Research Ready®

What is the RCGP Research Ready® programme?

Research Ready® is a quality assurance programme, for all research-active UK GP practices. It is designed in line with the UK Research Governance Framework’s legal, ethical, professional, and patient safety requirements.

The Research Ready® programme serves the following purposes:

  • To allow practices to demonstrate to interested parties their awareness and meeting of the standards described above.
  • To provide information, support and guidance to accredited practices in the area of research; both to assist with meeting the requirements above, and with considering and conducting research.
  • To allow rapid identification for UK NHS research organisations and commercial research organisations (CRO’s) of practices with a proven record of recruitment to clinical trials. 

The programme is split between two levels of accreditation: Research Ready® Universal and Research Ready® Advanced.

Who is Research Ready® Universal for?

Any UK general practice which is or wishes to become engaged actively in primary care research. Research Ready can be used by all practice staff, both clinical and non-clinical (GPs, nurses, practice management, administrators).

Who is Research Ready® Advanced for?

Research Ready® Advanced is for general practices who have excelled at, and have demonstrable experience of, successfully undertaking at least 2 Clinical Trials involving Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) in the last 2 years, where a clinician within the practice has acted as a Principal Investigator (PI) in one or more of the following:

  • Pharmaceutical-industry sponsored CTIMPs
  • Non-industry or NHS CTIMPs 

In order to become Research Ready® Advanced, the practice must have an active and valid Research Ready® Universal accreditation.
Are you eligible to become Research Ready® Advanced? Full criteria here

What are the benefits of joining Research Ready®?

  • Accreditation itself: Research Ready® is a widely-recognised quality assurance mark, confirming a practice’s diligence in preparation for undertaking research
  • FREE access to the Research Ready® online ‘RCGPLearning’ course (priced at £300 to non-accredited practices) – see below.
  • Becoming accredited will allow access to the existing network of Research Ready® practices – the largest of the RCGP’s practice networks, covering an eighth of the UK population (the full list of Research Ready® Universal practices is available here).
  • Monthly updates on local and national research opportunities, from bodies such as RCGP, CRNs/NIHR, partner organisations, as well as information on relevant development and activity in research underway
  • Support for practices in undertaking research: this includes information on the necessary requirements for undertaking primary care research, as well as guidance and assistance.
  • Access to research-focused online resources, including case studies, articles, resource templates.
  • Activity tracker; functionality that allows research projects to be tracked through their life, from consideration through management to audit / archiving.

Additional benefits to becoming Research Ready® Advanced accredited are:

  • Quality marker of a general practice organisation capability and experience in performing complex research
  • Rapid identification for UK NHS research organisations and commercial research organisations (CRO’s) of practices with a proven recruitment record to clinical trials (the full list of Research Ready® Advanced practices is available here).    

The RCGPLearning Research Ready® course

The RCGPLearning website includes a series of modules on Research Ready®. The topics covered are:

  • Becoming research ready
  • Information governance and data quality
  • Obtaining informed consent
  • Assessing the feasibility of taking on and setting up a research study

These four modules, alongside two (optional) assessments make up the course. Access to this is priced at £300. The course is free of charge for practices accredited with Research Ready®.

How much does it cost to join Research Ready®?

Two accreditation / payment options are available:

  • £250 for three years’ accreditation
  • £100 for one year’s accreditation

For practices interested in becoming Advanced accredited, there is an additional £50 fee for one year’s accreditation.

This administration fee is levied solely to cover back office costs required to run and develop the Research Ready® programme; no profit is generated for any party involved. Funding for this fee can be offset against income your practice makes from future research-based activity.

How do I join Research Ready®?

  • Nominate someone at your practice (e.g. GP, nurse, practice manager) to act as the named ‘Research Lead’
  • Head to the Research Ready website  and register an account there
  • Once registered, log in to the system and begin accreditation; this involves completing two surveys (Practice Information – the practice’s research status, interests, etc. – and Quality Statements – confirming the practice’s awareness and meeting of governance standards)
  • Pay the relevant administration fee (see above)
  • Access / Download / Print off your accreditation certificate

Where can I find further information on Research Ready®?

Available for download is a PDF user guide (six pages, 291kb), which goes into more detail about all aspects covered above.

Beyond this, you can register an account with the Research Ready® website and examine the system and much of its content prior to deciding whether to undertake accreditation and pay the administration fee.

Any queries related to Research Ready can be sent via email  at

Other information / resources

Research Ready was developed with:

These bodies are responsible for developing primary care research infrastructure and delivery across the UK’s four devolved nations.

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