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Transcript for Clinical Research Practitioner Webinar 4


Transcript for Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) Webinar 4

Kirsty Rogers: Thanks for joining us for the final session of this month's Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) webinar. I'm just going to ask Bev, next slide, please.

My name is Kirsty Rogers. I'm the Education and Training Manager here at CRN Wessex. And I'm going to be chairing this session today because Kelly Adams is sadly unavailable. So before I introduce you to our speakers and panel members, I've got a few pieces of information and housekeeping to run through with you.

This webinar, much like the others, is being recorded so that it can be added to our NIHR Learn section along with all the documents to form a CRP Wessex toolkit to guide you through the CRP application process. It means you can watch the videos back and also that we can share the recordings with colleagues that aren't able to attend.

All your cameras and microphones are disabled other than the host's on the webinar, so we can't see you or hear you.

So feel free to eat your lunch, grab a cup of tea, as you watch. If you're not comfortable with the webinar being recorded, please take this opportunity to leave the call.

You can always catch up with it later on, on NIHR Learn as I mentioned. So this session will be an overview of the first three sessions we've had along with a bit more information on reflective practice and the CRP application documentation.

We encourage you to engage with us in the session via the Q&A function in Zoom at the bottom.

And we'll be spending some time at the end of the webinar to put the questions to the panel.

And there will be an opportunity to up vote, if you'd like, for questions that you feel are most relevant so we can make sure we get to those first.

The chat function has been disabled so the only way you'll be able to contact us is via the Q&A.

Behind the scenes, we have some of our amazing team keeping an eye on the panel chat and the Q&A function so if there are questions that can be answered during it, then we will do that.

Okay, so I'm coming up first to give a summary of our first session, which was an overview of the CRP role. Next slide.

So, we were joined in the first week with Kelly Adams, Deputy Chief Operating Officer from CRN Wessex and the Head of Research Workforce Development and she explained how nationally we've had widespread shortages in healthcare professionals in the NHS over the last few years. And this includes research.

And she explained how, as a result of that, there had been the development of the Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) role, and how centrally the NIHR has three workstreams for the CRP development.

So that's strategic CRP development, CRP engagement and register growth and CRP community education and training.

We're really delighted to have presentations from all of the workstream leads on that first meeting, and it started with Janice Patterson, who is the Workforce Strategy lead, who discussed the journey to registration and the NIHR's continued strategic development in investing in CRPs.

So Janice provided a brief overview of the NIHR Workforce Strategy prior to the development of the CRP role, and explained that the CRP term is an umbrella term that's intended to incorporate unregistered staff who work in a research delivery capacity with clinical patient facing roles.

She explained that back in 2018, it was identified that in order to assist with the NHS Recovery, Resilience and Growth programme in research, there was a weak identity for staff that worked in that unregistered role, and that there needed to be an identity for those staff and that's when the work began between the NIHR and the Academy for Healthcare Sciences to establish and strengthen that role identity.

We were introduced to the type of task that might be included in the CRP role like screening patients, seeking informed consent, to clinical sampling and taking patient's vital signs.

We learned about how CRPS could be in lots of different settings from primary to secondary care, and through to schools, prisons and private health care services.

The next person that we were joined by was Maya Leach and she was discussing the engagement and registry growth that she's working on nationally within the NIHR Coordinating Centre.

So Maya herself is a registered CRP and she really demonstrated her enthusiasm in helping to grow the community and introduced us to things like the CRP bulletin found on the NIHR CRP website, as well as explaining the regular drop ins that happen for CRPs and interested CRPs who can join and discuss questions and queries about the role.

It was really great that Maya shared how in July 2022, there was an 'I support CRP registration’ campaign on Twitter. And they obtained 1.4 million impressions, which is amazing, about CRP content throughout the week.

And that actually had a massive impact on people joining the register in July and August. So hopefully, these sessions will have the same effect.

And finally, we were joined by Kelly Adams, who is leading the community education and training workstream, and about how the NIHR is really working to develop the framework for CRPs.

This is planned to align with the development of other research delivery staff by March 2024. And that's at level five for the Associate CRP, level six for the CRP. And there is also hopefully going to be worked on a level seven as well, and more information on that will be to come.

And there is also a proposal of a fast track development scheme that's going to be funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, along with the life sciences industry partners.

Kelly explained how there is also work with Health Education England discussing how they might develop apprenticeship standards. And this is working alongside the NHS education partners to align to the current NHS career pathways.

