Expedited review is a procedure through which certain kinds of research may be reviewed and approved without convening a meeting of the IRB. The IRB regulations permit, but do not require, an IRB to review certain categories of research through an expedited procedure if the research involves no more than minimal risk. A list of categories was last published in the Federal Register on January 27, 1981.
The IRB may also use the expedited review procedure to review minor changes in previously approved research during the period covered by the original approval. Under an expedited review procedure, review of research may be carried out by the IRB chairperson or by one or more experienced members of the IRB designated by the chairperson. The reviewer(s) may exercise all the authorities of the IRB, except disapproval. Research may only be disapproved following review by the full committee. The IRB is required to adopt a method of keeping all members advised of research studies that have been approved by expedited review.