The Association of Clinical Research Professionals

ACRP-PM Subspecialty Designation

The ACRP-PM (ACRP Project Manager) Subspecialty Designation is awarded to a clinical research professional who has demonstrated knowledge in project management by passing a 60-question exam.

The ACRP-PM Subspecialty Designation formally recognizes an ACRP Certified individual who has met the professional standards set forth by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

How is ACRP-PM® Different from Other ACRP Certifications?

The ACRP-PM Subspecialty Designation does not replace any of the other ACRP certifications. The CCRA, CCRC, ACRP-CP, and CPI programs are based on the body of knowledge needed to demonstrate the competence of a clinical research professional. Those seeking the ACRP-PM must first pass one of these certification exams. Those who pass the ACRP-PM have demonstrated the specific knowledge related to project management in clinical research.

By earning the ACRP-PM subspecialty, professionals of all types show they have not only earned a flagship certification in clinical research through ACRP, but have also demonstrated knowledge in clinical research project management.

Am I Eligible to Become an ACRP-PM®?

The ACRP-PM® Subspecialty Designation exam is available to clinical research professionals who currently hold an ACRP Certification (CCRA®, CCRC®, CPI®, ACRP-CP®) in good standing.

About the Exam

Subspecialty Content

The Project Manager Subspecialty Designation exam is referenced only to the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) Guidelines. The exam assesses your proficiency in project management related to clinical research.

To earn an ACRP Subspecialty designation, professionals are expected to have proficiency in a number of core knowledge areas. These specific areas are explained in the Detailed Content Outline (DCO) for this exam.

Detailed Content Outline

acrp-pm exam DCO

References

  1. Guideline for Good Clinical Practice E6(R2)
  2. Definitions and Standards for Expedited Reporting E2A
  3. General Considerations for Clinical Trials E8
  4. Statistical Principles for Clinical Trials E9
  5. Clinical Trials in Pediatric Population E11, and
  6. The Declaration of Helsinki (DoH).

Also available at the official webpages for the ICH Guidelines and the Declaration of Helsinki.

Exam Abbreviation List

The Abbreviations List provides the full wording for abbreviations used on the exam. The list is accessible on each screen during the exam.

Exam Format

The exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions (10 of these questions are pre-test items and do not affect a candidate’s score. These items are not identified to candidates).

Candidates are presented with a question and are asked to choose the single best answer from the four options provided. Only one answer is correct.

The questions test knowledge at the recall, application, and analysis level, not just a recitation of facts. Some questions use hypothetical scenarios.

The exam content is based on a process of peer review by subject matter experts. There are no “trick” questions on the exam, and there is no penalty for guessing.

Delivery

The exams are administered at computer terminals at secure testing centers. Each candidate is provided a brief tutorial on navigating the exam prior to the official start time. Each candidate is allowed a maximum of 90 minutes to complete the 60 questions. Questions can be skipped, marked for review, and returned to at any time prior to submitting the exam for scoring. Results will be provided within six weeks of the testing window closing.

Exam Results

Exam results provide important feedback about one’s performance in each of the six (6) content areas of the exam. Understanding how the exams are scored is important for interpreting the results.

Language

The Exam is provided in English.

Exam candidates may bring a hard-copy (Electronic dictionaries are not permitted) English-German/ Spanish/ Chinese/ Hindi/ etc. translation only (word-to-word) dictionary to the exam. Dictionaries containing any word definitions or other extraneous markings are strictly prohibited. The dictionary will be inspected by the proctor prior to and after the exam is completed. Any attempt to compromise the exam will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the site, invalidation of the exam score, and possible legal action. No additional time is given to those using a translation dictionary.

Dates & Fees

Exam Dates, Deadlines, & Fees

Fall 2018 Exam Test Dates: September 10 – October 8, 2018

Early-Bird Application Dates: June 1 – August 26, 2018*

ACRP Member Rate
Exam Fee: $250

Non-Member Rate
Exam Fee: $300

*Due to the shortened application window for the Fall 2018 exam, we will be charging the Early-Bird rate for the entire Fall 2018 application periodThe standard format of Early-Bird and Regular rates will resume with the Spring 2019 application cycle.

Should an applicant need to cancel, the fee is refundable. Credit card, check, or bank transfers are acceptable forms of payment.

Before you apply, login to acrpnet.org to verify your ACRP Membership status and confirm the total payment due at time of application.

Eligibility for Your Exam

To be eligible for the ACRP-PM Subspecialty exam, you must hold one of the following valid and current ACRP Certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Research Associate (CCRA)
  • Certified Clinical Research Coordinator (CCRC)
  • Certified Principal Investigator (CPI)
  • ACRP Certified Professional (ACRP-CP)

Confirmation of Eligibility and Testing Information

Once an applicant is determined to be eligible, the candidate will be e-mailed an Eligibility Notice, with further instructions as to how to schedule his/her exam appointment.

