US-based contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles Transnational has teamed up with business intelligence specialist SAS to develop what the CRO says is the first ever certification for clinical trials statistical programming.

The aim is to turn out certified specialists in the use of SAS (originally, statistical analysis software) programming to evaluate clinical trial results. The Quintiles-SAS Clinical Trials Statistical Programming Certification will show that successful candidates have the necessary expertise to organise, analyse and report clinical trial results, Quintiles explained.

Incorporating industry-specific data, language and concepts, Quintiles and SAS will develop an examination and related training materials that emphasise the SAS skills needed by statistical programmers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. “The pharma and biotech industries have statistical requirements that our standard certification exams don’t measure,” noted Herbert Kirk, vice president, SAS Education Division. “With this new certification, our pharma customers can hire people with confidence.”

The new certification is expected to be completed and ready for launch in time for the Pharmaceutical SAS Users Group Conference in Portland, US next May.