FAQs on the CRP Directory and accredited registration for CRPs
What is a Clinical Research Practitioner?
We are using the term Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) as an umbrella title for a family of roles in research delivery that have a patient-facing element and where the post holder isn’t currently registered to a healthcare profession. Clinical Research Practitioner therefore includes job titles like, for example, Clinical Studies Officer, Research Practitioner, Clinical Trials Practitioner, Clinical Trials Officer and many others. Those in CRP roles are often degree graduates, though not always.
Is the CRP Directory for all healthcare professionals involved in research?
No. The CRP Directory is intended for those individuals who are currently not registered as a healthcare professional. Statutory regulation applies for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, who have all qualified as healthcare professionals through specific education and training. Clinical Research Practitioners have entered the research delivery workforce through other routes, predominantly as degree graduates but also as experienced professionals from a variety of backgrounds (e.g. progression through roles in healthcare, clinical research delivery, the life sciences industry or business).
There are overlapping identities and Clinical Research Nurses and Allied Health Professionals in research may also see themselves as Clinical Research Practitioners. Everyone’s contribution is essential and complementary and a mix of skills in the research delivery team is beneficial and recognition of skills and knowledge in clinical research is an important area that is being examined and addressed in a number of ways.
What are the eligibility criteria for listing on the CRP Directory?
Those applying to join the CRP Directory are asked to confirm that their role involves direct contact with patients, or other study participants, in clinical environments and other health and social care research settings. There are no other defined requirements, e.g. in relation to education or pay grade.
I’m on the CRP Directory, is there an annual renewal fee to stay listed?
Yes. There is a process to renew your listing on the CRP Directory. The annual renewal fee is £10. To join the accredited register, once established, a £30 fee will apply. However, if you are already listed on the CRP Directory the fee to join the accredited register will be £20 for the first year.
What’s the difference between the CRP Directory and the accredited register for CRPs?
The CRP Directory was established to help create a community of practice for Clinical Research Practitioners and lay the foundation for defining the professional identity of CRPs and establishing an accredited register.
To be listed on the CRP Directory, CRPs must be working in a research delivery role that involves direct contact with patients or other study participants, and not be registered to a healthcare profession.
Once the accredited registered is established, pending approval from the Professional Standards Authority, CRPs wishing to register will need to meet defined standards of proficiency and provide evidence of this. The criteria for this are in development and draft standards are in consultation.
What happens to the CRP Directory when the accredited register for CRPs is established?
The CRP Directory will remain a point of entry for CRPs, a place to connect with fellow CRPs and a way to stay directly informed. The joining fee for listing on the CRP Directory will always be deductible from the fee to register if or when you choose to do this.
Why should I stay listed on the CRP Directory once the accredited register for CRPs is in place?
The CRP Directory will be a pre-registration space and will remain as a point of entry for CRPs to begin their individual applications for accredited registration. The CRP Directory is also a place to connect with fellow CRPs and to stay informed. A CRP Community resource to support learning and development will be in place in the near future.
Will my details be safe?
The information in your CRP Directory account will be held in line with AHCS Privacy and Legal Policy. A data sharing agreement exists between the NIHR Clinical Research Network and the AHCS for the purpose of understanding more about the CRP workforce and informing future developments.
When and how can I join the accredited register?
Not yet. Pending approval from the Professional Standards Authority, the accredited register is scheduled to launch in Spring/Summer of 2020, following pilot testing of the system and processes with some early adopters. The criteria that CRPs will need to meet and the type of evidence they will need to gather is still being finalised. Once the accredited register is established, guidance on the registration process will be made available on the CRP Directory website: https://nihr.ahcs.ac.uk/ In the meantime, we encourage all CRPs committed to seeking accredited registration to join the CRP Directory.
What do I need to do to prepare to register as a CRP?
A defined Scope of Practice and Standards of Proficiency set for the CRP Register will apply to all registrants. The CRP Register will be open to applications and will be assessed on a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that the Standards of Proficiency have been met. The portfolio of evidence to be submitted must address set requirements for education, training and experience. These requirements are being defined currently as part of the quality assurance framework for the register.
What will the criteria be for registration as a CRP?
Eligibility criteria for registration as a CRP is currently being defined, and it is proposed that registration will be decided on the basis of specific criteria for education, training and experience at practitioner level. There will be an expectation of there being a patient-facing element within the role and thresholds around this are being discussed currently. The overall proposal will be reviewed by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) later in 2019 as part of the application being submitted to establish the accredited register for Clinical Research Practitioners as part of the Academy for Healthcare Science.
Do you anticipate further work on common skills and competencies for CRPs?
Yes, the NIHR CRN are considering how an individual can demonstrate that they meet these standards and linking this to use of the NIHR Integrated Workforce Framework a means of alignment across competency frameworks in use and will continue to work on this with locally-based research workforce experts.