So all in all, we had a great first session to begin our webinars. And so without further ado, I'll pass you to Javi who's going to summarise our second webinar and talk about reflective practice.

Javier Magán: Hi, good morning everyone and thank you, Kirsty. So as Kirsty has said, my name is Javier and I'm one of the CRN research nurses.

And I had the pleasure to chair the second event of this CRP series that we've presented. That was the insight into the day in the life of a CRP.

During this event, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to listen to some great speakers.

So the event started with Andrew, one of our CRN CTAs, and Andrew discussed and reflected on his perspective of the CRP accreditation, and also the career pathway that has been developed and at that point, Andrew raised some really interesting questions, which were echoed by some of the attendees later on.

Following this, Matt and Donna introduced their presentation of their journey of becoming a Clinical Research Practitioner, and how working within a CRP role has changed their career progression opportunities.

Matt and Donna gave a very valuable insight, including top tips on what to expect and how to prepare for the CRP registration.

I would thoroughly recommend you to catch up on the recordings if you're interested, once they're available on NIHR Learn.

Finally, joining Andrew, the attendees had the opportunity to ask questions to the panellists and some of these questions included: What are the standards of proficiency for the role as a CRP? And also the identification that by completing the accredited registration you will not automatically have a change in position or salary.

So to answer this, the NIHR and local CRNs are having conversations with organisations to consider enabling future opportunities for progression and growth in the CRP pathway.

Furthermore, line managers are being asked and encouraged to have conversations with local leads and Human Resources to highlight and understand the benefits that creating these CRP positions will bring to each organisation.

So these questions and more that were asked during the meeting are recorded, so as I say, if you're interested in this subject, please go and catch up with the recordings that will be available, hopefully by mid December, and we'll make sure that we share them with you.

So next slide, please. So, now I'm going to do a brief catch up or introduction of reflective practice. So some people may feel like some of those emojis when they hear reflective practice.

But hopefully with this introduction, you'll be a bit more familiar with what it is, and why it's so important. So if we start by having a look at the picture on the left hand side, reflective practice can be defined with that picture. So reflective practice is about you, and your experiences at work, and it's about revisiting those experiences, and taking it a step further.

So thinking about your assumptions, your training, your attitudes, your values and your beliefs that made you act, the way you acted on that experience.

And then, even if you take it a step further, is to justify your actions and try to get deeper meaning from that. And ideally, you will get some learning to solve some problems or to get some changes for yourself as a professional.

So reflective practice is quintessential in clinical practice, and therefore is one of the requirements to complete the CRP accreditation, hence we're touching on it here. Some of you may already do it, others possibly do it without realising or being aware that there are some specific models or guidance. And for others, it may be a new skill that you will need to practise.

So there's a lot of definitions, but one of them says that reflective practice can be described as an active process by which one can gain an understanding on how past experiences can guide and support personal and professional development, and identify strengths and weaknesses.

So to make it simpler, it's almost like, if, after an event, a work event such as, it can be anything like a work meeting, or interaction with a participant, you will be presented with the opportunity to jump into a time machine, and just go back and revisit it and do it all over again.

So it's likely that at that point, you may think or reflect on a few aspects such as, how did it go? Those things that worked well and those things that didn't. And you may even think about how you feel through that event, and maybe how other people felt through the event.

And so that is, in a nutshell, reflective practice. So why it is important? So reflective practice is important because it's an opportunity to analyse and gain further awareness of your own knowledge, experiences, perspective, assumptions, trainings, and beliefs, and to check that those experiences make sense to you.

And also, it will allow you to question those assumptions, beliefs, trainings and the implications that or impact that they may have.

So, just to emphasise again, in the picture on the left hand side, reflective practice is personal, and it's about you, so there's not necessarily a right or wrong way of doing it. And it's a new skill for some of you, it may feel odd at the beginning, but I assure you that with practice, you will improve and you will be able to significantly benefit from it as long as you approach it from an honest and open mindset.

So next slide, please. So because of all those reasons that we've mentioned, and because it's different for everyone, there are several reflective models, which may help you or guide you through this process.

And using the model is highly recommended, as it will prompt you to think and consider the whole picture. And in most cases, some of the suggested status within the model or questions, will aid you in exploring not only the facts, but also the feelings, motivations, assumptions and beliefs as we've briefly mentioned before, and that you have experienced from a critical point of view.

