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Upgrading the Industry Costing Tool


Work is underway to upgrade the NIHR Industry Costing Tool (iCT) into a new and improved web-based system - bringing a range of improvements to end-users in the life sciences industry and across the NHS.

Based on the opinions and experiences of our stakeholders, the new iCT - now known as the interactive Costing Tool - will better meet the need of users and streamline the costing process involved in setting up commercial contract studies within the NHS.

With improved usability, functionality, reliability and compatibility - the new CPMS-based system will ultimately make it quicker and easier to set up commercial studies in the NHS through increased accuracy and visibility of commercial costing.

The new iCT will be a fundamental tool underpinning the transition to a new single review process for all commercial studies - minimising the time required to negotiate the cost for delivering research at an individual site.

iCT functionality improvements at a glance:

  • Compatibility: The new web-based iCT will work on any computer - overcoming software compatibility issues with the existing Excel-based version of the tool
  • Usability: With a simple layout, the new iCT  will be a fully automated costing solution - accessible from the NIHR Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS) and no longer involving any manual steps from users
  • Reliability: Updates or changes to the new system will be a seamless process, improving system reliability
  • Improved audit functionality: The new app will contain a central log of all adjustments made as part of the contract negotiation process - enabling NIHR to further streamline processes by identifying any issues or delays
  • Visibility: The new iCT will enable resource requirements determined at a site level will to be shared with others involved in the study within the system, avoiding duplication of effort

What happens next?

The new iCT is currently in development with a planned launch date in the new financial year.

Keep an eye out on the interactive Costing Template webpage for the latest updates on this redevelopment.

About the iCT

The industry costing tool identifies resources required to deliver each specific study in the NHS (including NHS trusts, primary care organisations and specialist research locations like Clinical Research Facilities), to which a standardised costing methodology is applied, to provide a price estimate for the commercial company.  A negotiation follows with each participating site until both parties reach an agreement, which is then included in the site contract to undertake the study.

The ICT is a fundamental interface as part of the study set-up process for commercial contract studies - enabling transparent cost calculations and swift budget negotiations - expediting study set up time for both industry and the NHS.

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