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CRN Greater Manchester - Alternative provision of NIHR Learn events



On behalf of Mary Speake, CRN GM Workforce, Learning and Development Lead

Dear all, 

As you will understand, all NIHR CRN Greater Manchester face-to-face training for the remainder of March/April/May has been cancelled or postponed, with June dates likely to be added to that list.

If you are looking for training guidance, you must speak with your R&D or R&I department at this present time, as it could be that different studies require different level of training - and it could also be that your employer is taking a particular approach.

CRN current offer via NIHR Learn

Please be assured that the training offer available through the NIHR Learn GCP online tab is being assessed regularly to reflect training requirements for COVID-19 studies, plus the training needs of those likely to be seeking consent in this range of studies. All training assessed as essential to support COVID-19 studies sits within the NIHR GCP remit which includes Informed Consent.

Good Clinical Practice

Access to Intro to GCP or Refresher training online (where a study sponsor or employer requires this) will continue as usual, but we will be offering participants the opportunity afterwards to explore further if they have any unanswered queries. 

It is hoped that we can contact participants via email with details of how to make contact and we will also use Twitter to promote this activity. Participants can also contact or phone/text  07812 659 453

Informed Consent

Observational Studies

A short introduction to Informed Consent for those who are research naive and seeking consent is now available - Informed Consent Fundamentals: COVID-19 Observational studies. 

This module is supported by the CCP/ISARIC study team and will be available through NIHR Learn via the GCP online tab. It is currently sitting under Intro to GCP. 

Principal Investigators can also download a slideset from the training link to use within their clinical areas if this is more practical.

Interventional Studies

A shortened webinar version of Informed Consent twill be made available for those seeking consent for all other study designs.  

This will be pared-down compared to the face-to-face version within our schedule as the usual group exercises will be removed etc. 

Facilitators are currently underwebinar training and this will be delivered by each LCRN on a rotation basis to the audience that either logs on live or watches the recording. Again, this will be available through NIHR Learn.

Again, it is hoped that we can contact participants via email with details of how to make contact and we will also use Twitter to promote this activity. Participants can also contact or phone/text  07812 659 453

Additional Resources

Please explore NIHR Learn for other e-learning content. For example, there is a module on consent in Adults Lacking Capacity which will be refreshed over the next few days in line with likely COVID study scenarios.

Kind regards,



National update on the GCP Education response during the COVID-19 pandemic

As you will be well aware, NHS Trusts are not running face-to-face training at this point in time. Equally, the top priority of the NIHR is to support the nationally approved and adopted COVID-19 research studies. As a result, key actions are being taken by the CRN to ensure all staff involved in health research continue to be suitably qualified through experience, education and training.

Working with sponsors and employers, we have always championed proportionality in the training that research delivery staff undertake, linked to the role(s) they take on within the delegation logs of individual studies. Following the Delegation and Training Decision Aid, anyone with freedom to act on the delegation log should complete the ‘Introduction to Good Clinical Practice (GCP)’ followed by any appropriate additional training. #

For staff without freedom to act it may be appropriate to complete a ‘Fundamentals’ orientation training delivered by experienced members of the study teams. However, all protocol training requirements should be instructed by study sponsors and trust R&D departments.

Historically we have delivered the ‘Fundamentals’ training and the GCP follow on training (e.g. Informed Consent and PI Essentials) in a face-to-face format.

Over the past week we have:

  • Enabled the webinar delivery of ‘Informed Consent’ and ‘PI Essentials’ training [those seeking to attend can register an expression of interest via NIHR Learn to assist in the scheduling of this training]

  • Created elearning in support of ‘Informed Consent Fundamentals for Observational Studies’ [informed by the needs of the ISARIC COVID study - Please note that staff who have completed the ‘Introduction to Good Clinical Practice (GCP)’ are unlikely to be asked to complete this training. If they require additional in-depth training in Informed Consent, consideration should be given to attending a webinar]

We will shortly:

  • Launch additional foundational training ‘Research Practice in Clinical Settings’ (awareness of key themes, rather than the depth provided in GCP training)

  • Update and enable online delivery of the other Fundamentals materials (Labs / IMP Management)

  • Provide an additional version of our NIHR Learn LMS platform with open access and minimum account set-up time - to avoid the delay in setting up accounts for those without NHS or UK academic emails.

As per our original plans, we will also be launching the annual updates to the online ‘Introduction to Good Clinical Practice (GCP)’ and ‘Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Refresher’ in the coming weeks.

Our work is being guided by the needs of the nationally approved and adopted COVID research studies. This will continue to be our approach going forward, working closely with the Workforce leaders within Lead LCRNs to identify any currently unmet educational needs.

Collectively we have demonstrated agility in our rapid response to ensuring the CRN workforce has the learning support required to deliver essential research during the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome your ideas and further requests in this area.

Contact: John Castledine, Head of Learning Development and Design (, 07825 283722)