So we've put a couple of models here. So if we start with the one on the right hand side, that is the Gibbs' Reflective Learning Cycle. So this is one of the most famous and used cyclical models of reflection and leads you through six stages to explore an experience.

So, it normally asks you to start with the description of what happened, and then encourages you to think about the feelings. So what were you thinking and feeling during that event? He prompts you to go even further, like an extra step, and go into an evaluation of what was good and bad about the experience.

And even to analyse, what sense can you make of that situation? So they say this cycle is really effective, because it draws you through all that, and also encourages you to draw on a conclusion to what else could you have done?

So if we go back to a time machine, how could you approach it differently? And that links with that action plan. This model is used by many clinicians to reflect on events. And more prompting questions for each of those stages that I've just read through can easily be found on the internet, however, it's not the simplest model, and for some people, it may even feel daunting to go through some of those stages.

So for that reason, there's a number of other models that may be easier to approach or a bit simpler. So one of them is the one on the left hand side.

So Borton's model, which as you can see is still cyclical, but only has three stages and may be easier to start with. So the status within the Borton's model are 'What', so describe the event or the action. So what? So then you think about why those actions or that event was significant. And now what, so you're explaining how would you use that information to inform future practice?

So using a simpler model doesn't mean that your learnings will be reduced, but as the questions are more open, it may feel less restrictive or daunting, or even less leading, and it's always a good starting point. So yes, that's the summary of this brief introduction of reflective practice and some of the models. You can reflect on any event, no matter how big or how small.

So something like how receiving a participant with a smile may contribute to a successful communication, to reflect on how an emergency situation went. However, the most important area of reflective practice is to learn from this process, as this is not only an important part of the CRP registration, but it will also greatly support your growth as a professional.

So after that brief introduction of reflective practice and models, please do put any questions that you may have on the Q&A and we'll aim to address them during the Q&A panel at the end.

But now I'm going to hand over to Kirsty Gladas, who is going to continue with this presentation.

Kirsty Gladas: Thank you Javi, a really great summary of reflective practice and different models so thank you very much.

Hello, everybody. My name is Kirsty Gladas, I'm the Senior Research Nurse Manager for the CRN Wessex team. And I had the pleasure of chairing the third meeting webinar last week where we had Rachel Schranz for the line manager, personal views, and she's a Research Sister at UHS for the emergency department team.

And we had Marie Nelson, who is the Head of Research for Nursing and Professions at UHS, to give a bigger overview so I'm just going to give you a little summary of each of their presentations in case you missed it.

So, Rachel's personal views on being the first in Wessex to support a new, or certainly within UHS, to support a new Band 5 CRP through the accreditation process. She talked a little bit about how she went about gathering all she thought she needed to complete the process.

And I think it was safe to say that at first, she was a little unsure. Partly because some of that sort of included challenges such as not necessarily having someone dedicated to specifically guide Rachel through the process. 

And I think that this may have been particularly noticeable coming from the tried and tested methods that we've had and seen within nursing and by belonging to the NMC for those of us that are in the nursing and midwifery professions.

However, Rachel's experience was therefore felt to be sort of more of a self-directed process, which again, we're all capable of doing. But I think from experience from a student nurse sort of overview and background and supporting them through their training, it did feel quite different.

So through these webinars actually, a suggestion for confirmer training for line managers was made, and I know that Kirsty Rogers and Kelly Adams are going to take this forward to the National Working Group, so maybe watch this space.

Despite feeling a little daunted at first, the familiarity of reviewing the CRP documentation, when comparing it to the NMC processes for student nurses, this had in turn provided Rachel with the confidence to push forward.

In addition to Rachel reviewing the resources on the NIHR site, the Academy for Healthcare Science, scope of practice and standards of proficiency, the CRP Directory and the registry overview, she also sought support where needed from peers, her line manager and Marie Nelson and Matt, the CRP himself.

So what went well? The more time Rachel spent reviewing key documents and working through Matt's reflections and evidence, the clearer the process became.

This began to build Rachel's confidence in following the process and subsequently, she will now go on to be a resource for other line managers to seek support and guidance from, and thereby sharing the lessons she learnt with others, not just within her own team, and institution, but also wider within Wessex, and on these webinars so national.

So the next steps for Rachel. So by sharing the process and the benefits for the individuals, both for the budding CRPs and the line managers, I think in time, I'm sure Rachel will hone her skills as a confirmer, and Matt will develop his reflection skills.

