Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Basics for Clinical Research

Marie Cuccia
April 16th, 2019

Many organizations require their employees to complete continuing education requirements in order to stay current in their industry. CEUs are a great way to have a record of your ongoing educational accomplishments. Certified CEUs are also a mark of quality in continuing education and training programs, ensuring a program was reviewed and approved to comply with recognized standards. Professional development and education are required in a vast array of industries, including clinical research.

What is a CEU?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. A CEU is equal to 10 hours of participation in an accredited program. These programs are designed for professionals in various industries who need to participate in a certain number of continuing education opportunities in order to maintain certificates and licenses. The amount of CEUs required depends on the individual’s state and industry. CEUs provide a permanent record of an individuals completed educational experiences for employer reference.

CEUs for Clinical Research Professionals

Continuing Education Units span many industries including the clinical research industry. Some of the regulatory bodies in clinical research who approve official CEUs include, for example, SOCRA, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and the California Nursing Board. Forte works with the two latter organizations in particular to put together CEUs for the biannual Onsemble Conference.

Organizations in the medical field all have different requirements for institution-specific technologies and workflows, and CEUs can possibly help you accomplish these in your specific role within your organization. Some of the more popular topics in trainings and continuing education for clinical research center around ethics in human subjects research, roles and responsibilities of the investigator and institution, regulatory issues, and clinical investigators.

Who can provide official CEUs?

Universities and organizations may award official CEU credits as long as they meet standards set for their particular industry. Following these standards allows an organization to become accredited. Make sure the program you are interested in is properly accredited to offer official CEUs and beware of fake certificates. Many continuing education programs offered online will use the term CEU but will not be an accredited organization/program. Some of these non-accredited programs will not be accepted as valid continuing education credit in certain organizations and for many licenses/certification.

ACRP offers a comprehensive list of acceptable providers of accredited continuing education credits in order to maintain their certification. This list is an excellent source for credible, high-quality education in the clinical research industry, and includes all state and national nursing associations, industry associations such as SoCRA, SCDM and ACRP themselves, and more. ACRP, and other certification bodies, also typically point out what doesn’t qualify for CEU credits. These lists can be equally important to review prior to registering for continuing education courses.

Official, accredited CEUs are an important part of supporting a clinical research career. Online and in-person trainings to help you complete your education requirements are offered by a wide array of accredited organizations. Forte’s bi-annual customer conference, Onsemble, offers several CEUs for clinical research professionals.

To learn more about Forte’s customer community and the technology solutions we provide, reach out to us today.

Explore valuable articles, eBooks, infographics and educational webinars (which may qualify for internal continuing education requirements) by visiting the educational clinical research resources section of our website.