existing Expedited Protocols – Most studies that were originally expedited by the IRB under the old rule will now be eligible for less frequent review beginning on 7/19/18. At the time of the next renewal that occurs after 7/19/18, you will be requested to update the waiver and consent form to meet the new requirements.

Existing Exemption Protocols – There will be no changes to these protocols. If you have an exempt study that has ended, it is important to close the study with the IRB.

sIRB   NYU Winthrop Hospital (NYUWH) will continue to assess its criteria for whether NYUWH will serve as the single IRB-of-Record or cede review to another institution or a commercial IRB.

Broad Consent  NYUWH will not implement the new regulatory "Broad Consent" option as an informed consent process at this time. Exemptions 7 & 8, which rely on Broad Consent, also will not be implemented.

What You Can Do

  1. Check this web page periodically for new information. We will continue to add information, as it becomes available.

NIH Regulatory Changes

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is implementing a variation of the Single IRB-of-Record policy beginning January 25, 2018. The NIH sIRB policy applies to:

  • NIH-sponsored multi-site studies, where the same protocol is used at multiple sites
  • Domestic research only

Read our IRB Winter Newsletter for more information.

NIH Clinical Trial Policies

The NIH has issued several other policies and guidance designed to "enhance the accountability and transparency of clinical research":

Where to Find Help

To help you identify whether your NIH-funded research would be considered a clinical trial under this definition and, therefore, subject to all the related policies (e.g., NIH sIRB, ClinicalTrials.gov registration and reporting, etc.), the NIH offers the following resources:

View video on the Overview of New NIH Policies on Human Subjects Research.