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Transcript for Clinical Research Practitioner Webinar 1


Transcript for the Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) Webinar 1 

Kelly Adams: 

Thank you all for joining us for the first in our series of weekly Clinical Research Practitioner webinars. My name is Kelly Adams and I'm going to be your chair  for the session today.

I'm the Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Clinical Research Network in Wessex. Also I'm currently seconded to the NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre for part of the week as joint Head of Research Workforce Development.

So before I introduce you to our speakers and panel members today, I've got just a few pieces of information and housekeeping to run through with you. This webinar is being recorded, as I think you've probably just heard. So that you can watch it back later on, if there are things that you wanted to review again at a later date.

But also so we can share the recordings with colleagues who have expressed an interest in the webinar today but who have been unable to join us.

As you've heard, the webinar is being recorded. If that's something that you're not comfortable with, I mean we cannot see you, or hear you, but if you're not comfortable with the webinar being recorded, please do take this opportunity to leave the call and you can always catch up with the recording at a later date.

So the recordings for all four of the webinars in the series will be shared with registered attendees via the NIHR Learn platform. Further details on how to access those recordings or how to set up an NIHR Learn account, if you don't already have one, will be shared following the webinar today.

Please do consider signing up for the other webinars in this series if you have not already done so. Next week we will be hearing from some Clinical Research Practitioner colleagues about their experience of joining the accredited register. and they will also be talking to us about the process, time and work involved and benefits to them as individuals as well as more widely. 

Session three will have a focus on those who have line management responsibilities for Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) and how they can support CRPs to continue developing and attain accredited registration if they haven't already done so.

The final session in the series will recap what we've heard during the initial sessions and have a focus on reflective practice.

We will also be showcasing and sharing a newly created area in the Wessex instance of NIHR Learn, where a host of new resources and materials for CRPs and line managers will be available. So do join us again for session four where we will be telling you all about that. 

So turning our attention back to the session today, please engage with us throughout the session using the Q&A function in Zoom. There will be time at the end of the webinar for our panel to answer your questions, and you can submit these using the Q&A box if there's anything in particular you would like to ask. Others will be able to upvote questions using the thumbs up button that are of particular interest to them and we will try to make sure that we get to all of those questions that have the most interest generated in them. 

The chat function has been disabled today but you can direct message the panel if you need to.

Behind the scenes we do have the A-team with us, keeping an eye on the panel chat and the Q&A function. So please do reach out and someone in the A-team will pick that up for you. Without further ado, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to our first speaker today.

This is Janice Paterson, Workforce Intelligence Manager at the NIHR CRN Coordinating Centre. Janice leads the NIHR CRP programme.

So Janice, over to you.

Janice Paterson:

Thank you, Kelly.

So I'm going to talk a bit about how the CRP initiative has been developed over the last while. If we can set up the first slide, please.

Great. So I think maybe if we go on to the next side again. Yeah, that's my introduction. Yeah, that's fine. 

I'm going to talk about the journey that we've taken for CRPs, towards registration and the ongoing strategic development that we're all working towards nationally and obviously, locally and regionally.

So if we're going to the next slide, I'm just going to cover a short piece of history, and where we were in life pre CRPs.

I'm just going to cover a short piece of history and where we were life pre-CRPs. I began this work at the National Coordinating Centre for CRN around about seven years ago, we had a source of information about job titles for the research delivery workforce that we had in our CRN finance tool and did a bit of analysis on what those job titles were and what they might indicate in terms of professional identity, and particularly a professional registration.

So if you can just focus on the bar chart on the left hand side here. And we're looking at practitioner level roles and for practitioner level roles we mean NHS Agenda for Change bands five to seven or equivalent, then at least half of those roles had nurse in the job title.

And so we assume there that at least half of that workforce are registered nurses or midwives, around about 5% of that cohort of practitioners were AHP's. And then others were not necessarily registered to a health care profession.

We also know that there's a substantial body of the research delivery workforce that are in the support role. And again, the categorisation here is really very general. But clearly, there's a large number of practitioners in the research delivery workforce, that we were looking at developing an identity to describe it more accurately, and that could enhance development and recognition and a real understanding of what the staff would be contributing.

So if we can go on to the next slide.

So where we are now, is that we have introduced this idea that we've got a title called Clinical Research Practitioner, it's an umbrella title, it's not a protected job title or anything like that, but an umbrella title for a family of roles in research delivery, and they have a patient facing element.

