Maintaining Your ACRP Certification Through Professional Development

Professional Development activities are instructional activities where the certificant is the learner. The purpose of this information is to assist certificants in determining acceptable professional development activities for use toward maintaining your ACRP Certification(s). For program-specific points requirements and application-related information, please refer to the applicable Maintenance of Certification Handbook.

Candidates for Maintenance can take professional development offerings in two (2) areas:

  • Research Topics
  • Disease/Bodily System/other Healthcare Topics

Research Program Topics
For Maintenance purposes, Research Topics are defined those that cover the actual “practice” of clinical research and follow topics covered on the Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for your designation.  These topics should cover transferrable knowledge and skills, not those specific to your workplace, such as company SOPs or specific software.  Examples of Research Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Trial Management
  • Investigational Product Management
  • Protocol Development
  • Safety
  • Human Subject Protection
  • Document Management
  • Trial Oversight 
  • Ethics
  • Adverse Events
  • Informed Consent
  • Good Clinical Practice (GCP)
  • ICH Guidelines
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Monitoring
  • Statistics

To view more acceptable Research topics, visit the appropriate link below:

Disease/Bodily System/Healthcare Program Topics
Disease/Bodily System/Healthcare Topics are those that deal with the prevention, treatment, and management of illness and the preservation of physical well-being.  Training to gain access or query a specific database or software, even if healthcare related, is not acceptable.

Courses pertaining to a particular disease are generally considered to be Disease/Bodily System/Healthcare Topic hours. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Pharmacology
  • Medical devices
  • Palliative / Hospice care
  • Psychiatry
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Results of clinical trial studies
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Course (This course is only acceptable once during the lifetime of the certificant’s Certification tenure.)

Acceptable Providers of Accredited Professional Development
Only programs completed through acceptable accredited providers with a certificate of hours/points or those pre-approved by the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals (the Academy) may be claimed.

It is anticipated that the majority of programs that a candidate for Maintenance of Certification will submit in support of his/her application will come from programs that have some sort of accreditation.  

If the program does NOT have accreditation from a known accrediting body (See “Examples of Acceptable Providers” chart below), the applicant must submit the program details for approval. Email, at any time, with the course title, timed agenda/course overview, and objectives.  Requests for review must be made at least 30 days prior to application due date.

Examples of Acceptable Providers of Accredited Professional Development Contact Hour Points:

Acceptable Providers of Accredited
Professional Development
Examples of Types
of Credit Offered
All state and national
nursing associations
American Council on
Pharmaceutical Education
Accreditation Council for
Continuing Medical Education
CME, AMA, Category I
Other national healthcare-related
associations offering continuing
education contact hours
CITI* Courses - Human Subject Protection,
PRIM&R, MAGI Conference, SoCRA,
educational programs
college/university courses
College credits
In-Company Training * No credit offered - submit for review

*In-company training on research topics with specific learning objectives awarding a certificate/proof of attendance and specifying the number of hours (Note: SOP and software training are not acceptable.)

Courses which are not acceptable for Maintenance purposes include, but are not limited to those with topics in CPR or BLS training, blood pressure training, project management, or self-improvement (i.e. time management or dealing with difficult people).

Determining the Length of Professional Development Activities
A certificate indicating the number of hours received must have been awarded for all web-based training. The Academy cannot determine the number of points for web-based training and reserves the right to request certificates of attendance and/or transcripts from any reported activities. 

For participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and in-service trainings, points are awarded according to the actual amount of time spent under instruction, at a ratio of 1:1. That is one (1) hour awards one (1) point.
Sessions less than 45 minutes in duration are not accepted. Sessions forty-five (45) minutes to one (1) hour in length are awarded one (1) point.  Points can be pro-rated for sessions exceeding sixty (60) minutes (i.e., a session one hour and fifteen minutes in length = 1.25 points)

Certificates of completion may use different terms to represent “points”. The chart below displays the point conversions and different terms used to refer to points.




Time Spent


Points on Maintenance Application


Professional Development Session

< 45 minutes

45-60 minutes

90 minutes

0 points

1 contact hour = 1 point

1.5 contact hour = 1.5 points

Activity Awarding CMEs

60 minutes

1 CME = 1 point

Course Awarding


60 minutes


0.1 CEU= 1 point

1.0 CEU = 10 points

University Course

1 semester

1 semester credit =
15 points

If it is unclear how many hours may be claimed for a course, please contact the course provider to request written verification of the course length prior to submitting any information to the Academy for review.