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 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 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.

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.  Criteria to register as a CRP have now been defined and application processes for registration are being piloted currently.

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, CRP’s listed will be notified in advance by the Academy for Healthcare Science. The annual renewal fee is £10. To join the register, once established, a £30 fee will apply. However, if you are already listed on the CRP Directory the fee to join the 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 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 not be registered to a healthcare profession.

Once a register is established, and approved for accreditation by the Professional Standards Authority, CRPs wishing to register will need to meet defined standards of proficiency and provide evidence of this.

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.  Listing on the CRP Directory will grant access to a dedicated community forum supported by NIHR. 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 preparing their individual applications for 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 and accessible via NIHR Learn. If you don’t already have an NIHR Learn account, you can create one, using your professional email address by clicking here.

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 for accreditation from the Professional Standards Authority, the CRP register is anticipated to launch later in 2020. Pilot testing of the system and processes is underway with early adopters. Once the CRP register is established, guidance on the registration process will be made available on the CRP Directory website:  In the meantime, we encourage all CRPs committed to seeking 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. 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.

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. There will be an expectation of there being a patient-facing element within the role together with experience at practitioner level.

What will the PSA be 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 has now reached the crucial point where a formal application for accreditation has been submitted to the Professional Standards Authority.  The process involves proposing a Notification of Change to the Authority which sets out the reasons for and benefits of the new part of the register.

The PSA Accreditation Team will undertake a rigorous assessment of the application, including taking feedback about the applying organisation from third parties including patients, service users, professional and representative organisations.  It will carry out a documentary review related to the change and decide whether a visit or interviews are required to assess the proposed change.  The Accreditation team will submit 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 timescale for the assessment and approval process for the change to the register is being managed by the Professional Standards Authority.  Meanwhile the NIHR and AHCS team continues to finalise the trialling of the online application processes in readiness to receive the first applications and the publication of the inaugural register of Clinical Research Practitioners.

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.