That's the current working definition that we're grouping everything around. And beyond this, then there are some people who are registered, and some who are not. Some who are intending to register, and some who don't even know yet whether they might go forward to registration and so on.

Registration has been developed in partnership with the Academy for Healthcare Sciences, as I'm sure you're all aware. And the first step on that pathway to deciding about registration has been to join the community through joining the CRP directory. And I know that Maya will talk a bit more about that.

So if we go to the next slide.

We then are thinking about definitions of roles and responsibilities is becoming really important to describe. And that's one of the key areas of strategic development that we're focusing on at the moment.

So this is a direct lift from the Clinical Research Practitioners Scope of Practice. And everything that we're developing from this point forward, is really stemming from the great work that's been done with many of you who will be on this journey with us.

Many colleagues all over the country who have come together to develop the Clinical Research Practitioners’ Scope of Practice and the Standards of Proficiency. And these documents are really key to serving us currently and in the future, to be really clear about what the CRP role is about and what the responsibilities that are held. So we're always going back to those.

Another really helpful document that sort of solidifies the context of registration and I guess, the responsibility around being a registered professional, links to the Academy for Healthcare Science Good Scientific Practice document, is a code of conduct really, and it's also aligned to the Healthcare Professions Council standards and documentation. So if you want to have a look at that, that's also relevant for registered CRPs. 

We're going to the next slide, please.

So the emergence of CRPs as a new occupational group. So this has been a long journey. And as I say, many of you will have been on this with us, it was really unplanned. And perhaps, arose out of necessity.

There have been many workforce shortages, but also a recognition that graduates and others joining the research delivery workforce, were bringing great skills and knowledge with them. And it was really an opportunity to develop a solid identity around that new occupational group.

But the identity and the outside world needed some work. And so that's really what we've been working hard on and continuing to do. Previously CRPs, or whatever that title might cover, those rules were not within the scope of regulation. And now they are, and can be, registration is obviously voluntary. But I hope that we all agree that that's a good step forward and it will become a norm in practice going forward.

Variation of the role does happen, and you would expect that depending on the care context and other factors, and that would be true for any sphere of practice.

So what's very distinctive about CRPs is that they are a profession that stands entirely within the domain of research and delivery of research. So it's a role dedicated to delivery of research, and that's a novel thing. 

And we can see a lot more about that. But there are some limitations with it.

And at the moment, the Accredited Registration is still a foundation really, for ongoing development of qualifications and other education and training pathways that may then lead to registration in the future.

And there is also some awareness and collaboration to do with NHS England, in terms of understanding, again, what this role is about, and also understanding what research delivery is about in the wider health and care system.

But overall, over the last few years, I would say that CRPs are now much better and able to articulate the role, really much more visible, the boundaries are becoming clearer, responsibilities vary and are shared with other team members. And it’s the complementarity of CRP role to other professions that really is a huge benefit.

So that's all becoming articulated and becoming more widely known.

And we’re all agreed, the Department for Health and Social Care included, that CRPs are essential to the strategic development of the research delivery workforce. And you'll have seen that in their implementation for the future of research delivery in the UK. That's really a major focus in all of the work that we're doing now.

So if we go on to the next slide, please.

So overall, we can really shout about this, that CRP roles are enabling all sorts of things, increasing capacity and capability to deliver research, hugely adaptable to deliver across specialties and care settings, really helpful in terms of integrating the roles and responsibilities across multidisciplinary teams, enhancing the diversity within the research delivery workforce, often bringing great knowledge and expertise from other fields.

Certainly improving future workforce supply and security. And we really are hugely focused on that also. And it's related to the responsiveness and adaptability, the agility, and to be able to pivot to, to deliver all sorts of research and all sorts of places, through responsive research support teams.

To go to the next slide, please.

So what we're focused on as Kelly's mentioned, we have a programme running from the national perspective, hosted by the Clinical Research Network (CRN). It is multi-stakeholder and we have different organisations represented on the board for this programme. And this programme is all about growth and development for Clinical Research Practitioners, UK wide. 

So we're really thinking about colleagues in all parts of the UK for this. And there are three work streams within it. My work stream that I lead is all about understanding a bit more about the shape and size of the CRP workforce, we need to know more about numbers, and also thinking about who might be on a path to developing as a CRP. And that's important for us to understand.

Thinking about how, again, about the visibility, the description and the clarity of understanding what the CRP role is about and how it integrates into all systems and so on that support the employment side of things.

So for example, the Electronic Staff Record system and NHS employers and how they can support HR teams to understand the role and also market appropriately for training, then that's a big focus in this work stream.

