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Author:  Anonymous Medzilla Reader
Date:  10-16-07 01:20pm
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I recently asked this question but only one person answered and not really to my satisfaction. I am currently a research coordinator/CRA involved in clinical trials.
I would like to know which certification would be better for me in the long run, CCRA through ACRP or CCRP thru SOCRA?
I would eventually like to become a CRA specialist and be a CRA consultant/independent business. Thank you.

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 12, 2018, 02:11AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   You are good at everything in your interest. I suggest you to take CCRP thru SOCRA
  Author: anonymous in GA Oct 01, 2018, 07:11AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Hi, I am currently studying for the SOCRA exam to be taken in December. I was happy to come across this forum though most of the posts are from years back. Anyone out there just recently taken or planning to take the SOCRA anytime soon? Would love to brainstorm about questions, study guides, helpful hints etc
  Author: Me, CCRP Apr 13, 2018, 07:03PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I finally passed! I took the CRC with ACRP in 2012 and failed. Now, i took the CCRP and passed. I started studying daily Dec-March, testing March 2018. I studied via the study guide and I did the tis review. Neither covered everything and the download is hard to study. The test is hard.
  Author: Esha Feb 12, 2018, 03:35PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Hi, how long does it take to prepare for the exam? my exam is on Mar 19 this year and I haven't started preparing yet, so wanted an estimate.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Dec 21, 2016, 10:58AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I have both certifications (CCRP and CCRA). I started with SOCRA and when I became a CRA I then received CCRA. SOCRA is focused on the FDA regs and some ICH. ACRP is focused on ICH and situational questions that sometimes can be subjective. I found both helpful in different ways. At my employer we require one of either certification for all CRAs and give preference to applicants for all positions that have a certification. We also give preference to sites that have certified coordinators for our studies.

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Sep 04, 2008, 11:41AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   First of all contrary to what a previous poster said, you DO NOT need monitoring experience to sit for either the SOCRA or ACRP exams. I know people who have taken both of these tests and none of them have monitoring experience. Unless you are taking the ACRP exam for monitors, then you don't need monitoring experience. You do, however, need the 2 years of clinical research experience as described by the guidelines on each site.

I have read through the websites and I still don't understand what the difference between SoCRA and ACRP certification is. Is one preferred over the other? What if you work in academic clinical research as opposed to private pharmaceutical companies? What do each prefer?
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 29, 2008, 11:44AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Complete information on each of the certification exams and their requirements can be found on their websites ( and The following is a brief description to clarify the differences in the exams:

The SOCRA CCRP exam is available to anyone who has worked full time in the field of clinical research for at least 2 years as a Clinical Research Professional (clinical investigator, sub-investigator, clinical researcher, research nurse, administrator, coordinator, consultant, or educator in clinical trial management, etc.).

The ACRP CCRC exam is available only to those whose job function, regardless of title, is under the direction of an investigator at a research site (Site preparation, Patient screening and recruitment, Patient enrollment, Conducting study visits, Maintaining and dispensing drug supplies, Completing and ensuring the quality of case report forms, Maintaining source documents, Ensuring site quality).

The ACRP CCRA exam is available only to those whose job function, regardless of title, is independent of the investigative staff conducting the research (Assurance that the research site personnel, including the investigators, are conducting the study according to GCP guidelines, Assurance that all applicable regulatory requirements are being met by the investigator's site, Assurance that applicable adverse events are properly reported to the sponsor, Review of site record accuracy regarding drug accountability, Clinical trial-related activities for the sponsor such as protocol development, site/investigator selection, study initiation activities, study termination activities, CRF processing/management activities (including in-house sponsor review and query resolution), final study report

  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 28, 2008, 08:14PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   What is meant by the answer to the question;

As for project managers having a CCRP, it may be because they don't meet the requirements to sit for the CCRA exam.
Please explain the difference? I thought the only difference was in who gives the exam. SOCRA vs ACRP. Is this incorrect? There seems to be many different positions with the certifications.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 28, 2008, 11:51AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Most sponsors/pharma wants to review the CRA's CVs and monitoring experience before they decide to award the contract for their studies. They want experienced monitors to conduct the trial, since that is a requirement for their regulatory obligation. CROs are responsible for hiring and training experienced monitors. You need to start from the bottom up, apply for an assistant CRA and work your way up. You must insist on getting co-monitoring, training with a senior CRA so that you can get hired as a CRA. It doesn't matter if you have 10 yrs CRC experience with a master's in Nursing or MD
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 28, 2008, 07:07AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Does anyone have a clue as to why CROs/Pharmas don't go after good CRCs and train them to be CRAs? What with the huge job market? I would love to hear the perspective of Project Managers. Back in the late 1990's when I was a CRC looking to become a CRA, MDS Pharma Services hired many CRCs and trained us in one week to be a CRA. WE observed several visits and then were on our own. It is not that big of a transition that everyone makes it out to be. In fact, people who have been CRCs often make the best CRAs.

