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Are you a Clinical Research Practitioner? Get registered!

Iony Evans CRP story

Clinical Research Practitioners (CRPs) are crucial to delivering clinical research that is transforming treatment in the NHS and the care we receive. CRPs bring a wealth of research knowledge and expertise to research delivery teams, working alongside nurses and others to deliver safe, ethical and high quality clinical research care.

In 2020 the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), the body that sets the standards for accredited registers of people who work in health and social care, approved registration for CRPs as part of the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHSC) Accredited Register. Visit the NIHR website for more information and details of how to apply.

Here, Ionitiana Evans, a CRP at the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands, who took part in a pilot for the directory, explains why CRPs should get registered.

My initial thoughts on seeing a job advert for a Clinical Research Practitioner was “what’s one of those?” When I joined the network’s Direct Delivery Team, I thought my role was a bit of a made up one! Little did I know I would be amongst the first accredited CRPs in the network!

Like other registered CRPs, I now have my very own registration number and an AHCS accredited registered mark to use on emails too. I now have that sense of belonging to a particular role and a professional identity.  Of course, it’s not all about me. The pilot project was also the best way for me to get recognised for what I am doing and to be able to explain to patients, colleagues, and potential employers what a CRP or Clinical Trials Practitioner is.

The scheme allows CRPs to be a recognised part of the research delivery workforce, bringing a range of on-demand skills which enhances any research delivery team’s aim of offering a patient-centred care, delivering gold-standard safe, ethical, and high-quality clinical research.

The scheme gives a better definition of CRPs’ role, regularises their professional identity and scope of practice in clinical research delivery and defines the boundaries of their responsibilities in patient care.

And that’s why others should join too. Together we can grow the CRPs role, enhance training opportunities and reinforce our competencies, increasing our visibility and developing our role as we go. 

Building a professional identity will also enable us to have a collective voice and join the conversation on developing the delivery of research in the future, so, together with all our research colleagues, we can continue to add to the quality of clinical research delivery here, in the network and beyond.