And whilst thinking and actively preparing his evidence for revalidation, ongoing continual professional development. So thank you both to Rachel and to Matt.

Next, we had Marie Nelson. So next slide, please.

Thank you.

So she is the R&D Head of Nursing and Health Professions at UHS. And this linked in quite nicely following from Rachel's presentation.

So I'm just going to highlight some key points that Marie brought to us. So filling the gap. So it was clear that there was sort of a service need, as previously, as mentioned earlier in Kirsty through Kelly, a difficulty in recruiting to current sort of registered posts nationally for the UHS team, and therefore a different strategy was needed.

And that thereby, the CRP role has come to fruition. There's also a patient benefit.By having a nationally recognised and respected status, the CRPs will become a recognised workforce within the team, the institution and the UK. And this will go to provide reassurance for the care that the patients are about to receive, as well as other multidisciplinary team members within the hospital setting and wider.

Also an organisational benefit. Research nurse posts are hard to feel so thinking outside of the box for those that come to the team with a wealth of experience and qualifications, and not just in the typically traditional routes that we see through generally the hospital settings.

By streamlining a new pathway, this supports the institution's for career development and pathway options.

Nobody wants to lose great staff for sort of limited progression opportunities and although we won't be able to meet the needs of everyone who has joined the team with a unique set of skills they come with, the CRP route has certainly demonstrated it has a place at UHS. It also brings with it a team benefit.

So adaptable skill sets from a variety of diverse backgrounds, helps to support a really strong team.

And, of course, all of these, service need, patient benefit, organisational benefit and team benefit will benefit the individual. Increasing capacity.

So the CRP are enabling more capacity and capability to deliver research. That's great. I think extra skill sets, really sort of highlight where maybe, we had those gaps in the future and they're becoming more and more evident.

They have adaptability to deliver across specialties and care settings, and they support the integration of the multidisciplinary teams, and the CRP role provides diversity within that research delivery workforce, and that's precisely where we're going forward as an NHS team and for the UK in where we're hoping to deliver in the future

This role also provides the wider research team the agility and responsiveness to work with other professions through having an agile research support team.

So, growing the workforce, incorporating the CRP role into established research teams improves the future workforce supply and security.

We don't want research to go anywhere, we want it to keep going. Career development, UHS will continue to develop Band 5 posts whilst looking to further explore development at higher bands, where appropriate within the team, thus supporting the retention of good staff. 

And next steps. So, from Marie's point of view, defining the role further, and the role expectations. It is a new role, and so there is learning on both sides. And ultimately, the organisation will need to make a space for that particular role within the current structure, and just sort everybody else's understanding of where that fits.

New job descriptions and person specifications will be reviewed, and they will need to be aligned with the UHS trust organisational structure and processes alongside the national workforce plans for the NHS and the NIHR.

And even more important is to share this success, so, again, thank you to Maria and Rachel for sharing what they've been able to put into practice so far.

And I'm conscious that others are making progress as well within Wessex, but I guess, UHS were in a position to sort of be lucky and put themselves forward.

We were able to hear from them for the last couple of weeks. So I feel that we are encouraged by Rachel and Marie's presentations last week, so much so that we are at CRN Wessex going to explore the options further for our own CRP post, Band 5 posts within our regional clinical delivery team.

Next slide, please. So this is a rather busy infographic on a slide set, however, you'll be able to see this in more detail and more clearly, in the toolkit that you will be provided with, by mid December, with all of these recordings and lots of other resources to really point you all in the in the right direction.

Next slide, please. I'm just going to talk a little bit about some of the key points from it. So you can see here, the first step is to join the CRP Directory. And again, this is easy to do. And you can do this by logging on into that NIHR e-learn and that will point you in the right direction.

But also in terms of double checking, if you think that you will meet that criteria, the AHCS have provided guidance for managers to support applicants. And then also there is the CRP guidance for applicants so that you can work through all of the detail in there to double check that this is something that you want to progress to as well. And that will ensure that you are covering, sort of unchecking, all of the eligibility criteria.

Next slide, please.

So, just to make it really clear, joining the CRP Directory is free. And it is for anyone working in the patient facing research delivery role that is not already on a professional register. So the benefits we've talked about over the last three weeks. And again, by accessing the CRP Directory, it kind of shows that intent of your sort of next steps both for you as an individual, for the institution, to your line manager.

