Ensuring Representativeness in Competencies for Research Coordinators

Lauren B. Solberg, JD, MTS; H. Robert Kolb, RN, CCRC; Alena Prikhidko; Linda S. Behar-Horenstein, PhD

Clinical Researcher—May 2018 (Volume 32, Issue 5)

Providing educational programs to develop clinical research coordinators’ (CRCs’) competency skills is essential to workforce development, yet little is known about how programs address CRCs’ needs. Frameworks have been developed to guide training programs that focus on the implementation and application of competency-based skills in research coordination and management. One of these, the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency (JTF) framework, is intended to be broad and applicable to individuals conducting, supporting, and managing research in varied professional capacities. After reviewing established professional leadership programs offered through University of Florida Training and Organizational Development and relevant literature on leadership education, the authors developed and implemented a training program for experienced CRCs on topics relevant to the JTF domains.  This evolving framework currently includes the domains of “Leadership and Professionalism” and “Communication and Teamwork” among its eight competency domains. The findings supported previous study results, and led to the identification of two competencies which are missing from the existing Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency framework domains of “Communication and Teamwork” and “Leadership and Professionalism.” The authors explain why these competencies are important for coordinators. The authors also discuss the instrumentality of qualitative research to ensure that competency domains reflect the needs of those for whom they are developed.

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