Clinical Research Practitioner Directory

FAQs on the CRP Directory and accredited registration for CRPs


What is a Clinical Research Practitioner?  

What is a Clinical Research Practitioner?

The term Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) serves 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 and Accredited Register for all healthcare professionals involved in research? 

No. The CRP Directory and Accredited Register 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 in clinical research delivery and Clinical Research Nurses and Allied Health Professionals in research may also see themselves as Clinical Research Practitioners. However, registration as a CRP is not intended for professionals who are already registered. Everyone’s contribution is essential and complementary and a mix of skills in the research delivery team is necessary and 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.  If you are a registered professional looking for advice about your career and community we recommend discussing this with the lead nurse,  research nurses or AHP leads in your area.  

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 £10 fee will be reinstated in March 2021. CRPs who successfully join the Accredited Register do not have to remain on the Directory. Registrants pay an application fee of £30 and annual fee of £30 to remain on the Accredited Register.   

What’s the difference between the CRP Directory and the Accredited Register for CRPs?

The CRP Directory was established to create a community of practice for Clinical Research Practitioners and lay the foundation for defining the professional identity of CRPs, including establishing a 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 normally not registered to a healthcare profession.

The CRP Accredited Register is part of the Professional Standards Authority’s accredited register programme that supports over 90,000 practitioners across different health and care occupational groups.

CRPs wishing to join the CRP register will need to meet defined standards of proficiency and provide evidence of this that has been confirmed locally for verification by AHCS.

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. In time the Directory will provide a platform for developing the professional leadership of the CRP community.

Listing on the CRP Directory will in time grant access to a dedicated community forum supported by NIHR.  Registrants are not required to remain on the Directory.

Will my details be safe?

The information in your CRP Directory account and associated with  the Accredited Register  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?

The Register is currently open, though depending on the volume of applications, there may be times when we need to close applications for a short time. If this becomes necessary we will inform you through the CRP Directory Communications and this website.

Those who wish to join can do so here: Applicants must already be listed on 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. Applications will be assessed on a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that the Standards of Proficiency have been met. The portfolio of evidence must address set requirements for experience, training and education and will be defined within the quality assurance framework for the CRP register. We encourage you to use the NIHR Integrated Workforce Framework (IWF) tool, alongside your local competency framework to assist you with your application.

What will the criteria be for registration as a CRP?

Eligibility for registration as a CRP will be assessed on a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that the Standards of Proficiency have been met and you are working to an agreed Scope of Practice within your local organisation. There will be an expectation of there being a patient-facing element within the role together with experience at practitioner level.

What were the PSA looking for in their review of the proposed CRP register?

The significant amount of work undertaken by the NIHR and AHCS team to establish the accredited CRP register to pursue a formal application for accreditation 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 AHCS register.

The PSA Accreditation Team undertook a rigorous assessment of the application, including taking feedback about the applying organisation from third parties including patients, service users, professional and representative organisations.  The Accreditation team also carried out a documentary review related to the change and combined this with other sources of evidence to assess the proposed change.  The Accreditation team submitted a summary report to the Moderator (a member of the Authority’s Director-level staff) with its recommendation on whether to accept the change.

The change to the AHCS register to include CRPs was  approved by the Professional Standards Authority in April 2020.

Do you anticipate further work on common skills and competencies for CRPs?

Yes. The NIHR Integrated Workforce Framework (IWF) is a means of alignment across competency frameworks in use and the NIHR CRN will continue to work with local and national research workforce experts on harmonisation and standardisation through a variety of approaches, including use of the IWF.