Clinical Research Practitioner Directory

Clinical Research Practitioners and their contribution to clinical research delivery

Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) are a vital part of the research workforce. They work in research delivery roles that have a patient/participant facing element within clinical environments and other health and social care settings. These roles include Clinical Studies Officer, Research Practitioner, Clinical Trials Practitioner, Clinical Trials Officer, among others. CRPs are not required to be part of a statutory professional register in order to perform their role.

The number of CRPs in the research workforce has increased in response to the expansion of clinical research activity over the last few years. Developing the professional identity of this group, recognising their expertise and enabling effective professional development is a strategic priority for the research workforce.

Development of the CRP Directory and Accredited Register

In early 2018, the Department of Health (now the Department of Health and Social Care) gave approval for the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) to develop the professional identity of Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) in a staged approach. The CRP Directory was launched in September 2018 as a foundation for the development of the CRP community.  The Directory has almost 700 individuals listed in January 2021.

National working group activity brought together CRPs, Clinical Research Nurses and Workforce Leaders to shape the Scope of Practice and the Standards of Proficiency in an iterative, co-creative development process, with expert input from the AHCS. These documents were shared through a wider consultation in the autumn of 2019 and feedback from this influenced the final submission documents put forward to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) for review in December 2019. The PSA gave its approval for the in April 2020 and following pilot activity the Register is ready for launch in early 2021.

Who is the CRP Directory aimed at and why?

The CRP Directory is aimed at CRPs who are not registered to a healthcare profession and working in a research delivery role that involves direct contact with patients or other study participants and is the point of entry for CRPs shaping their profession. The term CRP is an umbrella title for the family of roles in research delivery that have a patient/participant-facing element within clinical environments and other health and social care settings. These roles include Clinical Studies Officer, Research Practitioner, Clinical Trials Practitioner, Clinical Trials Officer, among others.

CRP standing in ward

Review of CRP Registration by the Professional Standards Authority

The significant amount of work undertaken by the NIHR and AHCS team to establish the accredited CRP register was submitted to the Professional Standards Authority in December 2019.  The process involved proposing a Notification of Change to the Authority which set out the reasons for and benefits of the new part of the register.

The PSA Accreditation Team undertook a rigorous assessment of the application, including taking feedback about the applying organisation from third parties and carrying out a documentary review related to the proposed change.  The Accreditation team summary report to the Moderator (a member of the Authority‚Äôs Director-level staff) included recommendation on whether to accept the change. AHCS received final approval from the PSA in April 2020. No Conditions or Recommendations were issued and the details of the assessment decision are posted on the PSA website at the bottom of this page. https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/accredited-registers/read-our-assessments/panel-decisions

CRP Registration Documents

Key documents submitted for review by the PSA in December 2019 are now issued as V1.0 | April 2020

CRP standing in ward