Research Ready self accreditation

Research Ready supports general practice in meeting the legal requirements of the UK for carrying out research. It is a self assessment aligned with the UK's Research Governance Frameworks. It was developed in conjunction with the National Institute for Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).

Useful information about research governance

Accredited practices receive certification that acts as a quality mark to demonstrate that they have the ability to safely carry out research.

Research Ready Accreditation offers GP practices the following benefits:

  • A quality framework demonstrating that practices meet the legal requirements of the UK's governance framework
  • A means for chief investigators, study teams, MHRA inspection teams or inspectors and Research Management & Governance staff to be satisfied that nay practice accredited to Research Ready level is up-to-date and compliant with national research standards
  • Awareness of how to minimise any potential risks for the practice, practice staff and patients involved in studies
  • A structure to enable practices to reflect on their ability and capacity to participate in high quality research
  • Evidence of research capability that can be used within the research domain in your appraisal and can support with revalidation
  • The locally held Core Competency Demonstration Form (downloadable from the Research Ready site) and practice held Research Ready file provides a useful reference for the research team and also supports the practice in induction of new staff who will participate in research activities.
  • Reaccreditation ensure that practices stay up-to-date with research governance frameworks and that their details remain accurate
  • Accreditation provides practices with opportunity to be involved in a wider range of research studies, largely commissioned through the CRN
  • Accredited practices are kept abreast of opportunities and activities associated with research and innovation from the RCGP and partner organisations
  • The ability and active participation in research provides patients with alternative avenues for care, and staff within the practice with opportunities for care.

Read the article by practice research lead, Dr Matt Hoghton, explaining the benefits of Research to his practice, patients and staff. [PDF]

Research Ready flyer [PDF]

Eligibility

Research Ready is available to both practices that are already research active and practices which are not yet active, providing an industry standard for GP practices who participate in research. We strongly encourage practices to make links with their local National Institute for Research (NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) who provide support with research studies.

To become Accredited

Practices are required to complete an initial registration and will then be sent login details to complete the accreditation process.

Practices must be able to answer 'yes' to all the questions in the assessment and enter information on their practice demographics and research interests. Practices choose whether they wish to be accredited to a level that supports the undertaking of clinical trails. Practices are expected to download a copy of the Core Competency Demonstration form from the accreditation site and maintain this as evidence of how they meet the criteria.

Initial Registration

Following completion of the accreditation questionnaire an administration charge of £150 is levied to cover a three year period of accreditation. This charge is non profit making and covers the back office costs required to run the Research Ready programme.

Main accreditation site

A list of practices who are fully accredited is available from this web page (this is updated on a two weekly basis). Practice information and research experience is shared with the NIHR CRN in order to support accredited practices in being contacted by the CRN when they are commissioning research studies.

List of accredited practices [XLS] 

Accreditation competencies

In order to become accredited practices are asked to demonstrate competency in the following areas:

1. Support for research activity within the practice

  • Ensuring that partners support research activity within the practices

2. Appropriate space and facilities to host research

  • Ensuring security of files, records and regular secure data backup
  • Ensuring staff time can be allocated for research activities
  • Ensuring storage of materials / samples associated with research
  • Ensuring access for external research staff to appropriate facilities / equipment

3. Demonstrating that the practice has ability to run appropriate searches of the practice database

  • Ensuring database is maintained at appropriate standards and staff are training in its use

4. Demonstrating that the practice and individual members of staff understand their governance and ethical responsibilities in line with the Research Governance Frameworks

  • Ensuring staff understand the principals of research governance and ethical responsibilities appropriate to the aspects of research that they participate in

5. Demonstrating awareness of responsibilities to patients and staff who are participating in research studies

  • Ensuring that the practice Data Protection registrations is up to date and covers research activities
  • Ensuring that practice staff are aware of and carry out their responsibilities to patients involved in research, e.g. informed consent, communication to practice users and reporting

Reaccreditation

Practices are required to renew their accreditation after three years.

The process is straightforward:

  • check the original practice details and make any updates
  • check that the practice still meets the requirements of Research Ready (which may have changed since the previous accreditation date) 
  • change the Clinical Trials status if applicable
  • enter information about research undertaken during the three years previous accreditation

Practices receive an email reminder one month prior to their accreditation expiry date, this is sent to the practice managers address.

Reaccredit your practice

Nominations

Research active organisations and employees / members of a University, NIHR Research Network, or the Medical Research Council can nominate practices for RCGP Research Ready Status based on their research performance and experience.

You will be required to complete details about your organisation and then some details on the practice, many of the fields have been left optional if you would prefer the practice to complete them. They will then be sent login details to complete the accreditation assessment.

Nominate a practice

If you would like to contact us, please email research.ready@rcgp.org.uk

Useful information can be found on the National Institute for Health Research website

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