ACRP Announces Groundbreaking Initiative to Develop Competence Standards for Clinical Research Coordinators

Beth Harper, ACRP Workforce Innovation Officer

Beth Harper, ACRP Workforce Innovation Officer

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) today announces a groundbreaking new initiative to develop competence standards for clinical research coordinators (CRCs).

The initiative will be driven by the ACRP Workforce Innovation Steering Committee (WISC), whose membership includes representation from a broad group of private and public stakeholders, including: Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO); Amgen Inc.; Bioclinica; Greater Gift Initiative; Medix; Medtronic; National Institutes of Health; Pfizer; PPD; Roche; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development.

“Industry’s current approach to workforce planning, development, and assessment is not sustainable and is not resulting in improved clinical trial outcomes,” says ACRP Workforce Innovation Officer Beth Harper, who is leading ACRP’s workforce innovation initiatives. “By focusing on the talent pool today, ACRP is working collaboratively to ensure the stability of the clinical research enterprise in the future and the continued development of new drugs, devices, and therapies.”

ACRP created the WISC to provide oversight for needed workforce standards activities intended to improve quality and respond to changes occurring in the clinical research enterprise.

“ACRP is leading innovation in clinical research talent development by setting standards for professional competence, and building and validating competence in the workforce,” says Jim Kremidas, ACRP Executive Director. “We are thankful for the contributions of our WISC members and we look forward to this initiative having a lasting impact on the quality and professionalism of the clinical research workforce.”

Today’s announcement follows April’s introduction of the Core Competency Framework for Clinical Study Monitoring, which identifies the core competencies required of individuals involved in clinical study monitoring. Among its other initiatives, the WISC is developing resources to support implementation of the monitoring competence framework.

The ACRP WISC also agreed to explore development of Entry-Level Assessments (ELAs) for site and sponsor/CRO staff to align with the competency guidelines.

“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,” Kremidas adds. “By focusing on workforce innovation initiatives, we hope to collaboratively equip industry with standardized measures of competence that will help reduce variance in workforce competence and assist in growing the clinical research workforce of tomorrow.”

If you are interested in joining the WISC and contributing to ACRP’s workforce innovation initiatives, please contact Beth Harper at

Jeremy Glunt
+ 1.703.258.3506