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Useful Facts Regarding AATB’s Accreditation Program for Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation Organizations (NADOs)

  1. The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB, or Association) is a voluntary, professional, scientific and educational organization. The Association is nonprofit and tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It was founded in 1976 by a group of doctors and scientists who had started in 1949 the United States Navy Tissue Bank, our nation’s first transplant tissue bank.
  2. The AATB has, since 1984, published the only standards for transplant tissue banks, the AATB’s Standards for Tissue Banking. This document, in its 13th edition, is the globally recognized authoritative source for the profession. Beginning in 1986, the AATB initiated a voluntary Accreditation Program to ensure that tissue banking activities are being performed in a professional manner in compliance with these Standards. All of the AATB’s institutional members must be accredited, re-inspected, and re-accredited every three years. The AATB has 27 years of experience with these accreditation processes.
  3. In recent years the AATB gathered subject matter experts to fill gaps involving non-transplant anatomical donation and use for education. These groups had no professional standards to which they could ascribe and there was no accreditation program in place. This led to the development and publishing in December 2011 of AATB’s Standards for Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation for Education and/or Research (Standards for Non-transplant Anatomical Donation). The first edition was issued after extensive input from stakeholders including doctors, regulators, universities, subject matter experts from non-transplant anatomical donation organizations, and representatives of other professional associations.
  4. In early 2012, the AATB began to actively inspect and accredit Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation Organizations (NADOs) using these new, comprehensive standards, and policies that resemble current accreditation polices for transplant tissue banks.
  5. Today, interested officials of a NADO can apply for accreditation to AATB after the organization implements policies, procedures and forms that demonstrate its functions are compliant with ALL applicable AATB Standards for Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation. To prepare, a Self-Assessment Tool/Audit Report is provided for NADOs on the AATB website: www.aatb.org/STAR
  6. The AATB’s Accreditation Policies for NADOs are found on the AATB website: www.aatb.org/Accreditation_Policies_NADOs , and an overview of the Accreditation Process is described there as well: http://www.aatb.org/Accreditation-Process
  7. The AATB Accreditation Program is transparent and this is supported by the following activities:
    • Every two years, Individual Members of the AATB elect members to the Board of Governors (President, Secretary/Treasurer, 2 Members At Large) as well as the Officers of six standing Councils. The Chairperson of each Council serves on the Board of Governors.
    • The President appoints a Chairperson to each of 12 standing Committees, which includes the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Committee
    • The Chairperson of each Council appoints 1 or 2 members of their Council to serve on Committees, which includes the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Committee
    • Independent consultants who have no conflicts of interest are contracted to perform accreditation inspections
    • Inspection reports are blinded and reviewed by the Accreditation Committee who recommends actions that follow the Accreditation Policies
    • The Board of Governors reviews the recommendations of the Accreditation Committee (not blinded) and can request more information
    • The AATB website homepage offers the ability to search for a currently accredited NADO at any time.
    • AATB utilizes input from subject matter experts to continuously update the Standards for Non-Transplant Anatomical Donation.
Contact Scott Brubaker, Chief Policy Officer, if you have any questions.
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