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Frequently Asked Questions 

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Q: What makes IAOCR internationally recognized?


IAOCR awards Internationally Qualified Professional Status to clinical research professionals based upon evidence of individual competence. Our independently accredited modules and accredited assessment criteria are mapped to the International Standard Classification of Education developed by UNESCO. This is the framework which provides an international “currency” for qualifications and accreditations and thus enables IAOCR Qualified Status Certification to be recognizable by educational establishments and employers globally.

Q: Does IAOCR award CPD Points?

Delegates/learners receive recognized "learning credits" and "CPE" (Continuing Professional Education Points). 1 learning credit is approximately 10 notional learning hours (these are internationally accredited).  1 notional learning hour is equal to 1 CPD point or 1 CPE point.

Q: How does IAOCR Accreditation compare with certification provided by other organizations?

IAOCR is the industry gold standard for clinical research professionals.  It is the most robust standard in the industry and the only standard that is currently internationally recognizable - The accreditations are internationally recognizable via the UNESCO ISCED Framework. (See question above 'what makes IAOCR internationally recognized'?').

IAOCR Accreditations are pragmatic and focused on real-life clinical research.  Participants are asked to submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating their competence based on what they do in the workplace.  All of our accreditation units are developed from the core global competency frameworks established by industry-leaders which is why IAOCR internationally qualified professionals are trusted by the industry.  Accreditation assessments are subject to an independent, two-step verification process which is one of the elements that makes our accreditations so robust. 

Certifications are generally not internationally recognizable.  Assessment is often carried out via an on-line knowledge-based test (sometimes multiple choice). Some organizations request assignments or examples of workplace activities, but these rarely provide a true indication of competence. Certification standards vary enormously from one provider to another.

Q: Do individuals need to repeat their accreditation assessment at specified times in order to keep their Internationally Qualified Professional Status?

No - as with university degrees and other qualifications, once an IAOCR accreditation is awarded the individual owns it for life.  However, we recommend that all organizations implement a process to ensure competence is kept up-to-date and relevant.  Our experienced consulting team would be happy to advise on organizational development practices (see IAOCR Consultancy Services for more information).

Q: What does it mean that IAOCR Accreditation programs are independently quality assured?

IAOCR provides independent assessment and verification of workplace competence. To ensure the highest level of robustness, consistency and objectivity we work follow a 2 step independent verification process following the completed initial assessment. 

Q: Is it compulsory to do a training course first?

No. The accreditation process is focused on determining whether someone has the skills, knowledge and behaviours to do their role competently. Training course attendance is not a pre-requisite, but if you are new to your role or early in your career and training is required, you can complete a good quality training course first with another provider*. If you are already experienced and competent in your role, you can achieve IAOCR accreditation through our 'Portfolio Only Route' (see question and answer below).

*Note - A selection of our IAOCR Certified Academy Partners offer training for some roles - please contact us for further details.

Q: What is the Portfolio-Only Route?

The portfolio-only route is applicable to those individuals who are already experienced and competent in their role and do not require training. To achieve IAOCR accreditation, you submit a portfolio of evidence demonstrating your competence based on activities that you carry out in the workplace on a day to day basis.  This portfolio is then assessed and independently verified and then IAOCR Internationally Qualified Status is awarded to successful participants.

Q: My organization offers clinical research training to external learners - can I accredit my training courses?

Yes, as part of our Certified Academy Partnership approach, we work with you to accredit your training courses. However, we only accredit your courses as part of the overall partnership program which includes putting all learners through the IAOCR accreditation assessment upon completion of the training program (this is how we ensure that an individual is competent in their role as a result of the training). If you do not wish to accredit your training course, you can act as a 'hub' for your learners to enrol on IAOCR accreditation programs - please visit this page services for trainers & educators' for more information on the different partnership routes.