How Do I Become a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator?

A clinical research coordinator works under the direction of a principal investigator to manage the personnel, finance, and regulation aspects of medical research trials. If this work sounds exciting to you, you may want to become certified in the field by passing one of several certification exams. Read on to find out how to become certified. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As a clinical research coordinator (CRC), you'll help administer clinical research trials by collecting data from study participants, monitoring clinical trial procedures, maintaining research logs, and ensuring proper research guidelines are followed. You will also be responsible for all documentation related to the trial and for ensuring the safety and general well-being of the participants.

Education and Training

Training in clinical research is offered at many colleges in certificate and associate's degree programs. These programs prepare you for entry-level positions in the field and for certification. Certificate programs include approximately four courses on research theory and skills. Associate's degree programs in clinical research include general education courses along with specialized clinical research classes and may also include an internship.

If you are a registered nurse, or if you have some medical experience or related education, a certificate program may suffice. If you have never taken any medical courses, a two-year associate's degree program will cover basic courses in medical terminology and documentation. Some typical courses in a CRC educational program include:

  • Clinical research management
  • Electronic medical records
  • Epidemiology and microbiology
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Statistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Health care ethics


The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) offers the Clinical Research Professional certification (CRP). To become certified, you must be a member of the association and provide evidence of full-time employment in the field. The amount of experience you are required to have is dependent upon the level of education you have completed. The CRP is available for clinical research coordinators, principal investigators, researchers, and others working in clinical research.

The Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) offers a clinical research coordinator certification. To qualify for the ACRP certification, you must provide evidence of two years of full-time employment or four years of part-time employment in clinical research, although more experience may be required based on your education. The ACRP also offers other certifications, such as Clinical Research Associate (CRA) and Clinical Physician Investigator (CPI). Each certification requires that you meet eligibility qualifications and pass an examination.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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