WQA: rising up the agenda

“This tells the industry what they should be looking for when selecting a high-quality provider”

As an organization, IAOCR operates in a unique sphere; we are neither a Clinical Research Organization (CRO), sponsor company nor a regulator. Instead we operate between these three key elements that make-up the Clinical Research industry. As such, we regularly speak with key industry stakeholders while being able to retain our objectivity.

Throughout our recent trip to the USA, a strong theme across our discussions was the Workforce Quality Accreditation (WQA). There is a genuine appetite and interest in the WQA for a number of reasons, but most notably because it is awarded at the organizational level.

Understanding the value:

ClinOpsWQA-GoldOur conversations largely centered around the value in the WQA providing focus by identifying process gaps, improving client confidence, targeting quality improvements and staff engagement. All of which directly affects the bottom line. Over the past 12 months many sponsor organizations have told us about their confidence in the robustness of the process and its ability to deliver measurable outcomes directly connected to their clinical trials and overall business strategy.

Prior to the introduction of the WQA there was no meaningful wayWQA for sponsor organizations to identify high-quality CROs and other service providers. For the industry, the accreditation mark enables sponsors to classify service providers on an organizational level. We keep hearing that as momentum gains, this will become an increasing part of the selection criteria.

“Organizations are participating in the WQA accreditation process for a number of reasons. For many organizations it’s about increasing productivity and efficiency, however others are focused on improving quality or retaining staff.  For SEC Recruitment, (the first life sciences recruitment organization to participate in the process) they wanted to be identified as “best in class” and to be recognized as a professional and responsible recruitment agency with a highly competent and engaged workforce.

Prioritizing the Workforce:

For us, the most telling factor about the industry’s growing focus on the workforce is who we are speaking to regarding the WQA. The need for streamlined and effective processes that are consistent across the globe applies to the whole industry. It’s not simply CROs we’re actively having these discussions with, rather all the different components that contribute to Clinical Research, including:

  • CROs
  • Outsourcing professionals
  • Industry-related membership bodies
  • Supply chain organizations
  • Sponsor organizations

Outsourcing professionals want to procure high quality, globally consistent services.

Realistic results:

This growing attention to how an organization is operating, is a central element in achieving raised standards across the industry to help companies bring new treatments to market quicker.

What is particularly rewarding is that those who have achieved the WQA are already reporting that in going through the process they have achieved the following:

  • Cost reduction through improved quality and process streamlining
  • Reassurance to their clients that their business processes have been independently quality checked by against an industry-specific standard
  • Increased enquiries from potential clients
  • Process improvement/ gap filing – the WQA process is not just a tick-box exercised, it helps organizations to work towards the level that they want to achieve
  • Improved staff engagement through discussion and involvement in the WQA process

The WQA was born out of a genuine need to benefit the industry’s efficiencies and, ultimately, the ‘business’ of clinical research. This is why it was developed in collaboration with industry experts in response to demand from CROs and sponsor companies.

If you want to ensure you retain your competitive edge in the Clinical Research industry, get in touch to get your Workforce Quality Accreditation. For more information, email us at: info@pepperstreet.co.uk

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