And the AHCS, who really wants to see intent from numbers of individuals signing up so that they can push forward with sort of their academic pathway. And you also will get access to the CRP bulletin, and have a contribution to shaping the CRP profession going forward.

So we're really sort of building this new pathway and you get to be part of it. And then the next step is the CRP Register.

That will be changing in terms of not necessarily needing a degree, but we'll talk about that a little bit later. But having sufficient training and practice and experience to apply.

And once you're on that register, it's a 30 pound annual fee that you as an individual will have to pay. And, and it covers you in terms of benefits of being a regulatory body and confirms the professional practice that defines a basic minimum standard and continues through ongoing CPD.

This is to protect the public, the employer and the individual. And we'll talk about the next wave a bit later. Next slide please.

So the CRN Wessex team have a number of different documents, but we actually spotted that the team in the West Midlands had a competency framework. And I believe it was adapted from the UK CRF Network. And so we've borrowed it ourselves and tweaked it. So thank you to them for making a good start.

So for those of you that don't already have various different competency documents that you can use towards your evidence, you can use this, this will be part of the toolkit that you will have access to by mid December, and it will be there for all of the budding CRPs within CRN Wessex to access.

And this will make a good start to  developing your portfolio of evidence, you will need to have some practice development conversations.

These are regular conversations, at least every three months, with your line manager to discuss your experiences, your understanding and highlighting achievements and concerns or areas of focus.

That's there for all, so thank you. Next slide, please.

Part of the document goes through framework sections, and it gives you the different levels there demonstrated. And they're not too dissimilar from the competency levels that some of you have already experienced.But just to say, there's some nice guidance in there, so if you're using that document alongside the scope of practice and standards of proficiencies, you're going in the right direction.

And obviously, you have us to ask any questions, about any of those documents as well, and we've got the information and contact details at the end for today.

Next slide, please. So whilst you're working through that competency document, you've also got the option to have action plans and progress reports.

And I really encourage you to use this document to the best of its ability, it really helps steer you into the right direction, and make sure that you're not losing momentum. I think with a full time job and study and trying to sort of you know, live your life time passes quite quickly, and so following these guidance, and putting it in your calendars and making sure these meetings are happening, not too dissimilar from one to ones or appraisals, it all forms part of it, this can really sort of make sure that you stay on track for that end result.

Next slide, please.

Okay, so evidence forms. There's some evidence forms in terms of feedback to inform your practice. So you're expected to have two examples of feedback from the 12 month period, demonstrating your use of feedback to influence your practice.

So feedback from colleagues or patients can be written or verbal, but obviously should not include any personal identifiable data. And then you also need two examples of effective communication, either observed by a supervisory registered health care professional colleague, and/or in the process of obtaining informed consent, if this is a part of your role.

And again, no personal identifiable information. So they're just the titles of the forms, the forms are obviously in full A4 format.

Next slide, please.

So Javi gave us a lovely overview of reflection. So you'll need to provide three reflective accounts, one on professional responsibility ideas, a second on leadership, and a third about working across boundaries. So I won't talk about that anymore. But just to say, look at the documentation. And on the next slide.

You can see that it kind of just gives you little pointers about what to look for and what direction they're wanting you to go in, as well as it being personable to you, and encouraging you to use those reflective models.

Thank you. Next slide, please.

So we've already mentioned the standards of proficiency and scope of practice for CRPs. This is absolutely something to look for, or and look at, before signing up for the Directory, to just check that actually, this is what you want. But also this is what you're going to be sort of held against in terms of your practice and your professional standards and your behaviours of what we would like to see for CRPs.

So if that's what you've checked, and all was great, and you wish to continue, then you can sign up for that Directory. And then you'll be working on these in more detail through the course of completing that competency document and aiming for accreditation.

And just before you do your final check, it's worth just going through all of those one last time, both individually and with your line manager, to make sure that you achieve all of those so that you're not asked for any extra documentation, at a later date to delay that accreditation.

Next slide, please.

So, the final section is the confirmation process. So this is where you've gathered all of that evidence, data, reflective pieces, and you've spent months of work, bringing it all together. And your manager says yes, I believe we're good to go. You will send off your information, along with this confirmation page. And this is what your line manager will sign off to say that they believe that you've achieved the recommended standards to join the Accredited Register.

