ACRP Announces Initiative to Promote, Validate Harmonized Competence for Clinical Research Professionals

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) today announces a major initiative to promote and validate competence in clinical research.

Starting in 2017, ACRP’s industry-leading certification programs will be harmonized with the core competency framework developed by the Joint Task Force (JTF) for Clinical Trial Competency, whose contributors and collaborators include leading organizations representing clinical research sponsors, contract research organizations, sites, and academia.

By aligning its certification programs through exam content with the JTF competencies, ACRP will promote and validate competence in the clinical research workforce.

“Helping develop a competent clinical research workforce is a priority for ACRP and helps advance our mission to promote excellence in clinical research,” says Jim Kremidas, ACRP Executive Director. “Our goal is to provide the training and assessment of competencies needed by the individuals and organizations our association represents. By aligning our certification programs with a widely accepted and industry-defined set of core competencies, ACRP will continue to proactively deliver solutions to the challenges faced by clinical research professionals and organizations.”

Today’s announcement follows completion of a job analysis study, which included a comprehensive survey of more than 2,100 clinical research professionals, designed to collect descriptive information about the tasks performed and the knowledge, skills, or abilities requisite to job competence in clinical research. The JTF competencies framework was used as the foundation for the content-specific questions included in the survey. Results from the extensive survey lead to clearly delineated domains and tasks that characterize proficient performance and were therefore used to define the test specifications for the CCRA, CCRC, and CPI examinations.

“The job analysis survey is a critical component in maintaining the relevancy and industry-leading quality of ACRP’s certification exams,” says Susan Warne, LVN, CCRC, Chair, Academy of Clinical Research Professionals (the Academy), the independent affiliate of ACRP responsible for administering ACRP’s certification programs. “In addition to keeping ACRP certification programs in compliance with standards of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), this job analysis survey equips The Academy with the tools necessary to provide industry with a benchmark for measuring the knowledge, skills, and abilities of clinical research professionals.”

ACRP conducts a comprehensive job analysis survey every 5 years, in accordance with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) Standards for accredited programs to validate the content of its Certified Clinical Research Associate (CCRA), Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC), and Certified Principal Investigator (CPI) exams. ACRP’s CCRA, CCRC, and CPI certification programs remain the only clinical research-specific certification programs accredited by the NCCA, meaning they meet the highest standards for development, administration, and governance of certification and testing programs.

In addition to alignment with the JTF competencies, ACRP’s certification programs will see the following changes in 2017:

  • Realigned eligibility requirements which accept a current ACRP certification as evidence toward meeting some of the eligibility criteria.
  • Updated Detailed Content Outlines (DCOs) for examinations, reflecting the knowledge and tasks defined by the recent Job Analysis study and content for exams administered as of March 2017
  • Maintenance of Certification continuing education topics will be expanded to align with those of the DCOs

For an Executive Summary of the Job Analysis Survey, please click here or visit:

About ACRP

ACRP supports clinical research professionals through membership, training and development, and certification. Founded in 1976, ACRP is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization with more than 13,000 members who work in clinical research in more than 70 countries. ACRP’s vision is that clinical research is performed ethically, responsibly, and professionally everywhere in the world. ACRP’s mission is to promote excellence in clinical research.

About the Academy

The Academy of Clinical Research Professionals is an independent affiliate of ACRP. The Academy, a nonprofit 501(c)6, is solely responsible for the governance, development and administration of ACRP’s certification programs. Its mission is to promote and maintain high standards and best practices of clinical research by recognizing those professionals who demonstrate a well-defined competency through valid and reliable credentialing programs. Academy trustees are elected by individuals holding the CCRA, CCRC, or CPI designation. To date, more than 29,500 individuals in 60 countries have achieved certification through the Academy.

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