The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) welcomes Rutgers School of Health Professions Clinical Research Management Program Director Doreen W. Lechner, PhD as a Workforce Champion member of the Partners in Workforce Advancement.
Partners in Workforce Advancement is a multi-stakeholder collaborative initiative to grow the clinical research workforce and to set and support standards for workforce competence.
“Organizations aligned with ACRP’s mission are working together to improve clinical trial quality and outcomes for patients by focusing where others have not – workforce planning, development, and assessment. Why? Because in clinical research, people are everything,” says Jim Kremidas, ACRP Executive Director. “We are thankful for the support of Rutgers School of Health Professions Biopharma Educational Initiative and look forward to working together to overcome these critical challenges.”
Partners in Workforce Advancement members—who now include more than 25 sponsors, CROs, investigator sites, academic institutions, regulatory agencies, and more—provide strategic direction and support for initiatives to grow the workforce and to define, align, and validate competence standards.
“Workforce development efforts are critical to the clinical research community. Collaborating with ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement through education and training will not only grow the workforce, but will ensure the quality of clinical research and will ultimately improve public health,” said Doreen W Lechner, PhD, Program Director and Assistant Professor, M.S. Clinical Research Management, Rutgers School of Health Professions.
Growing the Workforce
The demand for clinical trials is growing faster than the pool of clinical research professionals, threatening the quality of trials and undermining attempts to bring more innovative treatments and therapies to patients.
“Organizations employing clinical research professionals of all types agree—the first step in creative a diverse and sustainable talent pool is to ensure that healthcare and life sciences students are aware of clinical research as a career option,” Kremidas adds.
In response to this critical challenge, ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement in January 2020 launched ‘Find Your Element’—a digital advertising campaign to raise awareness of the clinical research profession among college students.
The campaign is piloting at several colleges and universities in Research Triangle Park and Miami, and is anticipated to expand awareness of clinical research as a profession among nearly 400,000 college students in the pilot phase alone.
Featuring advertising creative in both English and Spanish, the campaign highlights key reasons students can “find their element” in clinical research.
Define, Align & Validate Competence Standards
Workforce planning, development, and assessment is imperative to the existence, quality, and efficiency of clinical research—yet, it has been largely overlooked as industry focuses instead on the important initiatives to improve quality and efficiency through process and technology innovation.
“Industry’s current approach is not sustainable. Consequently, we are seeing excellent developments in process improvement and technology/data tools. However, they can only be productive if we have a diverse and competent workforce using them,” Kremidas says. “It must be a priority today to ensure the stability of the clinical research enterprise in the future and the continued development of new drugs, devices, and therapies.”
In response to this critical challenge, ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement are developing and promoting the needed workforce standards to improve quality and respond to changes occurring in the clinical research enterprise.
To date, ACRPs Partners in Workforce Advancement have produced the following competency guidelines and resources:
- Hiring Guidelines for Entry Level Clinical Research Coordinators >
- Core Competency Guidelines for Clinical Research Coordinators >
- Functional Competency Guidelines for PIs and Sub Investigators >
- Core Competency Framework for Clinical Trial Monitoring >
How to Get Involved
ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement drive strategic direction of the clinical research workforce, receive solutions to workforce challenges, and gain premium industry recognition.
About Rutgers School of Health Professions Clinical Research Management Program
The online MS Clinical Research Management Program attracts individuals who are novices to the clinical research arena as well as those who are seasoned professionals. The curriculum aligns with the Joint Task Force Core Competencies for Clinical Research Professionals and prepares program graduates to meet the core competencies, allowing them to pursue entry-level career opportunities in the clinical research community or support their journey toward career advancement. Our school is part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, one of the largest health care research institutions in the U.S., with its own Contract Research Organization and well-regarded research facilities. Learn more.