International Experts Applaud Value of Clinical Trial Workforce Certifications

Certifications "Should be Extended to All Professionals Involved in the Drug Development Process," Experts Write in New Paper

As the drug development process becomes increasingly complex and global in reach, demands on the workforce will continue to escalate and certifications could be a key ingredient to help clinical trial professionals maintain quality and efficacy, international thought leaders say in a new publication.

Citing studies showing that certified principal investigators and clinical research coordinators (CRCs) do better work compared to peers who lack such certifications, the authors of a new paper in Frontiers in Pharmacology stress such certifications “should be extended to all professionals involved in the drug development process.” Further, those certifications should be harmonized, the authors write.

“It’s exciting to see the value of certification being recognized far and wide,” says Jim Kremidas, executive director of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). “In addition to a number of studies showing a clear connection between certification and enhanced performance, job satisfaction, and reduced turnover, anecdotal evidence abounds that certified clinical trial professionals are operating at a higher level,” he adds.

For example, the University of Florida’s (UF’s) Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) advocates, recognizes, and supports its personnel in attaining and maintaining the status of being a certified professional. As Allison Trainor, MPH, CPH, CCRC, a past president of the North Central Florida Chapter of ACRP, puts it, “Without certification, you can function, but are you functioning at your best?”

Holly Morris, MSN, RN, CCRC-PM, CHRC, director of research services for UF’s CTSI, has maintained her own certification for nearly 20 years. She takes it seriously, both for herself and others in the clinical trial workforce. “Seeing someone go after [certification] shows they want to achieve—they want to go beyond the status quo and gain a broader knowledge of the field,” Morris says.

Author: Michael Causey