Translation of novel research interventions into clinical applications for improved human health requires a well-prepared, competent workforce. There is a critical need to provide high quality, accessible, competency-based training for research personnel conducting clinical trials.
To address the need for consistent training, assessment, and measures of competency, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) has collaborated with the Ohio State University, Rochester University, and Tufts University to launch the DIAMOND portal.
The DIAMOND portal is a pioneering digital collection that serves as a sustainable, federated database for members of clinical and translational research study teams to share and access training and assessment resources. It was developed as part of the Clinical & Translational Awards (CTSA) Development, Implementation, and AssessMent Of Novel Training in Domain-based competencies (DIAMOND) initiative.
This work is based upon a previous NIH-funded project, Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals' Training and Qualifications (ECRPTQ), which aimed to standardize Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training for clinical trials professionals. As part of this project, a CTSA-wide consortium identified eight essential competency domains for clinical trials, building on work previously completed by the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency. The DIAMOND portal is structured around the ECRPTQ competency domains, making searching for specific types of educational programs and assessments easy for users.
“Our goal was to create an easy-to-use platform that allows for widespread dissemination of all the exceptional training programs and assessment materials developed by the CTSA hubs,” says Vicki Ellingrod, the MICHR DIAMOND site principal investigator. “Building on the ECRPTQ competency domains made sense as we worked to identify educational programs to support the conduct of clinical research and clinical trials.”
CTSA consortium members and their partner sites are invited to visit the portal, where they can upload links to educational offerings and assessments from their institutions, allowing these resources to be shared with DIAMOND users.
“The power of DIAMOND will only increase as more users contribute to the collection,” Ellingrod says. “The active and ongoing use of the DIAMOND portal by study team members across the CTSA will improve their ability to conduct safe and efficient clinical and translational research, advancing the pace of discovery throughout the consortium.”
The DIAMOND portal encourages workforce development by serving as a federated platform for study team members and connecting clinical research professionals through an ePortfolio service. The ePortfolio enables users to manage their professional development while showcasing completed projects and evidence of learning and competence to supervisors and potential employers. Combined, these platforms enable the workforce to access and benefit from training and assessment opportunities that are relevant to their individual career development needs. The active and ongoing use of the DIAMOND portal and ePortfolio by study team members should advance their ability to conduct effective clinical and translational research.
Funding for this project comes from a Collaborative Innovation Award (U01TR002013) from the CTSA program, which is administered by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Science.
Learn more about the CTSA here.