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Good Clinical Practice (GCP)

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted.

It is important that everyone involved in research is trained or appropriately experienced to perform the specific tasks they are being asked to undertake. GCP training is a requirement set out in the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research developed by the Health Research Authority for researchers conducting clinical trials of investigational medicinal products (CTIMPs). 

Different types of research may require different training, and some researchers are already well trained and competent in their area of expertise. Some researchers doing other types of clinical trials may also benefit from undertaking GCP training but other training may be more relevant.

The NIHR offers range of Good Clinical Practice (GCP) courses and training aids for the clinical research delivery workforce. Our GCP courses are designed for individuals involved in the delivery of studies at research sites.

GCP protects the rights, safety and wellbeing of study participants

Compliance with GCP assures patients and the public that the rights, safety and wellbeing of people taking part in studies are protected and that research data is reliable.

We recommend that  team members leading and delivering research complete, as a minimum, the Introduction to Good Clinical Practice (GCP) course (online or face-to-face).  This should be followed by additional specialist courses where appropriate (e.g. Informed Consent) and regular GCP Refresher training.

Research team members who undertake limited duties working to well defined instructions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) may find locally delivered NIHR short courses and training aids more appropriate.  This should be discussed with the Chief Investigator of the study.

How to register for our GCP courses

All our courses are free and available to NHS, UK universities, and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research. You can access GCP courses via our learning platform NIHR Learn.