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. Read on to find out about clinical research coordinator certification. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

As a clinical research coordinator (CRC), you will 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 each participant. An education in clinical research and some clinical experience are generally required to work as a CRC. Professional certification is available through the Society of Clinical Research Associates and the Association for Clinical Research Professionals.

Important Facts About Clinical Research Coordinators

Average Salary (July 2019) $49,025
Required Education High school diploma
Work Environment Large hospitals, independent laboratories
Similar Occupations Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians


Clinical Research Coordinator Training and Education

Training in clinical research is offered at many colleges via certificate, associate's, and bachelor's degree programs. These programs can prepare you for entry-level positions in the field and can lead to certification. Other jobs may require additional education, such as a master's degree. Associate's degree programs in clinical research include general education courses along with specialized clinical research classes and they 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, however, both an associate's degree program and a certificate program will cover basic courses in medical and research terminology and intro-level coursework in clinical research. Some typical courses in a CRC educational program include the following:

  • Clinical research management
  • Drug safety
  • Legal and regulatory compliance
  • Clinical statistics
  • Pharmacology for clinical trials
  • Research ethics

CRC Certification

The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) offers the Clinical Research Professional (CRP) certification. 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 to apply for the ACRP certification, you must comply with certain eligibility requirements, some of which depend on your level of education. Those with a bachelor's degree or higher are required to have a minimum of 3,000 hours of work experience, while candidates with an associate's degree or experience as an RN, LPN, or LVN must have 4,500 hours of work experience. In addition, those with only a high school diploma or experience as a medical assistant or lab technician are required to have 6,000 hours of related work experience. All candidates must provide a detailed resume and job description prior to applying. 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.

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