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Is 2013 going to be the year that the entire clinical research industry gets behind the implementation of an industry-wide accredited training program? The International Academy of Clinical Research (IAoCR) certainly thinks so and has been making significant steps towards gaining this approval from leading pharmaceutical companies and CROs, as well as from politicians and policy makers both in the UK and Europe.
In late 2012, IAoCR held its first Training & Quality Assurance Symposium (TaQAS), where representatives from pharma and CROs met to share views and opinions on existing training programs and how to work together to produce one comprehensive, competence-based accredited training program that would be recognized by the entire industry, with a view to shaping best practice in the UK and further afield.
The symposium was also the platform for the IAoCR to officially launch its GxP Training Guidelines. The guidelines have been met with largely positive reviews and are seen by many as a starting point to move toward accredited training. IAoCR wants to maintain an open dialogue with interested parties and we are interested in feedback on the guidelines, and how they can be adapted to suit the widest possible audience.
The launch of the GxP Training Guidelines was a fitting end to an eventful year for the IAoCR. During 2012, the organization worked to gain the support of key individuals for its campaign for accredited training. At a meeting at the Carlton Club in March 2012, a member of the Health Select committee, Virendra Sharma MP, announced his support of the move towards accreditation, along with representatives from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and IMI/EMTRAIN.
In November 2012, the IAoCR met with Theresa May, the Home Secretary and received support from her with regards to assisting new graduates in finding work in the clinical research industry. Off the back of this meeting, the IAoCR is now meeting with David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science.
Looking forward into 2013, the IAoCR is launching its Clinical Research Competencies Task Forces alongside the development of a number of specific accredited programs for individual companies within the industry. There are also a number of international think tanks being organized for later in 2013 to expand support of this campaign from the UK and Europe onto the global stage.
I think we are so close to making this a reality. More and more of the major players are coming to IAoCR and asking if we can work with them to develop internal training programs. It is only a matter of time before the entire industry realizes that if one organization is already running accredited courses, then surely it is in everyone’s best interest for recognized accreditation to be introduced across the board. By doing this, the industry will be invigorated; new blood will come in and experienced professionals will be able to move around and work where they are best suited. Training costs and times will be reduced, competencies will improve and trials will run more efficiently – ultimately safeguarding patients and delivering drugs to market quicker.
For more information on the IAoCR campaign or to receive a copy of the GxP Training Guidelines, please visit www.iaocr.com.