Certification Protects Both Sides in the Hiring Process

Julie Haney, RN, MSL, CCRC, Senior Administrator for Study Submissions and Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research Services, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Julie Haney, RN, MSL, CCRC, Senior Administrator for Study Submissions and Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research Services, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Trust, but verify—with an emphasis on the verify. That’s the mantra hiring manager Julie Haney has taken up more and more in recent years as the problem of fraudulent resumes increases.

“Over the past 16 years, it’s gone from you trust that people are reflecting adequate credentials and experience to [now] having to make them prove it during the vetting and interview process,” says Haney, RN, MSL, CCRC, a senior administrator for study submissions and regulatory affairs with Clinical Research Services for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

She hires clinical research associates (CRAs) whose primary responsibilities cover submission and management of site regulatory files that go to review committees, and submission of required regulatory documents to sponsors prior to study activation and throughout the life of the study.

One helpful hiring tool? ACRP Certification, or lack thereof. “A lot of times people will come with an ACRP certification that’s expired,” Haney says. “They’ll show you that, that they have the certification, but unless you do the due diligence you won’t know” if they even had it in the first place, she explains.

Obviously, someone who claims that kind of credential and doesn’t have it is a non-starter as a job prospect. However, on some occasions it could be as simple as a person forgetting to renew his or her certification. That’s probably not a deal-breaker if the situation can be remedied quickly.

Luckily, ACRP makes it relatively easy to conduct the necessary due diligence to verify an applicant’s certification status. The designation status of ACRP Certified clinical research professionals can be located and verified if the certificant has agreed to have his or her information listed. Since not all certificants are listed, an individual’s absence does not necessarily mean he or she is not an active certificant.

Meanwhile, despite reports of a CRA workforce shortage, Haney reports being “overwhelmed” with resumes for entry-level positions. The problem is many are not qualified and some pretend they are in the hopes that they’ll land the gig and learn on the job.

Certifications and training are critical, of course, but Haney advises those who make the hiring decisions to not forget the all-important human factor. “It is really difficult to sort through [piles of resumes] to find the person who has genuine interest and wants to learn,” Haney says.

ACRP Certification is one indicator that a job applicant has more than a passing interest in the field, other hiring managers have told ACRP.

Author: Michael Causey