And I'm not going to talk any more about the other work streams, because other colleagues are going to talk about that. So that workstream overall is all about raising awareness.

So Community Education and Engagement and CRP register growth, Maya will talk about next. And Kelly will talk about the education as well.

So go on to the next slide, please.

So this is a summary, and it's a really busy slide; I do apologise, but it's our collective to-do list for a while to come. So it's quite helpful if you wanted to share this information with anybody else or to be aware of what we are getting onto.

And as I say, this is a big collective effort with many working groups involved in all of the different pieces of work and many engagement groups also.

So it just highlights the different pieces of work that are ongoing. You might be aware that there is a gateway for accessing Clinical Research Practitioner registration opening up shortly, and some information about that will be coming out in the newsletter that is distributed to all who are signed up to the CRP directory and it will also reach you through our CRN Workforce Development leads.

But this gateway is around recognising the fact that there are many experienced practitioners in the workforce, who don't happen to have to have a degree but do have a lot of experience and knowledge and can access registration through this time limited gateway.

So that we don't disadvantage anyone in progressing their career further. And that gateway will be opening shortly, hopefully before the end of this year. 

The key deliverables I've talked about a little bit already in terms of strategic systems and also education that Kelly will talk about.

But overall, our key enabler for all of this work is growth of the CRP register. If we don't have good numbers on that register, we don't have so much of a voice. We have a great sized community on the CRP directory now, over 1,600 practitioners. And that's great. And that has really helped in terms of getting the ear of colleagues who can can help us with all of this work.

But what's really what's really great to see is that the CRP register numbers are growing, and I know that Maya will talk about that.

If you go on to the next slide, please.

So okay, we've talked a bit about practitioners and different levels of roles and responsibilities. 

And the CRP registration itself is pegged to level five of the skills for Health Career Framework. And I know we've had some feedback around this wording being a little bit vague but it's really been very helpful as a structure and a language that we will build on. I appreciate that it's very limited in the phrasing here, and it doesn't cover all of the nuances that you might need to refer to if you were thinking about 'Am I a practitioner or not?' 'Am I an assistant level practitioner, or not?' Where am I in my career development? So this is the from this language, we are currently working on defining much more clearly, different levels of roles and responsibilities for CRPs.

And we're obviously not stopping at the level that aligns to registration, we're thinking about what progression there might be available beyond that.

So if we can move on to the next slide.

And thinking again, don't forget that you have all of this information available to you the Scope of Practice for CRPs is where we always go back to and remember, what it is that CRPs really do.

Not every CRP will do everything on this list. Some of them may do more, they may do things in particular ways. And it will always depend on holding the appropriate training.

But the solid nature of this scope of practice really highlights that that is the case. CRPs are trained professionals and this is where we're always going to be coming back to this language.

So just to finish off then, I think were on the next slide,

it's also thinking about where you can work, this is really the key to the expanding portfolio as well. Expanding through health and social care, and thinking about the flexibility and the potential that CRPs have to contribute to that work.

So I know maybe I've rushed through those slides a little bit. But I think that's my last one. If you want to go on to the next one, It's just about getting in touch. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to get in touch directly.

And if you have interest in becoming involved in any of the work, we'd really love to hear from you.

And any of your points of view, that would be most welcome. Thank you.

Kelly Adams:

That's fantastic. Janice, thank you very much.

You didn't have very long to go through that and appreciate there is a staggering amount of work happening in that programme of activity.

So if you do have any questions for Janice, about that work, please do pop them in the Q&A box, so that we can all see them. And we'll get to those a little bit later on today.

So next up, we have my colleague Maya Leach, who is CRP Engagement Manager at the NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre.

And it will be Maya that's taking you through the national engagement work stream. So Maya, welcome.

Maya Leach:

Thank you very much, Kelly.

Yes, I am also a registered Clinical Research Practitioner. I think this explains my passion for these developments. So yeah, next slide please.

CRP registration. Why? So Janice mentioned that there are many CRPs in the research system and they have been working in research delivery for many years. And we were largely invisible over those years, unrecognised and also unregulated.

So, registration accredited by the Professional Standards Authority offers a level of regulation to the CRP workforce.

But also at the same time, it raises the profile of the role and gives CRPs a recognition that we deserve. So, registered CRPs, they can offer assurance to their study participants, study sponsors, clinical teams. The assurance in their competence because their competence has been confirmed by being accepted on the register.