Note: check your SPAM or Junk mail folder if you do not receive any notice within 14 days of applying.

 

Applying for Your Exam

When to Apply

After determining that you meet the eligibility requirements of holding a current ACRP certification, you must submit the application with full payment.

Transferring to Next Exam Window

ACRP offers a one-time transfer from the current exam offering to the next for a $50 fee.

Transfers are applied toward the next exam only. Transfer of eligibility and associated fees will be applied only to the original candidate and are not transferable to another person, even if paid for by a third party. Exam fees are transferred toward the next exam window only and not toward other products or services.

If you choose to transfer to the next exam window, you must submit a request to transfer before the end of the exam window for which you had originally applied. To submit a transfer request, you must access your online application and select Request Exam Window Transfer.

If you have an exam appointment scheduled, you must first cancel it directly with Prometric before submitting your online request to transfer to the next exam window. Fees are payable to Prometric directly and are as follows:

  • 30 or more days before the test: No fee
  • 16-29 days before test day: $25 per cancellation/reschedule
  • 5-15 days before test day: $50 per cancellation/reschedule
  • Less than 5 days before test day, failure to appear for exam, or more than 30 minutes late: Fee paid to ACRP is forfeited

Cancellations are not permitted less than five (5) days prior to an appointment.

If a transfer candidate does not submit the request before the end of the current exam testing window, then all funds originally submitted will be forfeited.

When a transfer request has been approved, all fees are applied automatically at the start of the next application period. All eligible transfer candidates will receive an email notice of Eligibility when the Eligibility ID has been reactivated and an exam appointment can be scheduled.

Contact certification@acrpnet.org if you did not receive your new Eligibility Notice.

Refunds

If a candidate must cancel the exam, the fee will be refunded, provided that the request for cancellation is received at least five (5) calendar days prior to a scheduled exam appointment. Cancellation requests received after that time will not be honored. Refunds are not available to candidates who do not schedule or attend the exam. Refund requests will be accepted only if made by the candidate.

Refund requests can be made by the candidate only. Employers supporting a candidate’s fees cannot request or receive a refund for fees paid to ACRP. Any refund will be sent to the party who initially paid for the exam. If payment was made by credit card, that card will receive the credit. If the payment was made by check, ACRP will mail a refund check to the original payer.

Contact certification@acrpnet.org for any other refund inquiries.

Submitting Your Application

Only applications received with full payment will be accepted.

Online Application

Payment Options: Credit Card Only

You will receive an automatic email confirmation upon submission of application.

Online application coming soon. Please use the printable application below.
(Application link will be under “My Account Links” after signing in with your ACRP account).

Printable Application

Payment Options: Check or Bank/Wire Transfer

You will receive an email confirmation within 10 business days upon receipt of emailed, faxed, or mailed applications.

Email, fax, or mail your application.

PRINTABLE APPLICATION

Please allow up to 10 days to receive your eligibility email notification.

Rescheduling/Canceling Appointment

Rescheduling or canceling an exam appointment (test center location, date, or time) is permitted by Prometric up to five (5) days before your scheduled appointment. There may be fees associated with appointment changes. Rescheduling availability varies, depending on the test center location, and number of days prior to the exam appointment date.

To reschedule or cancel an exam appointment, you must contact Prometric at www.prometric.com/ACRP or by phone with your appointment confirmation number.

If you do not plan to take the exam during the current exam window, you must cancel your exam appointment and submit the following request:

  • Application Cancellation Request (for cancellation and requesting a refund only); submit up to 5 days before scheduled appointment. Refer to the Refunds section.

Your request must be received by ACRP at certification@acrpnet.org within the time specified or all fees paid will be forfeited.

Scheduling Your Exam

How to Make Your Exam Appointment

Once you have been determined eligible you must schedule an appointment to take the exam within the exam date range. View testing locations at www.prometric.com/acrp or by phone.

1. Obtain Eligibility ID Number

2. Make Your Appointment

  • Select location, date, and time

3. Keep Your Appointment Confirmation

  • Review and print your confirmation. Use it if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment

Exams are scheduled through Prometric, ACRP’s testing partner, and may be taken at approximately 600 testing centers internationally. Only candidates determined to be eligible will receive an Eligibility Notice immediately following the Eligibility Review process.

This important notice includes a Prometric ID number, the Prometric Exam Scheduling web address, and instructions for scheduling a personal exam appointment. Candidates select the testing center, exam date, and time on a first-come, first-served basis.

For detailed assistance with selecting your test center, view Exam Sites.

Services for People with Disabilities: For questions regarding accommodation, view the Policy on Special Accommodations and Request Form.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your Appointment

Rescheduling or cancelling your exam appointment (test center location, date, or time) is permitted by Prometric up to five (5) days before your scheduled appointment. Appointments may only be rescheduled within the same exam window. Fees are associated with appointment changes. If you need to cancel, and do not plan to reschedule an exam appointment, you may be eligible for a refund. Rescheduling or cancelling is not permitted within four (4) days of an appointment.