So this is an exciting page. And good luck to anyone who is wishing to go through the process. I think CRPs are going to be the future of the NIHR. And certainly going to support us in our research missions going forward.

Next slide, please.

So, kind of hot off the press- experience practitioner gateway to Clinical Research Practitioner registration. So this has been agreed by the AHCS for a limited time period. And I believe it's going to open in December, but quite what date, I'm not sure yet. But the gateway closes in January 2025.

This is in order to recognise experienced CTAs who are able to evidence that they have a minimum of three years working at the level of a practitioner. But who don't hold a level six qualification, so a degree or equivalent and recognise that actually, there's a lot of skills and experience out there, and whilst you don't have that academic tickbox, you most certainly can do the role is just evidencing that, and there's a way to do it.

And, and you will need to gather a lot more evidence. So it may be a little bit more work at the beginning, but I think it will be fruitful. So the application is via the normal register process. But there'll be a panel that reviews the application. And again, it might be that they want to see more evidence.

So it might be you know, not now but if you can get this, this and this, then it looks like we're heading in the right direction. And your line manager will help support you with that.

But again, if this is something that you're interested in doing, you need to be having those conversations with your line manager anyway, and get their support.

So the panel will comprise of representatives from the AHCS and two representatives who have knowledge and experience of the CRP role and the career pathways.

So a very good understanding of what's required. And again, as mentioned, there's going to be a feedback process and an appeals process included.

Thank you very much. Next slide.

So also just to say, William Van Hoff is our chief executive of the NIHR Clinical Research Network and he is very happy with the progress that's being made and can really see the benefit of the CRP role within the NIHR.

And, and actually, the growth of the CRP profession is going to be critical to the development of a vibrant future research workforce within the UK. And just to empower everybody across the health care service to participate in delivering research. So, we've got our own cheerleader there.

Thank you very much. Next slide.

Over to you, Kirsty. Thank you, everybody.

Kirsty Rogers: Thanks, Kirsty. That was amazing. Thanks for that overview, I think you're

right. I think it is a really exciting time. And it's great that the head of the NIHR is so behind this scheme, which really helps spur us on.

So what now locally? So we think, just to sum up, we've mentioned about the CRP bulletin. These slides will be sent around after the webinar, and you'll therefore be able to have the links.

I have linked in the chat, we had a question about the websites, and that will be there, and also that will be added into the NIHR Learn CRP toolkit that we've talked about that we're going to be adding by mid December.

Get yourself added on to the Directory. As Kirsty said, it's free to add yourself on. You'll then automatically get put onto the bulletins. And you'll be able to start working your way through getting your evidence together.

Do take a look at the national documentation that already exists on the Academy for Healthcare Science's website, because there is lots of guidance, however, the stuff that we'll be adding on is just to try and summarise it a little bit more, because there are quite long forms.

Take the opportunity to discuss coming to these webinars and your thoughts about the role with your line manager, or managers to discuss the opportunities with your staff.

Because by having those conversations, you'll be able to discover if people are looking to develop in this way. And as I mentioned, the toolkit and the webinars will be added to an NIHR Learn by mid December.

If you have got any questions about the process, drop us an email. We'll be happy to help. We have been having, following the webinar, some queries coming through, which have been really great.

And yeah, thanks for joining us. So we've had a few questions come through. I'll just put those to the panel.

So one of the questions that we had was there's a member that's joined today who had attended a CRN Eastern event, and the Workforce Development Manager asked if she could become a CRP link to the trust, this person is the only CRP in that trust, and I've kind of said to go back and find out whether it's more like an ambassador role, and I just wondered Javi or Kirsty, if we have any ambassadors locally in our region?

Kirsty Gladas: So not specifically ambassadors that I'm aware of, but we do have a couple who we've put forward to support some working groups, alongside Kelly. So whilst we don't specifically have that, that can be something that we can look into to see if it is coming from the groups that Kelly links in with, or whether that's just a local opportunity.

Javier Magán: I believe it's a national thing, these working groups, and I think the person that is organising them, for the person that asked the question, is Maya Leach, who was one of the speakers in their first series of these events.

So we'll make sure that those contact details for Maya are shared. I think Maya will be the best person to contact in regards of that, because she's organising these working groups.

Kirsty Gladas: Thanks, Javi.

Kirsty Rogers: Great. Thanks, Javi. So, to the person, I can't see who you are, because it says anonymous, but if you wanted to drop us an email to get my as email address, that's not a problem. The next question is how many years experience are you expected to have before applying for the register? 

