The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Maintaining Your ACRP Certification Through Continuing Education

Continuing Education (CE) activities are instructional activities where the certificant is the learner. The purpose of this information is to assist certificants in determining acceptable continuing education activities for use toward maintaining your ACRP Certification(s). For a complete guide on staying current, please download the Maintenance of Certification Handbook. Visit the CCRA, CCRC, & ACRP-CP Continuing Involvement (CI) page or the CPI Continuing Involvement (CI) page to learn more about earning certification Maintenance activity points.

Candidates for Maintenance can take Continuing Education (CE) offerings in two topic areas: “Research” and “Healthcare” (including disease, soft skills, and bodily system).

Research Topics

For Maintenance purposes, Research Topics are defined those that cover the actual “practice” of clinical research and follow topics covered on the Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for your designation. These topics should cover transferable knowledge and skills, not those specific to your workplace, such as company SOPs, protocols or specific software. Examples of Research Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Trial Management
  • Investigational Product Management
  • Protocol Development
  • Safety
  • Human Subject Protection
  • Document Management
  • Trial Oversight
  • Ethics
  • Adverse Events
  • Informed Consent
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
  • ICH Guidelines
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Monitoring
  • Statistics

Healthcare Topics

Healthcare Topics are those that deal with the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of physical well-being. Training to gain access or query a specific database or software, even if healthcare related, is not acceptable. Consideration is also given to specific skills that, while not clinical research or healthcare related, are acknowledged as an advanced set of skills invaluable to the work of clinical research.  These specifically include: project management, soft skills, grant writing and medical writing.

Courses pertaining to a particular disease are generally considered to be Disease/Bodily System/Healthcare Topic hours. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacology
  • Medical devices
  • Soft skills
  • Palliative / Hospice care
  • Psychiatry
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Results of clinical trial studies
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Course

Acceptable Providers of Accredited Continuing Education

Only programs completed through acceptable accredited providers with a certificate of hours/points or those pre-approved by the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals (the Academy) may be claimed.

It is anticipated that the majority of programs that a candidate for Maintenance of Certification will submit in support of his/her application will come from programs that have some sort of accreditation.

If the program does NOT have accreditation from a known accrediting body (See “Examples of Acceptable Providers” chart below), the applicant must submit the program details for approval. Contact us at any time, with the course title, timed agenda/course overview, and objectives. Requests for review must be made at least 30 days prior to application due date.

Examples of Acceptable Providers of Accredited Continuing Education Contact Hour Points & Credit Examples

  • All state and national nursing associations (CBRN, ANCC, CNE)
  • American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (CME, AMA, Category I)
  • Other national healthcare-related associations offering continuing education contact hours (CITI* Courses – Human Subject Protection, PRIM&R, MAGI Conference, SoCRA, RAPS, DIA, SCDM, etc.)
  • Regulator-sponsored educational programs (FDA, NIH, IRB)
  • Healthcare-related college/university courses (College credits)
  • IACET (CEUs)
  • In-Company Training*

*In-company training on research topics with specific learning objectives awarding a certificate/proof of attendance and specifying the number of hours (Note: SOP, protocol and software training are not acceptable.)

Courses which are not acceptable for Maintenance purposes include, but are not limited to those with topics in CPR or BLS training, first responder training, or blood pressure training.

Determining the Length of Continuing Education Activities

A certificate indicating the number of hours received must have been awarded for all web-based training. The Academy cannot determine the number of points for web-based training and reserves the right to request certificates of attendance and/or transcripts from any reported activities.

For participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and in-service trainings, points are awarded according to the actual amount of time spent under instruction, at a ratio of 1:1. That is one (1) hour awards one (1) point.

Sessions less than 45 minutes in duration are not accepted. Sessions forty-five (45) minutes to one (1) hour in length are awarded one (1) point. Points can be pro-rated for sessions exceeding sixty (60) minutes (i.e., a session one hour and fifteen minutes in length = 1.25 points)

Certificates of completion may use different terms to represent “points”. The list below displays the point conversions and different terms used to refer to points.

Activities, Time Spent, and Point Conversions to Maintenance Applications

  1. Continuing Education Session
    • Time Spent: <45 minutes, 0 points; 45-60 minutes, 1 contact hour = 1 point; 90 minutes, 1.5 contact hours = 1.5 points
  2. Activity Awarding CMEs
    • Time Spent: 60 minutes, 1 CME = 1 point
  3. Course Awarding CEUs
    • Time Spent: 60 minutes, 0.1 CEUs = 1 point; 1 CEU = 10 points
  4. University Course
    • Time Spent: 1 semester, 1 semester credit = 15 points

If it is unclear how many hours may be claimed for a course, please contact the course provider to request written verification of the course length prior to submitting any information to the Academy for review.