Conflict of Interest Professional Certification Program

PRIM&R and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), are pleased to announce we are collaborating to explore community interest in a certification program for conflict of interest (COI) professionals.

The consideration of a conflict of interest professional credential aligns with the missions of both organizations. Elisa Hurley, PRIM&R’s Executive Director, notes, “We are excited to be exploring the community’s interest in a COI professional certification. The identification and management of conflicts of interest are absolutely critical to conducting ethical research and maintaining the public’s trust in the research enterprise.”

Heather Pierce, Senior Director for Science Policy and Regulatory Counsel at the AAMC has seen the skills required by conflict of interest professionals grow, as evidenced by the rapid expansion and engagement of the over 700 member AAMC Forum on Conflict of Interest in Academe (FOCI). “Institutions looking to hire COI staff are increasingly requiring evidence of specialized knowledge and experience. The availability of a credential that demonstrates an understanding of this complex regulatory world could be beneficial to both individuals and institutions.”

At this stage, we are conducting a survey to gather feedback from those working in research settings who oversee the process for identifying and managing COI, as well as from those who employ or supervise others working in the COI field.  We seek to gauge the community’s interest in a potential COI certification program, as well as the likelihood that individuals would be interested in taking a COI certification exam and maintaining a credential through continued education.

The survey can be accessed here, and we encourage you to share this link with appropriate colleagues. The survey will take 5-8 minutes to complete and will remain open through November 3. Individual responses will be kept confidential and will be combined with those of other respondents. The survey results are being collected and tabulated by SeaCrest, a consulting company in the certification field that we have hired to guide us in this decision process.  

Wide participation in this survey is essential as we consider establishing professional development opportunities that meet the needs of the broad research community and promote high ethical and professional standards within the field.  We look forward to hearing from you!