Office of Human Research Protections

The Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) provides leadership and the protection of the rights, welfare, and wellbeing of human subjects involved in research conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Use the following links for more information on how to appropriately conduct human subjects research.

OHRP Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts

The charts are intended to assist IRBs, institutions, and investigators in their decision-making process and should not be used as substitutes for consulting the regulations. OHRP cautions that the full text of applicable regulatory provisions should be considered in making final decisions. These charts are necessarily generalizations and may not be specific enough for particular situations. Other guidance documents are available related to specific topics, at OHRP Policy Guidance by Topic.

  • Chart 1: Is an Activity Research Involving Human Subjects?
  • Chart 2: Is the Human Subjects Research Eligible for Exemption?
  • Chart 3: Does Exemption 45 CFR 46.101(b)(1) (for Educational Settings) Apply?
  • Chart 4: Does exemption 45 CFR 46.101(b)(2) or (b)(3) (for Tests, Surveys, Interviews, Public Behavior Observation) Apply?
  • Chart 5: Does Exemption 45 CFR 46.101(b)(4) (for Existing Data, Documents, Records and Specimens) Apply?
  • Chart 6: Does Exemption 45 CFR 46.101(b)(5) (for Public Benefit or Service Programs) Apply?
  • Chart 7: Does Exemption 45 CFR 46.101(b)(6) (for Food Taste and Acceptance Studies) Apply?
  • Chart 8: May the IRB Review Be Done by Expedited Procedures?
  • Chart 9: May the IRB Continuing Review Be Done by Expedited Procedures?
  • Chart 10: May Informed Consent Be Waived or Consent Elements Be Altered under 45 CFR 46.116(d)?
  • Chart 11: May Documentation of Informed Consent Be Waived Under 45 CFR 46.117(c)?