It means they work to high standards of proficiency and they are really committed to continuously improving the practice. So it builds trust between different professions, different stakeholders.

Registration facilitates promotion of professional CRP workforce to new research landscapes. And also, as mentioned by Janice, is an enabler of further developments. 

Strategic developments, it's about strengthening careers for all research delivery staff, including CRPs.

Next slide, please.

So part of the workstream I've been leading on, the objective is to support effective registration for existing and future CRPs. This part of the workstream has been led by Fiona O'Neill, advisor from the Academy for Healthcare Science. And the priority in 2022 was to widen access to registration for experienced CRPs in the current workforce who don't hold a degree.

So as mentioned by Janice, the gateway is about to open and the update will be available in the next CRP bulletin. 

Also in order to support effective registration, we are committed to continuously improving resources, guidance for applicants and managers. And you'll play a crucial role here because we always value your feedback. We really appreciate any feedback because this feedback guides us in provision of better resources such as example templates. They were very well received by applicants to the register.

Step by step guidance, frequently asked questions. You can find these resources on the Academy for Healthcare Science website. You can also start your application on this website.

And there is a new NIHR CRP website. This website is more about engagement, community, you can find updates, current updates, information about upcoming events, you can find information about CRP bulletins, and also there is a list of local CRP engagement leads.

The Academy runs monthly drop in sessions for applicants. So I put the information here about the next drop in session in November. Please pop in and ask any question. There's no silly questions, anything that can support your application.

Next slide please.

So obviously, we want to increase the number of joiners to the directory and we want to increase numbers of registered CRPs.

And we doing this through ongoing promotion. We attend all different meetings at the local level and engage in conversations with our stakeholders, but we also organise larger events, such as the national CRP event back in March. It was a really well attended event, good engagement.

But most importantly, we received very good feedback from our delegates at the event about barriers to registration. And since then, we have been taking actions to address those barriers to overcome them.

So one of the action was, I support the CRP registration campaign. We ran it in July. So the objective was to show CRPs that there is a lot of support across the rich research system for the registration and for the professional development because it has been identified as a barrier, the lack of support from trusts and managers.

So we had really very good engagement with this campaign. You can see here some data from the Twitter account, 240 different Twitter accounts took part and this Twitter accounts, they belong to different trusts, different research organisations, different health care organisations, and also individuals. CRPs but also other professionals, all of them showing support to CRP registration.

And 1.41 million impressions on CRP content throughout the one week campaign compared to 200,000 impressions on average a month. So, this shows you how much interest there is in these developments.

Next slide please.

So, you can see that there are many CRPs who join the CRP directory each month on average about 60 a month. We also have many CRPs who start their applications to the register. So currently, just over 1,600 members on the directory and 135 registered CRPs and these numbers keep growing.

Next slide please.

The other objective of the workstream I have been leading on is supporting development of leadership in the CRP community. 

Emergence of a new profession is always a lengthy and complex process. And one of the requirements is to really have good leadership within the newly emerging profession. So we established a CRP engagement leads network across 15 Local CRN's. Their role is to lead engagement locally, support applicants and managers at the local level, and also promote registration and connect CRPs from the local area.

This is what your local CRP engagement lead, Kelly Adams, is doing by organising this webinar. It's all about promotion, engagement and connection.

We also have a CRP Leadership Forum. This forum sits with the Academy for Healthcare Science. It's a national network of passionate CRP advocates, CRPs who want to be a voice of this newly emerging profession. CRPs committed to improvement of our practice shaping our practice, we discuss best practice informed by current developments in a wider clinical research landscape.

We also committed to connecting the CRP community. So we set up our CRP group on LinkedIn, we set up our independent CRP Twitter account, all to connect with each other and also promote our role more widely.

Lastly, I wanted to mention about the Advancing Healthcare Awards. It's an award programme available to Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, but also since last year, this award is also eligible for CRPs.

So I encourage everyone to start nominating your emerging CRP leaders for this award, because it's a great opportunity to showcase the talents you've got in your organisations. Thank you so much.


Kelly Adams:

Fantastic Maya. Thank you.

Lots of really positive and inspiring pieces of work going on there and in particular, just really wanted again to draw everybody's attention to the bit on my slide that might have been easy to miss, around the impact of the I Support Clinical Research Practitioner Accredited Registration campaign earlier this year in the summer, there were 1.41 million impressions on social media and the comms team at the NIHR Coordinating Centre did share with us a few weeks ago that they've never had a campaign that has had quite that reach.

