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Quality Improvement

Occasionally faculty and staff are interested in obtaining feedback and information from the MSU Denver community or other individuals about their satisfaction with, ways to enhance, and/or future needs for existing or potential programs and services. This type of survey or assessment often falls under the category of "quality improvement" and does not meet the federal criteria for human research.  Quality improvement activities do not need to be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board.

Typically, projects that are determined to be quality improvement are those:

  • That are intended to provide information to help monitor or improve the quality of programs or services. Common examples include:
    • A survey of students who have recently visited an advising center that will provide feedback for improving their services.
    • Faculty who ask students for feedback on how a particular pedagogy impacted their learning and engagement in order to improve subsequent classes.
    • Faculty and students who partner with a community organization to conduct focus groups to assess a program or service.
  • Where data and results will not be published to the public or otherwise disseminated beyond the programs and services in ways that may constitute research.
  • That inform project participants that the purpose of the project is quality improvement and how and where their information may be used for this purpose.

Use the HRP-310 WORKSHEET: Human Research Determination to help you determine if your project can be considered human research.  Contact the HSPP staff with any questions.

If you anticipate that your quality improvement project may yield data that could be analyzed and shared as research, be proactive in engaging the IRB.  IRB approval cannot be granted retrospectively for research activities.


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