What About Making Professional Certification Mandatory?

Guest Blogger Angela Roberts, Head of CRA Recruitment, CRAresources

Guest Blogger Angela Roberts, Head of CRA Recruitment, CRAresources

Not long ago, my house’s main electrical panel box had suffered significant damage during a hurricane, and I realized it was extremely dangerous. Not only did it need to be completely replaced, but I knew my family’s safety was on borrowed time… I felt my house was going to burst into flames at any moment.

We immediately contacted a certified electrician to arrange replacement of the service panel.

It never occurred to me to hire anyone but a certified electrician to do this work. After all, since the safety of my family is a priority, I felt that hiring someone who has demonstrated experience in the industry, knows state codes and regulations, and takes safety seriously was a “no brainer.”

So why do we rarely require clinical research associates (CRAs) in drug and device development to be certified? The firm I work for supports the hiring needs of several dozen sponsors, and very rarely do the hiring managers of those sponsors require validated certifications such as ACRP’s independently accredited Certified Clinical Research Associate (CCRA) designation.

Here are five reasons I believe you should consider hiring CRAs who have achieved certification:

  1. You can easily validate someone’s certification: We have identified a frightening trend of individuals falsifying their education. Certifications from reputable organizations such as ACRP are easily confirmed… these certifications cannot be faked!
  2. Proven clinical research knowledge and experience: To sit for an ACRP Certification exam, individuals must be able to prove they have fully dedicated, recent experience as a clinical research professional. This means that any professional you hire with an ACRP Certification has hands-on working experience, thereby giving you confidence in that certified professional’s base knowledge.
  3. Applied knowledge of regulatory and Good Clinical Practice guidelines: When you hire someone who is certified, you can feel confident that individual has an internationally accepted knowledge of the industry.
  4. Fewer protocol deviations: ACRP’s analysis demonstrates that certification translates into more effective protocols as well as more favorable outcomes from regulatory audits.
  5. Certified professionals are more committed to quality results: By hiring a certified professional, you are hiring someone who has invested in his or her career and therefore is proven to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to safely and ethically perform clinical research.

Just as it seemed to be a “no brainer” when it came to hiring a certified electrician to protect my family’s safety, in an industry where patient safety is paramount, I strongly encourage hiring managers to consider hiring more certified professionals. It’s a crucial step toward ensuring that patient safety, quality of data, and regulatory compliance remain core principles of ethical, responsible clinical research.

Author: Angela Roberts, Head of CRA Recruitment, CRAresources, ACRP Guest Blogger