2018 IRB Administrator Boot Camp: Reflection

PRIM&R’s 2018 IRB Administrator Boot Camp presented a good opportunity to be immersed in learning at a face-to-face event that was well-attended, but small enough to make personal connections. Part of the reason I wanted to attend the boot camp was because I wanted to earn more continuing education (CE) credits. I cuBlog Squad

rrently hold the Certified IRB Professional (CIP) credential and wanted to maintain my soon-to-be expiring certification through CE, rather than retaking the exam. While webinars can be a great, inexpensive way to earn CE credit, I feel that I learn more and retain information better when attending in-person trainings and conferences. It’s so easy to attempt to plug along with daily work and listen to a webinar at the same time, only to find that neither task gets accomplished very effectively. The knowledge I gained was very useful and the format of the event made the course material easy to learn and remember.

A learning objective I set for myself before the event was  to refresh my memory on more basic regulatory knowledge and IRB Administrator 101 provided the perfect setting for that. I do not think it is possible to hear information too many times. Sometimes it seems that human subjects research is governed by regulations that are purely black and white, but upon closer examination, it becomes clear that there is some flexibility in the interpretation of the regulations. A lot of guidance is available to help navigate the rules we all work within, but it is helpful to hear varying perspectives on how certain regulations are applied.

At IRB Administrator Boot Camp, presenters and participants offered their points of view on where flexibility exists and talked about best practices that their institutions have developed to make sure that all regulations are applied appropriately. The IRB Administrator 101 course was a valuable refresher and included information that is helpful for anyone working in a Human Research Participant Protection Program.   

Before attending the boot camp, I was also interested in learning more about how other institutions are handling the Common Rule changes. IRB Administrator 201 included a fair amount of information on the upcoming Common Rule and the presenters discussed some good ideas for things they plan to do as well as things that they don’t foresee their institutions undertaking immediately (like serving as the IRB of record for high risk studies involving many performance sites). Overall, the content of the boot camp helped me brush up on important regulatory information and provided a window into how other institutions operate their IRB offices.   

Megan Boyt, CIP, is a Regulatory Analyst in the IRBMED office at the University of Michigan. She pre-reviews biomedical IRB applications from various departments and helps coordinate full board meetings. Megan serves as a liaison between board members and the research community and strives to be an effective facilitator. Prior to joining the University of Michigan, she worked as a Research Compliance Specialist at Wayne State University. Megan has worked in the IRB realm since 2011.

Members of PRIM&R’s Blog Squad and other guest contributors are valued members of our community willing to share their insights. The views expressed in their posts do not necessarily reflect those of PRIM&R or its employees.