Harnessing the Workforce the Public Deserves

Clinical Researcher—November 2020 (Volume 34, Issue 9)


Jim Kremidas


This month’s issue of Clinical Researcher focuses on one of my favorite topics: the clinical trial workforce. You, the members of ACRP, are the foundation for vital work promoting health and prolonging life. The COVID-19 pandemic has more than merely reinforced the valuable contributions you make to advancing medicine and healthcare for all—it has changed many of your processes, perceptions, and expectations for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of trials, perhaps forever.

ACRP members are big believers in paying it forward and paying it back. You’ll see some great examples of that in two special features in this month’s issue—“Career Advice from Research Veterans, Part 1: Focusing on the Fundamentals” and “Career Advice from Research Veterans, Part 2: Finding Meaning in the Mission.” Both include invaluable insights and advice from successful thought leaders in our industry, including from the ranks of ACRP’s Association Board of Trustees and the ACRP Fellows.

ACRP and its membership are also dedicated to harnessing the energies of newcomers to the field and those to come in the next generation of researchers. We are raising the quality bar for clinical trials by, among other tactics, promoting good ideas and projects that advance workforce professionalism in our industry.

Last month, for example, we announced Merck & Co., FuseCR, and Medical University of South Carolina as finalists for the ACRP 2020 Innovation in Workforce Development Award. This annual award recognizes organizations that exemplify the spirit of creativity and innovation through adaptation, improvement, or development of new processes or tools that result in workforce development quality.

Finalists will share their innovative approaches to workforce development on November 12 during a free live webinar. The winning organization will be selected by ACRP’s Partners in Workforce Advancement Executive Steering Council and announced in mid-November.

The Partners in Workforce Advancement (PWA) initiative continues to add members at an exciting pace. Watch this space for some exciting announcements on that front. As you may already know, the PWA is a multi-stakeholder collaborative effort to grow and expand the diversity of 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.

PWA members include sponsors, contract research organizations, investigator sites, academic institutions, regulatory agencies, and others across the entire clinical trial ecosystem. Input from these organizations is already helping to improve clinical trial operations today and tomorrow.

As always, thank you for the work you do and for supporting ACRP in its mission. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Jim Kremidas is Executive Director of ACRP.