Javier Magán: So I'm sorry, Kirsty, possibly you can add to that, but I've briefly answered that. I think what they recommend is one year (12 months) experience to be able to reflect on your experiences, but it may turn out that by looking at the standards of proficiency and the competencies, some of them may be completely new to you, and you may need a bit longer to work on those. But others, may be things that you've worked within a previous role and you may be able to extrapolate some of those learnings.

Kirsty Gladas: And can I just add, were they referring to whether they had qualifications beforehand or without the degree? 

Kirsty Rogers: The question was asked before you said the slides about the alternative pathway. So obviously, that's a really important bit to add, Kirsty, is that if it is via that new route that's opening in December without a degree, then it is us that there's three years working at a practitioner level. Thank you for highlighting that.

And I think you're right, Javi, I think there was some data that came out that talked about how long the application takes and thinking about evidence and that sort of thing. So it is about a year. But obviously, it's really great if you can get started on it early and be working through those competencies to lead up to that application.

Whereas the people that we've been joined with so far are kind of done that work retrospectively. Now, we've got all this new guidance coming out, it means that you can work on it actively, which is good.

Just taking another look at the questions. So another question that we've had is what level should you be reaching in the competency framework to become registered? Kirsty, I know that you and I have been discussing this one about the competency framework.

So, we haven't said the competency framework in full on here, but the competency framework has four levels to be able to obtain. Obviously, as the NIHR we can't dictate what your employer or your line manager will feel is relevant to you and within your role as your competency.

But within our discussions previously, Kirsty and I have been saying it would probably sit around about a level two, level three of those competencies, but it is important to discuss the expectations with your line manager.

Certainly in terms of the register, they've not specified a particular level. Kirsty, do you have anything to add?

Kirsty Gladas: No, I think you've summarised it well, Kirsty. You're right, depending on, I guess, they might want that to match up with banding as well going forward. But again, that will end up being a trust decision. And we can just sort of put the guidance out there and see how it sort of taken up.

Kirsty Rogers: That's right and again, I think we've mentioned it in our other sessions. So if others haven't joined those, it's because this is such a new thing, some of that is still work in progress. So at this point, it's not the case as Kirsty said, but over time, that might be something that happens.

Another question we've had is, from someone saying, will level six education be available to all CTAs?

Does anyone want to take that one? Kirsty?

Kirsty Gladas: Thank you. So again, this is going to be trust specific. There's not necessarily money for every CTA to be put through level six education. But certainly, there will be opportunities that you're likely to be able to apply for. 

Certainly, I know, there is within UHS, but as with all courses, and going off my own experience from nursing, quite often, there's a couple of courses that may be available and if you're interested, you put your name forward, but you might be one of many who puts their self forward for a particular course and therefore, there can be strong competition, and it might not be a full course it might be a module.

So it's how that individual institution likes to share that out and what the process is, and that might be part of what they'll need to look at, in terms of sort of having a CRP role and developing their current CTA type roles.

So, every year within an education budget, there's a different budget amount that you get given and say some years you might have more opportunity for people to sort of complete courses or modules, and other times there'll be less.

And it is quite often you have to wait, and sort of almost, you know, do your time and keep working hard and asking about it or for it, and keep demonstrating why they should pick you for that course.

And often, it being a competitive process, you have to, you might have to sort of write some kind of short summary of why you should be picked, or sometimes they might do a mini interview processes for those courses as well. So yeah, different for each institution, but I think there is going to be more opportunity for things coming through but in quite what volume, we don't know yet.

Kirsty Rogers: Thanks, Kirsty. And I think also, we did mention that there's talk with Health Education England about an apprenticeship type scheme. So obviously, as part of that, the hope would be that eventually that would be moving towards a similar type of scheme as AHPs and nurses get, but as we stated, this is really early days. So it certainly will be something that might be developed and I think is being looked at from the National Working Group level.

The next question we've got is, is there any difference for staff working in a physical health environment, to those working in a mental health research environment? Would anyone like to take that, Javi?

Javier Magán: Yes, thank you, Yvonne, for your question. Either of you, Kirsty or Kirsty, correct me if I'm wrong, but there should not be any difference, whether it's physical health or mental health.

Again, it's all linked with the competency framework. And the standards that Kirsty has mentioned throughout the presentation. This should not be restrictive, either, to people working in physical or mental health. And I believe that you should be able to achieve all those whether you work in either of those settings.

