The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Monitoring Competencies

ACRP Releases Core Competency Framework for Clinical Trial Monitors for Public Review, Comment

February 9, 2017 – The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) today released a harmonized Core Competency Framework for Clinical Research Associates (CRAs) that for the first time ever defines the core competencies required of clinical trial monitors/CRAs within the eight core competence domains for clinical research professionals, as defined by the Joint Task Force (JTF) for Clinical Trial Competence.


The framework was open for public comment through March 5, 2017. Finalized competencies incorporating public feedback will be released soon.

The harmonized CRA Core Competency Framework is the product of a cross-industry, multi-stakeholder Task Force and Steering Committee led by ACRP whose contributors include representation from leading industry and academic organizations across the global clinical research enterprise.

“This announcement is a major milestone in ACRP’s efforts to collaboratively professionalize clinical research by setting the standards for professional competence,” says ACRP Workforce Innovative Officer Terri Hinkley, RN, BScN, MBA, CCRC, FACRP. ”We are grateful to the Task Force and Steering Committee members who contributed their time and expertise in support of our mission to drive workforce development and promote excellence in clinical research.”

The initiative to define core competencies comes as the clinical research enterprise faces a major shortage of CRAs in the workforce.

“We strongly believe the shortage is the result of hiring practices that favor an arbitrary 2-year experience requirement for entry-level CRAs, rather than practices that favor verified competence,” Hinkley says (View ACRP Position Statement, A New Approach to Developing the CRA Workforce). “To impact change and overcome this challenge, we need multi-stakeholder leadership to collaboratively re-imagine the ways in which we support the growth and development of the clinical research workforce, including CRAs.”

The Task Force and Steering Committee developed the competency framework over the past year, mapping CRA competencies using the JTF framework as a foundation. Competency frameworks from participating Task Force and Steering Committee organizations, academic institutions, and other entities were considered in development of the CRA Core Competency Framework.