So really do just take a moment to feel very positive about the engagement and support and enthusiasm that's out there.

So thanks, Maya. And moving on now to the final of the three presentations we've got in this webinar, which is for me to talk you through and I'll be talking to you about the part of the CRP programme of activity that I lead, which is CRP Community Education and Training.

So next slide please.

So the workstream objectives for the CRP Community Education and Training groups are as follows. So we've been tasked with developing a career framework for Clinical Research Practitioners, which will be aligned with development available for other research delivery professionals. And we're hoping to do that by the end of March 2024.

Also, we're tasked with developing proposals to grow the intake of new entrants to the profession through a fast track development scheme, which will be funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and in partnership with the life sciences industry.

Next slide, please.

So this breaks down in a little bit more detail, the ways in which we are hoping to achieve those objectives. So you can see that we'll be developing proposals to grow the intake of new entrants to the profession through that fast track scheme. And I will be telling you a little bit more about that later on in this presentation. 

Also, for new entrants to the profession, we will be working to create a taught and practical element for the development scheme, which will result in HEI certification for those that work through that. 

And finally, really importantly, actually that sits alongside this is the development of a career framework that enables access to that education and training and development for all Clinical Research Practitioners. Because if we just develop the training in itself in isolation, and we don't have that career development framework, that sits up alongside it, then the training pathways and the training provisions that we offer simply won't work, we need to have that career pathway really firmly established at the same time as those training schemes go live.


So lots of really complex work happening around those two places.

Next slide, please.

So, progress to date, I thought it might be quite interesting for people to get an understanding today of the work that's happening behind the scenes in order to achieve all of these things.

So back in May this year, we established the CRP Community Education and Training working group and we meet on a monthly basis. And in our very first meeting, we spent quite a long time establishing exactly what the scope of our work would be and who that would reach out and include.

I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that the working group decided that we wanted the scope of the training and the career development that we established to be as inclusive as possible.

And what was really nice while we were having that discussion in that very first working group meeting, was to hear all of the stories from people at that working group, of the variety of backgrounds and skills and experience and knowledge that Clinical Trial Assistants and Clinical Research Practitioners within their teams bring to research delivery. And it was because of the diversity of the people that work so incredibly well in those roles already. 

Because of that diversity, we decided at that initial meeting that we had a responsibility to ensure that the training pathways that we create, also enable a diverse as possible group of individuals to be able to join those training programmes and come out as an accredited registered CRP at the end of it. 

So initially, we decided that the development of apprenticeship standards was out of scope for the whole Clinical Research Practitioner programme of work. However, when we talked about the practicalities of how a training scheme would work in the NHS, it was very much concluded by the people within the working group, that apprenticeships would really be the way to go.

So in order to make this a success, we kind of turned on our heels and we decided to throw all of our energy into looking at what we needed to do to develop those apprenticeship pathways.

And incidentally, I did want to mention a little bit about the membership of that working group. So we have a variety of people from across the country that include Senior Research Nurses, R&D leaders, Clinical Research Practitioners, who have already joined the directory and accredited register and Learning Managers as well.

So we have a real kind of breadth of experience in that working group. So once we'd established that, apprenticeships based training was the way to go, we started looking at what existing apprenticeships are already out there that might fit the needs of what we're looking to do. 

So we reviewed several existing relating apprenticeships for suitability and came to the conclusion that whilst there was an awful lot of overlap in those existing apprenticeships about research, delivery research, research design, Good Clinical Practice standards that would absolutely be applicable to a CRP apprenticeship. What was missing from many of those research focused apprenticeships was the clinical aspect of the role, which is extremely important. 

On the flip side, we reviewed a whole host of clinical based apprenticeships as well. And whilst they they largely fitted the bill for the clinical skills that CRPs needed to attain by the end of the apprenticeship, what was missing was the research knowledge and skills. 

So we decided that we would put forward a case to develop our own Clinical Research Practitioner apprenticeship. So we've worked with colleagues at Health Education England, to benefit from their support and expertise around what exactly it takes to develop those new apprenticeships. And actually, for those of you that haven't been involved in developing an apprenticeship, it it's not a quick piece of work at all, we are fully expecting that this is going to take at least the next couple of years, for us to achieve.

So lots of work going into that.

And along with colleagues at Health Education England, we've set out our case for the development of a new set of apprenticeship standards at academic level. So these are not Agenda for Change bandings, but academic levels five, which is undergraduate, six, which is graduate level, and seven, which is postgraduate.