Emergencies

If a candidate is unable to keep his/her exam appointment due to an emergency situation that arises within five (5) days prior to his/her exam date, the candidate is required to submit an Emergency Cancellation Form and official documentation to ACRP at certification@acrpnet.org. This information must be received up to seven (7) calendar days after the candidate’s scheduled exam date. The following situations will be considered with documentation:

  • Emergency room visit or hospitalization
  • Severe medical condition requiring hospitalization
  • Death of an immediate family member (e.g., spouse, child/dependent, parent, grandparent, sibling)
  • Call to active military duty
  • Jury duty

Taking Your Exam

Testing Requirements

There are strict requirements for arrival, identification, available resources, exam security, and behavior during the exam. It is the exam candidate’s responsibility to be aware of the test center regulations and required behavior.

Become familiar with the following before you go:

  • Appointment Confirmation: Bring a copy. It contains the address and phone number of the testing center.
  • Proper Identification: To access a secure testing center you, must present proper identification. Also, name changes (due to marriage, for example) are common, but can prevent a candidate access to the exam if not properly presented. Improper Identification is the most common reason our candidates are denied to the exam.
  • Expected Arrival Time: If the candidate is late by 15 minutes or more, the test center will deny a candidate access.
  • Security Screening: The test center is serious about security.
  • Items Permitted/Not Permitted
  • Resources Available at the Test Center: A few resources are provided at the test site.
  • Getting Help during the Exam: Know what you can do to get help when an issue arises.

Questions?

Contact certification@acrpnet.org.

For more Test Center FAQs, view Prometric’s Test Regulations.

Preparing for Your Exam

Steps to Prepare for the Exam

The best preparation for the ACRP-PM Subspecialty Designation exam is to understand how to apply project management skills to clinical research.

ACRP recommends that you first understand the scope of the exam content by carefully reviewing its Detailed Content Outline and becoming familiar with the references (ICH Guidelines and Declaration of Helsinki).

No two candidates come to the exam with the same knowledge base. Since experience and educational backgrounds are unique, these differences must be taken into consideration when determining a study method. Begin to prepare using the following steps:

Step 1: Assess your own professional experience. Read carefully through the Detailed Content Outline description for the exam you wish to take. Compare the detailed description of knowledge and tasks, plus the proportion of questions, to your own professional experience. Rate your relative skill level and experience on a scale of 0–5 (0 = no experience) as an indicator of how prepared you are for each section and where to invest more of your study focus in preparing for the exam.

While you personally may have limited experience with certain content areas, success on the exam requires you to demonstrate competency included in the DCO.

Step 2: Start early and plan ahead. Focus some learning time on reading in every content category and spend extra time reading in those categories where your experience is limited. Match your study efforts in relation to the time you have available and the specific study needs you have identified for yourself.

Step 3: Schedule your study time. Schedule flexible blocks of time into your personal schedule. Remember, the key is not to memorize what you read, but to understand concepts behind ICH/GCP and best practices in each knowledge category area to supplement your experience.

Test Taking Strategies

Most adults haven’t taken a standardized exam recently. It can be helpful to be reminded of some key strategies for how to approach a multiple-choice exam:

  • Read the entire question before you look at the possible answers.
  • Come up with the correct answer in your head before looking at the possible answers; this way, the choices given on the test won’t distract you from focusing on the question.
  • Read all the choices before choosing your answer so that you select the best one.
  • Eliminate answers you know are not correct.
  • There is no guessing penalty, so it’s always best to take an educated guess and select an answer if you are uncertain of the answer.
  • Don’t keep on changing your answer; usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question.
  • Go through the exam and answer the questions you know first. Mark the others for review and then go back to those you skipped over. This will ensure that you don’t lose time by focusing on one question you aren’t sure about.

Understanding Your Exam Results

Upon completion of your computer-based examination, you will receive your test results via email within six (6) weeks after the close of the testing window. A pass/fail score is generated based on your overall performance on the examination.

The passing score is set by a panel of subject matter experts representative of the professional. These experts review each test question, evaluate the difficulty of the questions, and make a judgement as to how a candidate with basic proficiency would perform on the question. The judgements are analyzed statistically to determine the passing score.

The passing scaled score for the exam is 600. A candidate scoring below 600 has not been successful on the exam and cannot be certified.

The number of questions answered correctly (or total points) is a candidate’s “raw score”. Prometric then converts a candidate’s raw score to a scaled score. The “Total Scaled Score” will determine whether a candidate has passed the exam. The exam is not scored on a curve and there is no predetermined number of candidates permitted to pass.

Why ACRP Certification?

ACRP Certification is the premier mark of excellence in the clinical research field. View the benefits of certification to see what it can do for you and your organization.

BENEFITS OF CERTIFICATION

Certification Resources

Browse our index of important resources, including Certification forms, web pages, references, policies, and other helpful materials for earning your ACRP Certification.

BROWSE RESOURCES