Certified Clinical Research Coordinator Training and Certification

Certified clinical research coordinators manage the day-to-day operations of medical trials. See what training is required, and get an overview of the professional certification process. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator?

Clinical trials are studies that are used to test the effectiveness of medical products or services, such as pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures. As a clinical research coordinator, you would work under the supervision of physicians and medical scientists to facilitate the daily operations of clinical trials.

Training Options Associate's or bachelor's degree, followed by a diploma or certificate
Certification Options SoCRA's Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP), ACRP's Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC)
Possible Work Environments Medical centers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, independent research organizations
Median Salary (2016) $50,849*

Source: *Payscale.com

What Does Training Consist of?

Your eligibility requirements for certification consist of varying levels of training and work experience. For this reason, you have multiple training options.

The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) and the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) both provide certification options for clinical research coordinators. According to their certification eligibility requirements, your minimum requirement is a high school diploma and 3,500 hours of essential duties/clinical work for SoCRA or 4,500 hours of professional clinical research work for ACRP. However, if you obtain formal educational training, the number of required work hours for certification decreases significantly for both organizations. Also, formal educational training may be required by some employers, and it is usually beneficial for career advancement opportunities.

One formal training option begins with obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree in health science, life science or a related discipline. Once you have your undergraduate degree, you may attend a clinical research coordinator diploma or certificate program, which is available through many hospitals, colleges and universities. These programs vary in length, with some ranging from two days to several weeks. You may also participate in a diploma or certificate program if you have a graduate degree.

Another training option includes acquiring an associate's degree in clinical research coordination. This degree program is offered at some hospitals and community colleges. Whether you opt to complete an associate's degree or a diploma or certificate program in clinical research coordination, your coursework will likely cover clinical research pharmacology, procedures, regulatory compliance and management.

How Do I Get Certified?

While certification may not be required by your state's governing authority, it may be required by employers. Clinical research coordinator certifications include SoCRA's Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) and ACRP's Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC). Once you select your preferred certification, you must complete an application for the exam with your chosen organization and submit all required fees and documentation. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will be given testing information. Upon passing the exam, you will be given your certification.

What Are My Job Options?

You could work for different types of employers, such as medical centers, government agencies, independent research organizations and pharmaceutical companies. According to Payscale.com, the 2016 median annual salary for certified clinical research coordinators was $50,849. Your specific salary will be contingent upon various factors, such as your level of training, your work experience, your employer and your geographical location.

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