Clinical Researcher—February 2020 (Volume 34, Issue 2)
Paul Evans, PhD
Many years ago when my son was very young, he announced to the whole class in a show-and-tell presentation that his father was a drug dealer. He had been told I was a drug tester because that was easy for a 5-year-old to remember, but I did have an awkward phone call with the Headmaster explaining what clinical trials were and my role in them. It all ended well, and I earned new respect that day from the school management.
Thinking back on that event, I’d like to use this space this month to remind us all to take a step back and remember the broader importance of clinical research and our own contribution. All of us in the drug development industry are literally engaged in life-and-death work. The treatments and devices you help to test and vet are part of a mission you share with other members of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. It’s an exciting mission to protect patients, improve life, and assuage suffering. A higher calling, indeed.
In particular, I’d like to thank the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals, an independent affiliate of ACRP responsible for administration of ACRP Certification exams. It’s comprised of trained item writers and currently certified (CCRA, CCRC, CPI, or ACRP-CP) content experts who help shape one of the four exams. Their mission statement makes clear their commitment and contribution to our industry: “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 members work diligently, and sometimes under the radar, to help ensure certifications are reflective of high-quality professional standards. It’s no easy task, and they deserve our thanks and praise. Academy members offer us a perfect example of the kind of dedicated volunteers who represent the foundation of ACRP’s efforts to elevate the clinical research profession on all levels.
That is one level at which ACRP serves the industry. At another, your Association is also actively working with lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle to better educate them about the value of clinical research and the vital contribution of the clinical trial workforce. ACRP is working to represent you as a professional to help advance both your individual career, and that of the greater industry. I’m sure we’ll have more to report on this front in the coming months.
The Academy and our Capitol Hill outreach are just two examples of the way your Association is helping to advance the professionalization of the clinical trial industry. If you are already engaged in one of these efforts, I thank you sincerely. However, if you are new to ACRP or would simply like to learn more about how to become more involved in the greater good of clinical trials, I urge you to learn more from the About Volunteering page on our website and to contact the ACRP staff listed there, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (703) 254-8100 with any questions.
Paul Evans, PhD, is President and CEO of Velocity Clinical Research, and Chair of the Association Board of Trustees for ACRP in 2020.