The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

Workforce Innovation Steering Committee

“In clinical research, people are everything.”

This is what we believe.

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.

Clinical trials continue to increase in both volume and complexity. At the same time, pharmaceutical and medical device companies are responding to demand for lower-cost, more-efficient clinical trials by radically shifting the ways in which clinical research is conducted, adding additional pressure to an already stressed ecosystem.

The lack of focus on a standardized, industry-wide approach to workforce planning, development, and assessment is already showing symptoms of a greater disease, including:

  • Clinical research coordinator (CRC) “burnout” and low levels of job satisfaction resulting from a lack of standard methods for identifying new CRCs and providing them with training and development resources.
  • A critical shortage of clinical trial monitors/clinical research associates (CRA) and the proliferation of falsified CRA resumes.
  • Continued negative FDA inspection findings.

Industry’s current approach to workforce planning, development, and assessment is not sustainable and is not resulting in improved clinical trial outcomes. It must be a priority today to ensure the stability of the clinical research enterprise in the future and the continued development of new drugs, devices, and therapies.

In response to this critical challenge, we have formed a coalition of stakeholders with a vested interest in developing and promoting the needed workforce standards to improve quality and respond to changes occurring in the clinical research enterprise.

The ‘Workforce Innovation Steering Committee’ (WISC) provides a unique opportunity for organizations to partner with ACRP and provide insight and advice on the areas in need of standardization, innovation, or solutions designed to prepare the clinical research workforce to respond to the changing professional requirements resulting from industry change.

Why You Should Join

Joining the WISC give you and your organization a unique, high-profile opportunity to serve as an industry thought leader and innovator in driving and promoting best practices in the area of workforce planning, development, and assessment.

WISC representatives (one per contributing organization) will meet in person twice each year – once at a special meeting held in conjunction with the ACRP annual conference – and periodically via teleconference.


“Invest in the workforce to deliver the promise of big data and innovative trial design.”

The Economist*

ACRP requests annual contributions to support WISC initiatives, including development of competence standards, career paths, hiring guidelines, and others as determined by the WISC.

Contributions are structured to maximize participation from organizations of all types and sizes.

Get Involved

Contact Beth Harper, ACRP Workforce Innovation Officer, at or +1.703.254.8117, to join or learn more.

*The Economist Business Intelligence Unit, “The Innovation Imperative: The Future of Drug Development Part II: Barriers, Enablers and Calls to Action” Read More