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 27, 2008, 06:37AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I have to agree about the value of these certifications. I am a project manager and persistance in interviews along with just putting in good, hard work have been the key for me. I don't have these certifications now and it hasn't stopped me. It's not to say I wouldn't get a certification in the future, but only if my employer pays for it.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 26, 2008, 05:12PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Certifications help at thesite level for better salaries and markeateability but not at industry level
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 26, 2008, 07:48AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I agree with the person from ICON. Unless the CRM degree is a personal goal for you, don't waste your money. My experinece: 10 years CRC, 2 years project management, CRM degree, two years home-based industry for major pharma, and am a family nurse practitioner and the ONLY way I even got an interview for a CRA job is because three of my former monitors went to bat for me with the company they work for and repeatedly requested I get an interview. I still do not know if it will work out (salary, location, etc). If not, in my mind it is not meant to be and I need to move my career down a different path. I find it so frustrating that recruiters/sponsors look at their bullet point/check boxes and cannot see beyond that (i.e. CRM degree, FNP, other experience). Working as a project manager was even harder than monitoring and even that doesn't suffice for experience.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 25, 2008, 12:41PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I agree with the previous poster. I've been a coordinator for 6 years and became certified last year with SOCRA's exam. It hasn't helped me at all in trying to get a monitoring position. Bottom line, no experience, no job. I keep hearing the same thing over and over. I was even thinking on getting my masters in clinical research management and was told by a recruiter at ICON it would be a waste of time. Any advice from anyone would be helpful. Thanks.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 25, 2008, 07:05AM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I agree that it is not about the certification. I have been an independent contractor for over 2 years and not once have been turned down for a job. When I was a coordinator I sat for the CCRC exam and just don't want to spend the money on the CCRA test for another acronym after my name. What gets me my contracts is monitoring experience in specific therapeutic areas.

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 24, 2008, 07:40PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Ok, first of all to the original poster, research coordinator and cra are not the same thing an thus should not be implied so by stating that you are a research coordinator/cra.
Next, you cannot sit for either of those exames unless you have been MONITORING for two years (or if you are extremely rare like myself and and can get your project manager to vouch for your aptitude and take the test a year or so early).
It is not a difficult test at all if you know the industry and actually understand what you're doing. I took the acrp test last spring and passed it with an 89% and studied for literally 2-hours the night before.
I monitored for a year and a half for cro and have been independant for 2 years now and will make over 200K this year.
Bottom line people, its not all about certifications and education, especially in this field. I mean come on people, most of my bosses are rns??? If you are smart and have the skill set required to be successful in this industry you will know right away. If you dont know and you have been coordinating for more than 2 years or monitoring for more than 2 years than you don't have it.
Good luck!
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 23, 2008, 08:32PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   The only reason I could see doing the CCRP is to get an idea of what the certification exams are like. The CCRP is available to both CRCs and CRAs, so the questions are broader in scope.

As for project managers having a CCRP, it may be because they don't meet the requirements to sit for the CCRA exam.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Aug 23, 2008, 03:13PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Someone new came to my company and signs behind their name, CCRA, CCRP. I realize they are separate exams, but why would someone do both? Aren't they equally of value in a position? It seems a little over the top to me and unneccesasry to me.
It seems like there are more CRA positions/monitors who are CCRA and Study/project managers are CCRP. Does this seem the norm in the business?

  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 20, 2007, 02:57PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   Thank you both for answering my question. I will definitely keep those things in mind over the next two years.
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 20, 2007, 12:02PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   I think either one is acceptable to most CROs and Pharma however I see most CRAs have the CCRA through ACRP rather than SoCRA. The one CRA I knew that took SoCRA training and became certified said she thought it was a better test than ACRP (which she took a few years before) because SoCRA focused more on the actually monitoring activities that a CRA does on site. She said ACRP had more regulatory and FDA questions.

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  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader Oct 17, 2007, 08:45PM
    Re: CCRA vs. CCRP   Log In to Report Post
   When I was working in a small medical device company my boss was me told that SOCRA would often times has more information for the medical device research professionals (this is still not a lot but more than ACRP), thus they prefer CCRP certification.
Whereas in the Pharm/Biotech arena the preferred CCRA. Often times it is hard to find a lot of training for the medical device world. Both ACRP and SOCRA require that you have about 2 years of experience before you sit for the exam.
So I guess you need to decide which industry you are most interested in working in, Pharm/Biotech or the Medical Device industry. I hope this helps. I do not know a lot of CRAs that are either CCRA or CCRP (the 2 CRAs/monitors I know are CCRPs).
Another consideration is timing of when you are ready and want to take the exam as well as the deadlines for submitting all of the paperwork. If I remember correctly both the ACRP and SOCRA exams are offered a couple of times a year. Both organizations offer intensive courses CRA training both for the beginner and the intermediate CRA level as well as CRC and investigator training.
I would check out both organizations websites and do a little research on your own to find out which would best suit your career goals and objectives.

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