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How to Become ACRP Certified

Updated on September 25, 2010

Follow the Steps

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) is a non profit organization located in Alexandria, Virginia. The goal of the organization is to promote professional clinical research educational opportunities and resources to professionals in the industry. ACRP offers certification for Clinical Research Associates, Clinical Research Coordinators, and Clinical Physician Investigators.

The certification obtained can be valuable to demonstrate competencies such as job specific skills in the clinical research industry. ACRP recognizes these competencies based on work experience, education, and performance on the testing.


Visit the ACRP website. The link is below on this page. There is a Handbook specific to each certification process posted on their website. The CRA certification guide has specific examples of how many people have taken the exam and passed along with information about where to go, how much the exam costs, and what you need to bring.


After you’ve identified what exam you are interested in make sure you have the adequate skill set. For example, if you are interested in certification for Research Associates then ACRP requires a detailed curriculum vitae or resume to display your work experience and prior employment. You also need to have the proper education (ie. Bachelor’s degree or training from an accredited clinical research institution) or work experience equivalent (2 years full time or 4 years part time as a Research Associate).


Apply online or with a paper application. It may take a couple of weeks to find out if you are eligible to take the exam. They will notify you of your application status by email. Prepare yourself for the exam. The exam will consist of more than 100 multiple-choice questions and there will be a time limit (ie. 3 hours) to complete the exam. The ACRP now offers computer based testing for certification.


Don’t forget to bring proper identification with you to the testing center. They will provide an online calculator for you to use. After you have successfully passed the test you will be awarded your certification and you need to maintain your certification by earning continuing education contact hours.

Before you consider taking the certification for ACRP consider taking practice exams and knowledge assessment tests.


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