The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Academy Item Writers

RSVP for the Item Writing Training Workshop May 21, 2020

All current ACRP certificants in good standing are invited to attend the Virtual Item Writers Training, Thursday, May 21, 2020.

rsvp here

What is Item Writing?

The term “item” is used when referring to an exam question. Item writing is a science and an essential component to the ongoing validity of ACRP’s Certification Exams. ACRP annually holds Item Writer Training and supports over a hundred item writer volunteers regularly.

What is an Item Writer?

An Item Writer is a trained, currently certified (CCRA, CCRC, CPI, or ACRP-CP), content expert writing items for one of the six ACRP Certification exams.

Why should I become an Item Writer?

If you want to make a direct contribution to the clinical research enterprise, build your network, or illustrate your leadership capabilities, then item writing is your opportunity.  Most Item Writers enjoy the added benefit of staying sharp on GCPs. All Item Writers are volunteers who receive recognition annually and also Continuing Education (research) points, valid toward maintaining their Certification.

How do I become an Item Writer?

ACRP holds Item Writer Training annually with the support of a test development specialist. This training promotes a full understanding of the science of writing sound, high quality exam questions. During and beyond the training, support and resources are provided to help Item Writers develop this valuable skill. One must attend the training before joining the Item Writing group.

Item Writing Training

The Item Writers Training – open exclusively to ACRP Certified professionals, is held annually during the ACRP Annual Meeting. With the cancellation of ACRP 2020 due to COVID-19, a virtual training will be held. Advanced registration is required. You will receive points towards your maintenance of certification for attending this training. ACRP staff will add the points to your record after the training is completed.

More About the Training

This interactive workshop promotes a full understanding of the science of writing sound, high quality exam questions. A Test Development Specialist with our testing partner, will facilitate the training. ACRP’s Global Exam Committee members also work with attendees during the exercise portion, to develop items using their areas of specialty in clinical research.

Sharpen your skills while earning ACRP Continuing Education (CE) points, applicable toward the Maintenance of Certification requirements.

Participation as an Item Writer is the first step to other ACRP volunteer opportunities. If you want to expand your experience and make an impact, this is a great opportunity.

The training session is free however space is limited.

2020 ACRP Item Writing

The Item Writing year will begin immediately following the training conducted in May. All items are submitted and then reviewed by the Global CCRA, CCRC, CPI, and ACRP-CP Exam Committees. Each committee develops its examinations by ensuring they meet the current test specifications and by providing content expertise to their ongoing development. This includes preparing all new items for use on the examinations and providing item-specific feedback for each contributing item writer. Following are the details of the Item Writer’s responsibilities for the current year.

2020 Assignment Schedule

  • Writers receive assignments in the spring, fall and winter. The first assignment for those that complete the training will be in May.

Post Assignment

  • Global Exam Committees meet to review items following each assignment.
  • Item Feedback is emailed to writers for all items reviewed during the meeting.
  • Participating writers receive 1.0 Continuing Education point per item written (up to 3 points per assignment). You should self-report the points onto your ACRP online record.

Role Descriptions: Item Writer

Before committing as an Item Writer, it is important to understand the expectations. The role of an individual Item Writer includes, but is not limited to, the following general expectations:

  • Hold current ACRP Certification (CCRC, CCRA, CPI, or ACRP-CP) and be in good standing.
  • Be familiar with ICH / GCP Guidelines and the Declaration of Helsinki
  • Attend in-person Item Writing training prior to writing items.
  • Participate in three (3) writing assignments each year.
  • Follow the Item Writing Guidelines presented during Item Writing Training and provided in the Item Writing Guide
  • Complete each assignment by the stated deadline.
  • Maintain confidentiality of draft items and test development materials.
  • Agree to refrain from participating in any training / program designed to prepare candidates for the ACRP Certification exams during service as an Item Writer, and for two (2) years after.

If you are currently certified, interested in becoming an Item Writer, or have questions, contact Giovanna Lancaster, Director of Certification at