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CRN Greater Manchester - Alternative provision of NIHR Learning and Development



Learning Programme Update July 2020

During the COVID-19 quarantine period and while social distancing measure are in place, the learning programme has been adapted to a provision of online learning opportunities only.

The research delivery workforce expanded in the COVID-19 response (and is set to expand further as part of the CRN vaccine response) to include those who:

  • Support those delivering research
  • Begin to deliver research projects
  • Begin to lead the research team (new Principal Investigators) 

Therefore, the programme has expanded to include new, and in some cases, proportionate resources to the range of learning we offer.

This infographic summarises the national Learning and Development offer at the moment and comprises of short videos, and informal and formal pieces of e-learning across a range of topics.


Opportunities within NIHR Learn

As you may expect, Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training continues via e-learning, plus the GCP e-learning suite has been extended to include some proportionate modules:

  • The Informed Consent Process within UPH Studies (released July 2020)
  • Research Practice in Clinical Settings (set at Fundamentals* level).
  • Informed Consent for Observational Studies
  • Fundamentals* of Clinical Research for Laboratories


Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)

Both NIHR MOOCs are scheduled to repeat:

For NHS staff, patients and public: What is Health Research? Explore the world of health research and the role volunteers play in transforming treatments and improving health care.

Best geared for research novices: Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research. In this free online course, find out how medical treatments are discovered, tested and evaluated to improve healthcare for all.


Good Clinical Practice (GCP)

Intro and Refresher GCP eLearning are both about to be refreshed on the system. For a short period, the previous version will still be available in case any learner had yet to complete it. 


Informed Consent and  Principal Investigator Essentials 

Staff can express an interest in completing these courses via webinar. They are nationally-provided webinars run at set times, so staff are asked to request access and they will be contacted with a proposed date.

To access these courses – log into NIHR Learn and scroll to the bottom of the home page.

Additional learning opportunities via CRN GM 

Fundamentals series* : This has been extended to include a self-directed learning module for Clinical Research Document Management. It is suitable for anyone new to research who is allocated this role but is not at GCP level – medical students supporting research, primary care staff, volunteers.

CRN GM – PI Learning Zone : This webpage of curated resources was originally developed to support new Principal Investigators (PIs) in Primary Care, but is available for all new PIs to access.


Medical Student Research Volunteers

The Medical Schools Council / NIHR Clinical Research Network and Health Education England are working towards writing to each medical student in England to ask them to consider volunteering to support COVID-19 research.

Would your organisation or your teams be in a position to offer a volunteer medical student a research (non-patient facing) placement?

This has been piloted in several parts of the country. Students have been delivering drugs to participants in the Principle trial, been collecting ISARIC/SSP data in secondary care, and supporting NHSBT phone lines in relation to the REMAP-CAP study.

This will of course be subject to any pre-requisites / induction processes your organisation may have.

We are still awaiting responses from volunteers but please get in touch if you would like to explore this topic further.

* Fundamentals level describes a member of the team who is performing a research task within the scope of their usual role but in accordance with Sponsoror Employer SOPs only.