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Washington, DC – The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) today announces formation of a multi-stakeholder task force charged with defining the core competencies required of entry-level clinical research associates (CRAs).
The task force will identify the competencies required of entry-level CRAs (also known as monitors), develop measures of competence, and advocate for standardization of identified CRA competencies across the clinical research enterprise.
This announcement follows publication this week by ACRP of a position paper examining the current CRA workforce and calling for elimination of the commonly accepted and practiced two-year experience requirement for entry-level CRAs in favor of competence-based employment practices (see: A New Approach to Developing the CRA Workforce).
"The arbitrary 2-years' experience requirement is contributing to a shortage of CRAs in the clinical research profession and is leading to inefficiencies at contract research organization and clinical trial sponsors while doing nothing to ensure quality in clinical research," says Terri Hinkley, RN, BScN, MBA, CCRC, ACRP Interim Executive Director. "By leading this initiative ACRP plans to drive a shift in the profession that will both address the existing workforce pipeline issues and improve the quality conduct of clinical research."
As noted in ACRP's position paper, there are at least 10,000 CRA open positions in the United States alone, and there is no evidence to suggest that number will decline any time soon. A recent Brookings study, lamenting an overall employee shortage throughout the life sciences industry, singled out the CRA as one of the positions most in need of recruitment.