Colorado Prevention Center (CPC), a non-profit academic research center in Denver, has launched an online course for business operations people working in the clinical trial industry to help familiarize them with the workings of the industry.
“Clinical Trials Training for Business Operations Professionals” was designed to give non-clinical staff a basic foundation of industry knowledge. The curriculum is based on a course CPC created for clinical research coordinators to speed their learning process and reduce turnover. CPC pared down the information to be most applicable to people not directly involved in the clinical trial process.
The course outline includes information on terminology and references, organizations and relevant personnel, the drug development process, device development, and regulations and guidelines.
“Really what we’re trying to do is help finance, HR, information technology, legal—all these people who have degrees in other areas where they have incredible expertise, but they don’t understand clinical research. They don’t understand the terminology, they don’t understand the interactions between different parties. So, we’ve developed a training program,” said Evan King, CPC’s chief operating officer.
Leading up to the creation of this course, CPC received feedback from business operations people who wanted to know more about the clinical trial industry as a whole. According to CPC, people who support clinical trials but don’t work directly in the research area often feel lost as to the process of clinical trials and may be overwhelmed by the terms and acronyms used in the industry. Until now, they did not have a specific course tailored to their needs.
“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years, and I can tell you that most business operations professionals that I interact with express a strong desire in understanding the industry that they’re working in more than they do when they arrive … Most would also say it would enhance their jobs if they did know [more],” King said. “They’re going to be better able to support clinical researchers if they know the differences between, for instance, the phases of a trial.”
CPC offers one course for all types of business operations professionals but offers ideas and resources for tailoring the curriculum to fit a specific discipline’s needs.
“We’ve tested it with our own internal operations staff. Many of them made the comment that they only wished it was available when they had started in the industry,” King said.
The course is available as an online-only course for $395 or as an online-plus-classroom course for $995. CPC plans to market the course to large pharmaceutical sponsors and CROs and hopes to see its popularity grow internationally.