Next slide, please.

Thank you.

So that was all of the preliminary work.

And remember, that's happened since just May this year. But where are we now? So, in terms of really working through all of the information that we have available to us to develop and design the new apprenticeships, we've had six hours of virtual meetings and many more hours of work offline, to work through the knowledge, the skills, the behaviours and the values that people undertaking the apprenticeship will need to be able to demonstrate that the end of it.

The working group have mapped to those values, skills, knowledge and behaviours. At the moment for level five assistant Clinical Research Practitioner apprenticeship. We are in the midst of working through what the values, skills, knowledge and behaviours need to look like for a level six Clinical Research Practitioner standard. We had a meeting earlier this week where we made some really good progress on that.

But it does take a lot of time. And so we are continuing to work through that.

Next slide, please.

Thank you.

In terms of next steps, obviously, we need to finalise the content of what needs to be in that level six apprenticeship in terms of those values, knowledge, skills and behaviours.

And then we'll do a final review of both the levels five and level six draft standards by our CRP Community Education and Training working group. And the reason that we want to review those side by side when they're both finished is because obviously, there needs to be similarities between the two. And obviously, the values and the skills and the knowledge and behaviours will need to be similar.

But for the level six, what we really need to make sure is that they are at that next level up that provides that practitioner level status for those that will be undertaking that part of the training pathway. So once our working group is content with that, we will share those with Health Education England and the Institute for Apprenticeship colleagues, for a expert academic review. And once they are content with what we have put together, they will also be reviewed by the R&D leadership community for relevant appropriateness and workability within the NHS because again, there's absolutely no point in putting lots of effort into creating these new apprenticeships, if they won't work in practice in an NHS setting. 

There'll be a final review by the CRP programme board, which sits nationally and has representation from our colleagues in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Before submission to the Institute for apprenticeships for approval.

Next slide please.

So, further steps, I put a picture in here of a really rocky muddy looking set of steps because this really depicts our journey for me. We are absolutely moving onwards and upwards for this, but it's a bit of a rocky pathway with lots of complex things to navigate. 

So we will be engaging with our R&D leadership community, NHS employers, NHS England and colleagues from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to agree what that defined career development pathway needs to look like, and ensure that that aligns closely to the training that we develop.

Next slide, please.

Then that's it. That's it from me. And thanks to fantastic timekeeping and prompts behind the scenes. We are bang on time for the next part of our session, which is the question and answer panel.

So I can see that Janice and Maya have joined me again in the spotlight there, where I will be putting your questions to all three of us.

So thank you to those of you who submitted questions in advance of today using the question function within Eventbrite. So I think we'll start off with a couple of questions that have come to us via the booking system. And then try and pick up on those questions that we have seen coming through in the Q&A function again. Do add any other questions, as you think of them, to the Q&A function, and we will try to get to those.

So the first question is, "Do professionals working in research who are already registered with the HCPC, gain any benefits from also joining the CRP directory and the accredited register?"

And so I'm not sure who wants to take that.


Janice Paterson:

That's a really interesting question. So there are two things happening at once, really.

So the professional registration, your HCPC registration, is your professional registration already established.

And you probably don't need to change that. Unless you really feel that your direction of professional development is going to be very different. And you would rather be registered as a CRP.

I think that's the general position.

But if you're registered with the HCPC and your professional registration can continue with revalidation on that basis, then there's no need to change that.

In terms of joining the directory, I think that's a really interesting question. And we're at a great point of development right now. We are initially set up the CRP directory, almost solely as a community building platform and pipeline to registration.

It still is partly partly that, but there is this growing community of registered professionals in research delivery, who may want to come together as a professional association. And I think that's where we're at now, in terms of the changing landscape, but I don't know if that helps?

So I think there would be no barrier or problem with you joining the directory

Maya, do you want to say anything else about that?

Maya Leach:

Yeah. All I know, it's because I had query like this previously and I reached out to the Academy for Healthcare Science. So the answer was that if an individual believes that having a registration with the Academy for Healthcare Science as a Clinical Research Practitioner will benefit them and their professional development, then they are still allowed to gain this registration.

Janice Paterson:

Yeah, that's true. In terms of the regulatory system, there is no problem with dual registration and in a fitness to practice situation, then it's the statue of registration that would take precedence.

Hope that's helpful.

Kelly Adams:

Great, that's lovely. Thank you both.

Just picking up on on that that kind of benefit side of things.

