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Commercial contract research: National contract value review update and National Coordinator appointments


National contract value review

As part of a joint programme of work between NHS England and NHS Improvement and NIHR to introduce the national contract value review process for commercial contract research, NHS providers and industry will benefit from a new and improved approach to setting up commercial contract research (CCR) in England.

The new process will reduce the duplication and administration of protracted costing negotiations for NHS providers and the life sciences industry - making the NHS in England a more attractive base for research, benefiting patients, NHS providers, and the wider UK economy.

The national contract value review (NCVR) is a standardised national process for allocating resource and procedure requirements for commercial research studies. The NCVR process ensures a fair, transparent and consistent approach to research costing across the country creating a do once and share approach that separates national resource allocation for the study from specific local site resource allocation. Introduction of the NCVR process enables negotiations at an individual sites level to focus only on specific local requirements. You can find out more about the programme of work and the new role and process here.

National Coordinator appointments from January 2020

The new NCVR process is underpinned by the new National Coordinator role - which will be undertaken by trained and accredited individuals from NHS provider sites across the country.

From January 2020, Research and Development (R&D) directors at NHS provider sites which meet the eligibility criteria will be invited to become a National Coordinator host site. Host sites will be asked to nominate skilled, experienced individuals from their R&D department to undergo training and accreditation to undertake the role of National Coordinator. National Coordinators will play a key role in facilitating the introduction of the NCVR process from April 2020. Details of the minimum skills, experience, and expertise required for National Coordinators will be published imminently on the NHIR website along with the appointment process and criteria for organisations.

A series of webinars are planned in January to give providers and potential National Coordinators the opportunity to find out more about what is involved and ask questions.

More information

For more information on the National Coordinator role and appointments process, email:

To find out more about the NCVR and ongoing work to improve study set up for commercial contract research in England, visit the NIHR faster costing and contracting page.