Record Retention Requirements

Recordkeeping Responsibilities


The IRB maintains an official protocol file for each study to meet the University's regulatory obligations for record keeping. The IRB staff is not responsible for maintaining study documents for the researchers, or for providing copies of official documents to research staff. Keeping accurate and complete protocol records is the responsibility of the study team.

The following guidelines are provided to assist investigators and research staff with recordkeeping of approved IRB protocols documents and to facilitate submissions of correct versions of protocol documents for the life of the study.

Records to Keep While a New Study is Being Reviewed by the IRB

The study team should keep electronic files of all study documents (e.g., protocol, informed consents etc.) in order to make requested revisions that may be required for IRB approval.

Records to Keep Once a Study is Approved by the IRB

Hard Copies

  • If applicable: Consent(s) with Approval Stamp. This original stamped consent form should be used to make copies of the consent for enrolling research participants.
  • All documents previously submitted to the IRB.
  • All documents received from the IRB.

Electronic Copies

  • The electronic file of the currently approved protocol and consent form(s) if applicable should be retained for future IRB submissions such as modifications or continuations.

Protocol Modifications Submissions

  • The study team must incorporate revisions into the most recently approved electronic file version of the protocol and consent form(s), and other protocol documents, as applicable.
  • Note that some studies are modified frequently and the most recent approved version must always be used for each modification request.
  • Versions checks of protocols and consent forms are performed routinely by the IRB staff. Revisions submitted on older versions of the protocol or consent cannot be reviewed by the IRB and will be returned for correction.

Continuing Renewal Submissions

  • The study team must keep copies of all documents, including the Status Forms, submitted to the IRB at the time of the continuation review.

Record Retention Requirements

The study team should contact the University Records Officer within the UVa Information Security, Policy and Records Office at 434-243-9162 to determine when study files may be destroyed.