Joint Research Office


Sustained improvements in AAC approvals and amendment decisions

24 August 2022

There have been sustained improvements in the JRO in the time taken to process Assess, Arrange and Confirm (AAC) study approvals as well as study amendments, data indicate.

For new studies submitted to the JRO for AAC approval, two-thirds of studies have been approved within a 40-day target introduced by the JRO in February 2022.

Of studies that meet the 40-day target, the average time to approval was 13 days.

Data for amendments submitted to the JRO show that the average time taken to approve sponsorship amendments over the last four months is 18 days. For feasibility amendments it is 13 days. In the past, three months to process an amendment would have been typical.

In 2022 the JRO has introduced new processes to streamline the flow of AAC approvals and amendments through the department, and to deal with queries.

The JRO introduced these changes following consultation with investigators and staff on how current processes were working.

Alongside improvements in time taken to process new studies and amendments, a backlog of amendments is now almost all cleared. A system for ‘express amendments’ is due later in the year.