The impact of registration of clinical trials units: The UK experience

McFadden, Eleanor, Bashir, Saeeda, Canham, Steve, Darbyshire, Janet, Davidson, Peter, Day, Simon, Emery, Sean, Pater, Joseph, Rudkin, Sarah, Stead, Maxine and Brown, Julia (2015) The impact of registration of clinical trials units: The UK experience. Clinical Trials, 12 2: 166-173. doi:10.1177/1740774514561242


Author McFadden, Eleanor
Bashir, Saeeda
Canham, Steve
Darbyshire, Janet
Davidson, Peter
Day, Simon
Emery, Sean
Pater, Joseph
Rudkin, Sarah
Stead, Maxine
Brown, Julia
Title The impact of registration of clinical trials units: The UK experience
Journal name Clinical Trials   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-7753
1740-7745
Publication date 2015-04-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1740774514561242
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Start page 166
End page 173
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Over the last decade, the United Kingdom has invested significant resources in its clinical trial infrastructure. Clinical research networks have been formed, and some general oversight functions for clinical research have been centralised. One of the initiatives is a registration programme for Clinical Trials Units involved in the coordination of clinical trials. An international review panel of experts in clinical trials has been convened for three reviews over time, reviewing applications from Clinical Trials Units in the United Kingdom. The process benefited from earlier work by the National Cancer Research Institute that developed accreditation procedures for trials units involved in cancer trials. This article describes the experience with the three reviews of UK Clinical Trials Units which submitted applications.

Purpose
This article describes the evolution and impact of this registration process from the perspective of the current international review panel members, some of whom have served on all reviews, including two done by the National Cancer Research Institute.

Process
Applications for registration were invited from all active, non-commercial Clinical Trials Units in the United Kingdom. The invitations were issued in 2007, 2009 and 2012, and applicants were asked to describe their expertise and staffing levels in specific areas. To ensure that the reviews were as objective as possible, a description of expected core competencies was developed and applicants were asked to document their compliance with meeting these. The review panel assessed each Clinical Trials Unit against the competencies. The Clinical Trials Unit registration process has evolved over time with each successive review benefiting from what was learned in earlier ones.

Results
The review panel has seen positive changes over time, including an increase in the number of units applying, a greater awareness on the part of host institutions about the trials activity within their organisations, more widespread development of Standard Operating Procedures in key areas and improvements in information technology systems used to host clinical trials databases. Key funders are awarding funds only to registered units, and host institutions are implementing procedures and structures to ensure improved communication between all parties involved in trials within their organisation.

Conclusion
The registration process developed in the United Kingdom has helped to ensure that trials units in the United Kingdom are compliant with regulatory standards and can meet acceptable standards of quality in their conduct of clinical trials. There is an increased awareness among funders, host institutions and Clinical Trials Units themselves of the required competencies, and communication between all those involved in trials has increased. The registration process is an effective and financially viable way of ensuring that objective standards are met at a national level.
Keyword Clinical trials unit
coordinating centre
Core competencies
Registration
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Medicine
 
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