The US-based Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) has entered into an education and training alliance with China’s Shanghai Clinical Research Centre (SCRC).

Based on current government planning, SCRC is “expected to become the National Clinical Research Centre of China in the future”, the ACRP said. Under the alliance, SCRC will promote ACRP training on a national basis in China by developing multiple training centres across the country and promoting the ACRP Certification Examination, which sets international standards for clinical research.

Specifically, SCRC has committed to delivering exclusively training courses developed by ACRP or the alliance partners jointly in China; to administering and running an annual national conference and ACRP Certification Examinations for clinical research professionals in China; and to licensing its own ready-made training courses to ACRP.

As an initial step, ACRP sent one of its approved trainers to Shanghai earlier this month to hold a Good Clinical Practice course for physicians. The Association will offer ACRP Certification Exam Review courses in January/February 2009 in preparation for the March Certification Examination.

The current SCRC training centre for clinical research functions both as the organisation’s professional advisory body and its resources platform arm, ACRP noted. Aiming at “the top-end clinical research market in China”, the centre has the personnel, skills and experience to deliver and administer a wide variety of courses, conferences and examinations, the association added.

China “has increasingly played an important role in clinical research in recent years”, pointed out Dr Gan Rongxing, chief executive officer of SCRC. But the growing opportunity for global clinical trials in China called for “more physician investigators, clinical research associates and clinical research coordinators with professional skills”. The alliance between SCRC and ACRP targeted these market demands and would “quickly bring” international experience to China, he said.