Giving Thanks to Gary Chadwick: The Driving Force Behind the Establishment of the CIP Credential

by Susan Delano, CIP, Deputy Managing Director at Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., and Member of the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals

At the end of the year, my friend and colleague Gary Chadwick, PharmD, MPH, CIP, will step down from the Council for Certification of IRB Professionals (CCIP). As many of you may know, Gary was the driving force behind the successful establishment of the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential. Since its creation in 1999, the credential has achieved national recognition and many institutions and independent IRBs now require their IRB administrators to hold the certification. The CIP  credential provides a way for individuals to demonstrate their advanced knowledge of IRB administration and opens up opportunities for advancement. Over the years, we have also heard from many CIPs about the indirect benefits of learning from other credential holders and from the creation of a professional community. The successful establishment of the CIP program is emblematic of Gary and his many contributions to the human subjects protections field.

In the late 1990s the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA), the former membership division of PRIM&R, became increasingly aware of growing demands on IRB administrators and observed a need to professionalize IRBs and their staff.  To address these issues, ARENA sought to establish a certification program for IRB professionals, a project on which Gary took the lead. In 1999, Gary contacted a group of lucky individuals to ask them to participate in a planning meeting to explore the development of the credential. In typical Gary fashion, he selected a diverse group of individuals and, with the assistance of an expert in testing and certification, led the group to plan and establish the CIP. The quality of Gary’s leadership skills is reflected in the fact that the first CIP examination was given—just a year later—in 2000.

Gary’s knowledge of the regulations and best practices for the protection of human subjects is second to none and his skills as a grammarian are legendary. Both have been extremely valuable resources to the CIP program. Gary also has the extraordinary ability to, through his seemingly effortless leadership, foster strong collaborations. With humor, care, and thoughtfulness,  Gary made key contributions to a credential that has become the “gold standard” in the IRB world. He is modest about the time and effort that he contributed to making sure the program was established and maintained as a valid and respected credential. His contributions have been extensive and are very much appreciated by his fellow CCIP members.

Throughout his career in the human subjects protection field (he began as a clinical pharmacist), including his positions at the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Protection from Research Risks, and the University of Rochester, Gary has always been generous in sharing his knowledge and working collaboratively with others. He has also made time for his love of photography and is very talented in this endeavor.

As founding CCIP Chair, and later as a member, Gary has contributed his knowledge, time, effort and leadership for which we are profoundly grateful.

In recognition of Gary’s important and exceptional contributions to the field, including the creation of the CIP credential, he received PRIM&R’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003. To learn more about the CIP credential, as well as the members of the CCIP, please visit our website or join the CIP group on LinkedIn or Facebook