I just wanted to bring in, not so much a question but a comment, that's come through on the Q&A function from Natalie, who has been told today by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that if we join the CRP register,  we can no longer have RCN membership as support worker members.

Obviously not as qualified nurses, we can't join as registered either. Are you aware of this?

It's not something that I'm aware of. But Janice?

Janice Paterson:

No, I think it'd be really helpful to have more information around that.

I know that obviously the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) look after nursing associates and so on. I think it's complex ground to navigate.

And I think it'd be really helpful to have a more in depth understanding of that. So it's something for us to, to be fully aware of Natalie. If you're happy to email me? That would be great. Thank you.

Kelly Adams:

Lovely. Thanks, Janice.

So we have another question that's come through on the Q&A function from a colleague. Who is a new Senior Clinical Trials Assistant.

And has asked how long it will take to register as a Clinical Research Practitioner. I'm assuming that that question relates to registration on the accredited register.

So Maya, I know that you've worked through the process yourself. So did you want to? Did you want to take this one?

Maya Leach:

Yes, of course. So someone who has just started their career in research delivery. And I know the person mentioned the job title Senior Clinical Research Assistant, yeah?

What this person will need to establish first because I don't know the background, how long they've worked in research. So what they need to establish first is whether they work at the practitioner level rather than assistant level, because the job titles can be misleading. 

At this stage, we have people with assistant in their job title who actually work at the practitioner level. So this is something to discuss with your line manager. And then if you agree that you work at the practitioner level, you will need to work at the practitioner level for at least one year before you can apply for accredited registration. So because this is the minimum time when you can really gain comprehensive knowledge or the skills requirements and meet standards of proficiency, to demonstrate that you are ready to join the register. I hope it helps.

Kelly Adams:

That's great. Thank you, Maya.

So lots of questions coming through now. We are going to take one that came in via the Eventbrite now, because Janice, I know that you you've actually both Janice, and Maya you very briefly touched upon this in your presentations, but I know we didn't have very much time.

So the question is, the CRP page states and access route for CRPs, who have developed their careers, through experience and who do not have level six qualifications will be available later in 2022. When is this likely to be?

And do you have any more information please?

So Janice, I don't know whether you wanted to take the opportunity to expand a little bit more on that now?

Janice Paterson:

Yeah, sure.

So this gateway is going to be operational, we hope, by December. I think the first window of applications will be received in January. That's my understanding, this is not firm. But I think there abouts right now.

The current issue of the CRP directory bulletin will have all of the information about what this additional step in the process is. That's what it amounts to this



gateway for practitioners who have lots of experience and no degree, are asked to complete some additional information. To really assess against suitability for accessing registration through this pathway. It's hopefully not too onerous to complete, it does require line managers support.

But guidance and a fairly short template are going to be made available through the bulletin, this coming bulletin.

It will reach you by other routes. So we will make sure that nobody misses out on that. And we will post it on the website as well, the CRP community website as well.

So yeah, in terms of holding back then it's, it's an extra step. You would still have to go through the normal route, the CRP registration process after this, but it's kind of a decision on your eligibility, suitability for doing that.

And that's what it's all about. So hopefully, that is going to be operational. And we're really keen to know who is interested in accessing that.

And part of the stuff that's going out in the current comms is an expression of interest form, if that can hopefully reach you. If you need it, we can also email it to anybody who wants to share their email address with us, to just note that you are going to come through to access to CRP registration through that route.

It helps us manage the demand and make sure that we have operations working optimally.

Thanks for the question really, really timely.

Kelly Adams:

Great, thanks, Janice.

So I'm going to flip to the Q&A questions now and one has come in from Andrew, it's a two part question.

So first is, ‘What is the approximate current successful transition percentage for people applying for and receiving accredited registration status?’

So what percentage of people applying do actually go on to attain that accredited registration?

I'm not sure whether we've got that data.

We've got lots of data about the registration process, but I'm not sure about that level?

Maya Leach:

I can comment.

Kelly Adams:

Thank you, Maya.

I know that people who start the application and submit the application to for accredited registration to the Academy for Healthcare Science, it's very unlikely to have their applications rejected. I think it only happened once. 

So the worst case scenario is really that you will be asked to expand more, provide more evidence, provide more information. So please, don't be discouraged. Apply and watch what might happen, you might just be asked or provide more evidence. 

Thank you.

Kelly Adams:

That's great. Thanks for taking that Maya.