Kirsty Rogers: Absolutely. Thank you, Javi. I agree. I think that's the case. And I think the other thing to highlight as well is that it's not limited to secondary care.

I did mention earlier from Janice's presentation, is that it actually could be any environment. So I think what we're keen to see is that the CRP roles are being encouraged in other settings, primary care, community trusts…

Kirsty Gladas: social care, public health.

Kirsty Rogers: Yeah absolutely, all the different areas. And actually, primarily, that's where it would fit really well, because it is a slightly different role to the traditional clinical roles in research.

So I think, definitely, in terms of the NIHR, we will be looking at trying to make sure that the role is widespread and in as many different areas as possible.

So thank you, it's a really great question, Yvonne. 

Kirsty Rogers: So Angie has asked, am I right in thinking that this role as a CRP working through a banding system like UHS will be a national role in all hospitals? Or is it optional in each hospital, whether they want to say a Band 3 and above CRPs?

Sorry, I'm just trying to understand the question. I think what Angie is asking is will there be national roles in hospitals at a CRP level?

Or is it up to staff whether they want to just continue at their other bandings as in?

I'm not sure if, Javi or Kirsty, you'd like to answer?

Kirsty Gladas: So we're making a suggestion that the role of a CRP actually can be almost any band, but I would probably say from a four upwards. Again, trusts will do their own thing, but we're putting guidance out there.

Let me just double check the question. It will be optional. At the moment it's optional that each hospital can decide what banding they  set their CRPs at. UHS has decided that they have a system such as a TA as a four, so a trials assistant, which is more admin based, and they have a Band 3 Clinical Trials Assistant, a Band 4 Clinical Trials Assistant, and therefore a Band 5 CRP was like a natural sort of progression.

And they felt that that sat well within their current structure. Each institution, as we at Wessex already know, that every other institution does something slightly different, and depending on the expectations and the roles and competencies, which each are expected to do. We know we're different already. But it's just putting this out there and seeing what those line managers and institutions might do.

And, it will be different, but I feel like in years to come, it will end up having a similar process that might end up getting rolled out throughout, not too dissimilar from what we currently have in the sort of professions that have been around for a while.

Kirsty Rogers: And I was just going to add, I think we've discussed this in other sessions as well, is that becoming a registered CRP doesn't make the role of a Clinical Research Practitioner, as Javi said earlier, in terms of the title, but you're practising as a registered clinical research professional, but it's not a banded band 5 post.

Kirsty Gladas: Yeah, absolutely.

Kirsty Rogers: And we've had an anonymous person... No worries, Angie, you're most welcome. Do you think future CRP applicants progressing up the band system will be required to have registration to do so? I'm happy to answer this one, if you like.

This is something that Marie Nelson, who's the National Working Group did cover with us in session three. So, in order to put something on a job description, when it's a voluntary system like this of the registration, which at the moment is a voluntary case of if you want to be put on the register, it can't be put in the job description as an essential, however, it's likely that it will be put on a desirable, but it won't be the thing that would be essential within that job description. Again, as time goes on, this might change, but at this moment, then it wouldn't be a case of you if you haven't got the registration, that you can't go up the band system.

But obviously, one thing to bear in mind is if you've got colleagues that are doing this, then you know, it's like any job in the open competition, it's looking at the person that's the most qualified, so it certainly wouldn't count against you. But it might help you do so if you've got other applicants who are in your area of work.

Does anyone want to add anything to that?

Javier Magán: I would venture in saying that, as we've been saying, through these meetings, this is very early stages. But thinking of the future ahead, if you think of other professions, is possibly, as Kirsty said, something that will be taken into account.

Definitely not for, potentially not for, those areas, you know, lower band three, four and five. But then, in regards to progression to higher bands, hopefully when the stage is set for that, having that structured background and those competencies, and the academic background to, you know, support your application will, hopefully and I will say definitely make a difference when you go for these positions.

Kirsty Rogers: Thanks Javi. That's great. So, I'm hoping we've covered the questions that you wanted answered, and you've really enjoyed our recap today.

I would, as Javi said earlier, once we've added all of these to NIHR Learn, encourage you to rewatch them. We will be popping some of the frequently asked questions that we had on that toolkit. And thanks for joining us today. Bye bye.

Kirsty Gladas: Thank you, bye bye.