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INC Research obtains IAOCR’s Silver Workforce Quality Accreditation status

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

INC Research, a global phase I to IV CRO, and IAOCR, the accrediting organization for the international clinical research industry, announced INC Research has achieved the “Silver Standard” within the IAOCR Clinical Operations Workforce Quality Accreditation program.

INC is the first CRO to achieve the Silver Accreditation. This accomplishment follows the Company’s achievement in 2016 as the first CRO to achieve IAOCR’s bronze-level designation. The IAOCR Workforce Quality Accreditation provides an international benchmark on clinical operations excellence with emphasis on globally consistent and transparent business processes related to competence, professional development and employee engagement.

“INC Research is committed to being the CRO of Choice for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, sites and investors,” said Alistair Macdonald, chief executive officer at INC Research. “We believe the best way to do this is to provide the most highly trained, competent and passionate workforce in our industry. Working with IAOCR, INC is able to develop and embed processes and programs that validate the competency and expertise of our workforce against an international third-party standard, in turn providing confidence that our teams have the skills needed to bring new therapies to market. Customers know that when they select INC they are getting a top-notch professional team, while employees know that they are being provided the training and support to succeed at a company that is investing in their long-term careers.”

“Assessing INC for the Silver Workforce Quality Accreditation has been a thorough process but also one we’ve conducted with confidence because their commitment to employee engagement is evident in their day-to-day actions and Company processes. INC continues to demonstrate their commitment to the evolution of the clinical research industry by prioritizing competency and engagement as the standard to be upheld globally across their organization,” added Jacqueline Johnson North, CEO and co-founder, IAOCR.

The Workforce Quality Accreditation program was developed in collaboration with industry experts in response to demand from CROs and pharmaceutical companies for a recognition mark that enables easy identification of companies with embedded workforce quality best practices. To achieve the Silver accreditation, INC Research underwent a seven-step process to demonstrate employee engagement as an organizational priority. This included outlining the processes, development programs and communications tools for engaging with employees and ensuring ongoing professional development and career satisfaction.

One of the steps included a representative survey of clinical/monitoring employees based at INC’s locations around the world as well as follow-up interviews to assess the effectiveness of the INC programs and processes. Key findings from the survey and interviews were that:

  • More than 90% of respondents said INC’s Performance Management process allows them to develop into their role
  • 90% said they felt individual contributions were recognized at INC
  • 100% of survey respondents indicated their line manager provided them with the support needed to succeed
  • 99% indicated they understood the INC vision, values, goals and objectives
  • 95% said they had immediate access to the training necessary to develop core technical skills
  • Overall there was a very strong sense that INC was at the forefront of promoting longer-term career progression

From this information, IAOCR identified three areas in which INC Research particularly excels. Assessors found that INC goes to extraordinary efforts to engage with employees before they start, during their on boarding process and throughout their tenure with the Company. Assessors also indicated that INC Research ensures employees are well versed on the organizational vision, values, goals and objectives, and corporate strategy. They also noted that the Company makes a strong commitment to the long-term career development of employees and communicates this commitment to its global workforce.

Levels of Accreditation

The IAOCR Workforce Quality Accreditation recognizes four levels of accreditation, including foundational elements of quality. These characteristics must be verified to achieve accreditation in the following order:

  • Foundation—Company has accurate job descriptions and employees have access to core training for technical skills required to conduct quality clinical research
  • Bronze (achieved by INC Research in July 2016) —Company has a proven “red flag” system for identifying and addressing lack of competence in high risk areas as well as a robust and systematic performance management system for employees
  • Silver (achieved by INC Research in April 2017)—Company demonstrates employee engagement is an organizational priority; vision, values, goals and objectives are communicated across the organization and individuals understand the importance of their contribution; and the company invests in developing soft skills and professional skills appropriate to individual roles.
  • Gold—Competence of each individual across an organization is rigorously assessed against core global standards, with assessments documented and development plans put in place to address competence gaps. Ongoing competence assessments are performed annually and linked to performance management processes.

INC Research is the first CRO to achieve both bronze and silver status through the IAOCR Clinical Operations Workforce Quality Accreditation program. INC Research intends to continue with the program to achieve Gold accreditation.

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