And also just a shout out for session four in this webinar series, where we will be highlighting and showcasing a whole host of resources and materials that are aimed at supporting CRPs who wish to apply for attaining accredited registration to help you to do that. But also, we will have some supporting resources and materials for line managers who will be helping CRPs that they line manage through that process.

So hopefully, that will stand everybody in really good stead for their applications.

So just moving down, we've got a question from Ben.

So Ben, you're asking for clarification on level five or level six standards required as a registered Clinical Research Practitioner compared to an assistant CRP role.

So great question Ben. Level five, will be for an assistant Clinical Research Practitioner. And level six will be for a Clinical Research Practitioner, because as we know, you need to have a level, at least a level six academic qualification currently to be able to join the accredited register.

So the level five apprenticeship route that we are working up will enable people to qualify as an assistant clinical research practitioner, with the level six qualification aiming at the end of it for people to be able to work towards attaining their accredited registration as a Clinical Research Practitioner.

So I hope that that clears things up.

We've got a few minutes left, there's a really a slightly different question coming through from Vicki. So Maya I'm going to put this one to you. It's, 'Is another national CRP promotion event planned for spring next year?'

Maya Leach:

Oh, yes. I wonder if Vicki has heard something already.

But yes, we are very excited.

We are planning our first conference for registered CRPs. But I believe we will be also welcoming CRPs, who have already started their application, and it will be a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with our growing professional community of CRPs.

So yeah, it's planned to take place in March 2023.

Kelly Adams:

That's great. Thank you, Maya.

And just quickly to go back to the previous question that I was answering about level five and level six qualifications. Those levels relate to academic levels and not the Agenda for Change banding level.

So it's very easy to get the two confused, especially when they're kind of very similar numbers. So the level five and level six qualifications that we weren't talking about earlier that relates to academic levels, not bandings within Agenda for Change, and that's why the piece of work to align a career framework and pathway for Clinical Research Practitioners is so important to align that with those training pathways because we need to make sure we all have a shared understanding of exactly what levels people are able to practise at and work at when they have finished those training programmes.

I think we probably have time for one more question. I'm just looking for something slightly different that we've not seen yet.

Okay, there’s one that's just come through now.

So, “Is there a standardised competency framework to which aspiring CRPs should work?”

“One of the things that slowed momentum behind CRP registration in a particular trust was the need to align with a recognised competency framework and the fact that there were several in use nationally.”

So that's a question that's come through on the chat.

Janice, can I ask you to take that one?

Janice Paterson:

Yeah, sure. So there's not really, like you say, there's a bit of variability with a national standardised competency framework.

And that is really quite difficult. And what we're where we've suggested people could start is that a number of local networks, East Midlands began this initiative and others did independently, have ended up developing resources that are really similar in that there are multi-professional competency, induction and competency frameworks.

And they cover again, areas that we feel are important to cover, like the clinical context of the work, the clinical research skills, and leadership.

So those three domains were what came out in our work on maybe a resource that we maybe haven't used not so much either. But integrated workforce framework, we can put the links out for that as well. 

But don't worry so much about that. I think, it's likely that you're working to an evidence based development and induction process in your role anyway, even if that varies across trust, that's not a problem.

What is important, and it relates to a question that came up earlier around that, you know, what's the variation in the applications that come through and how many are accepted or not.

This is all about local documentation and the variation among across the country, it does exist, but we're gaining a good understanding of that range.

And so in terms of what's acceptable within the range, we'd be happy to look at what you might start with, and help support you individually with that, but really, the range of variation is not so broad.

So there are some national resources, some regional resources that are effectively useful nationally, but we're finding that that's maybe not so important. And the regional variation is totally to be expected.

And you know, that works for that for the role and the trust that you're working in. So again, happy to take out an individual query about that, if that's helpful.

Kelly Adams:

Thanks, Janice.

So we've got just a couple of minutes left now.

I want to say many thanks to Janice and Maya for joining us today and talking us through all of the really exciting and interesting work that's happening as part of the NIHR, CRP programme of activity.

Huge thanks also to the amazing team behind the scenes who have worked so hard to make this webinar run seamlessly today. So thank you all for that. It really has been fantastic to hear more about the work that's happening to support the development of the Clinical Research Practitioner workforce and also to see all of the enthusiasm that you share for this reflected in the questions that you've sent through on the Q&A today.

So thank you for getting involved and engaging with us.

Thanks again for your participation, we really hope that you found it useful and perhaps even learn something new today.

We hope to see you all again soon, perhaps during the rest of the series of webinars in the next few weeks. But thank you very much and goodbye.