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Top 10 Researcher Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top certifications for researchers, outlining their benefits and requirements.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for a researcher in the job market because they demonstrate that the researcher has specific knowledge and skills that are necessary for their field of study. Certification provides employers with evidence that the researcher is qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced in their research specialty. Certifications also provide assurance to employers that the researcher will be able to effectively complete tasks related to their field. Additionally, certifications can help researchers stand out from other applicants as they demonstrate commitment and dedication to their profession.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain some of the top certifications for Researchers and how they can help enhance a researcher's career.

What are Researcher Certifications?

Researcher certification is a process whereby researchers are assessed and certified against a set of professional standards to demonstrate their competence in conducting research activities. This ensures that the research conducted is of high quality, reliable and valid. The assessment process typically includes an evaluation of the researcher’s experience, knowledge, skills and abilities.

The primary benefit of researcher certification is that it helps to ensure that the research being conducted meets the highest standards possible. It also provides assurance to those who rely on the results that they can trust in the validity of the findings. Additionally, researcher certification encourages researchers to continuously improve their skills and knowledge by keeping up with current trends in research methodology and data collection techniques. Finally, it reduces potential risks associated with research projects by ensuring that researchers are qualified to carry out their work effectively and safely.

Pro Tip: Make sure to keep your researcher certification up-to-date by regularly taking continuing education courses or attending workshops related to the field of research you are working in. This will ensure that you have the latest information and skills needed to conduct effective research.

Related: What does a Researcher do?

Top 10 Researcher Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Researchers today.

1. Certified Research Professional (CRP)

Certified Research Professional (CRP) is a certification program offered by the Society of Research Administrators International (SRAI). It is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated an advanced level of knowledge and expertise in research administration.

The CRP credential requires a minimum of three years of professional experience in research administration, as well as successful completion of an exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as research compliance, grants management, contracts and agreements, financial management, and human subjects protection.

In order to take the exam, applicants must first submit an application that includes proof of their professional experience. Once approved, they will be required to pay a fee before being allowed to take the test. The fee for the CRP exam is $295 USD.

The exam itself takes approximately four hours to complete and can be taken at various locations around the world. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CRP credential and become part of the SRAI network.

2. Certified Research Administrator (CRA)

A Certified Research Administrator (CRA) is a professional certification that recognizes the expertise and experience of research administrators in the field of research administration. The CRA certification is awarded by the Research Administrators Certification Council (RACC).

The CRA certification requires applicants to have a minimum of four years of full-time research administration experience, or its equivalent, within the last 10 years. Applicants must also have a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university.

To get the CRA certification, applicants must first submit an application to the RACC and pay the applicable fee. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete an online examination that covers topics such as research ethics, compliance, grants management, contracts and financial management. After passing the exam with a score of 70% or higher, applicants will be awarded their CRA certification.

The cost for applying for and taking the CRA exam is $550 USD for members of RACC and $650 USD for non-members.

3. Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP)

The Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) is a professional certification offered by the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). It is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities related to clinical research. The CCRP credential is recognized worldwide as a symbol of excellence in clinical research practice.

To become certified, applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, including:

  • A minimum of two years of full-time or equivalent part-time experience in clinical research;
  • Completion of an approved course in Good Clinical Practices;
  • Passing the CCRP exam with a score of at least 70%.

The CCRP exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately three hours to complete. The cost for the exam is $350 USD. Once all requirements are met and the exam has been successfully passed, applicants will be awarded the CCRP credential. The certification is valid for three years from the date it was issued and must be renewed every three years with continuing education credits.

4. Certified Research Manager (CRM)

Certified Research Manager (CRM) is a professional certification offered by the Association of Professional Researchers International (APRI). The CRM designation is designed to recognize and promote excellence in research management. It is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of research management principles, practices, and techniques.

To become certified, applicants must have at least five years of full-time research experience and must pass a two-part exam. The first part consists of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as research design, data collection methods, data analysis techniques, and project management. The second part consists of an essay that requires the applicant to demonstrate their knowledge and ability to apply research management principles in a real-world setting.

The exam takes approximately four hours to complete and can be taken online or in person at an APRI testing center. The cost for the exam varies depending on whether you take it online or in person; online exams typically cost $200 USD while in-person exams cost $400 USD.

Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your CRM certificate within 2–4 weeks. Your certificate will include your name, date of certification, and the official CRM logo. Additionally, your name will be added to the APRI’s list of Certified Research Managers which can be viewed by potential employers or clients looking for qualified professionals in this field.

5. Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)

Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) is a professional certification program developed by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). The CPHQ certification is designed to recognize healthcare professionals who demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for quality management in healthcare organizations. The CPHQ credential is recognized as the gold standard of excellence in healthcare quality.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for and take the CPHQ exam. Candidates must have a minimum of two years’ experience in a healthcare quality role, or a bachelor’s degree plus one year of experience, or a master’s degree plus six months of experience. Candidates must also complete an approved course on healthcare quality or pass an equivalent exam prior to taking the CPHQ exam.

To get certified, candidates must first register with NAHQ and pay the registration fee ($125). Then they must pass the CPHQ exam, which costs $395 for members and $495 for non-members. After passing the exam, candidates will be required to submit proof of their education and experience before they can receive their certificate.

Once certified, CPHQ holders must maintain their credential by completing at least 30 hours of continuing education every three years.

6. Certified Professional in Clinical Trials Management (CPCTM)

Certified Professional in Clinical Trials Management (CPCTM) is a certification program developed by the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced clinical research professionals. The CPCTM credential is intended to demonstrate that an individual has achieved a level of expertise in the field of clinical trials management.

The CPCTM requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in clinical research and pass an exam administered by SOCRA. The exam covers topics such as regulatory affairs, ethics, project management, data management, and more. Applicants must also complete a minimum number of continuing education credits within the past five years.

To get certified as a CPCTM, you must first submit an application to SOCRA. Once your application is approved, you will be able to register for the exam. You can take the exam at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through ProctorU. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes about three hours to complete.

The cost for becoming a CPCTM varies depending on whether or not you are already a member of SOCRA. For non-members, the fee is $450 USD; for members it is $350 USD. Additionally, there is an annual renewal fee of $50 USD for members and $75 USD for non-members.

7. Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)

Certified Quality Auditor (CQA) is a professional certification issued by the American Society for Quality (ASQ). It is designed to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of quality auditing principles and practices. The CQA certification is intended for individuals who conduct internal or external audits, evaluate organizational processes, and assess compliance with standards.

It typically takes between three to six months to prepare for the CQA exam. Preparation includes studying the topics covered on the exam, such as quality management systems, auditing techniques and tools, process improvement methods, and risk management. Candidates can also take an ASQ-approved training course to help prepare them for the exam.

To become certified as a CQA, applicants must pass an exam administered by ASQ. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and covers topics related to quality auditing principles and practices. The cost of taking the exam varies depending on whether you are an ASQ member or not; it typically ranges from $400-$600 USD.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also have at least three years of relevant work experience in quality auditing or related fields. They must also agree to abide by ASQ’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. Once all requirements are met, applicants will receive their CQA certification from ASQ.

8. American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certification (CIH)

The American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) Certification is a professional certification program that provides recognition of an individual’s expertise in the field of industrial hygiene. It is the highest level of recognition available to industrial hygienists and is recognized internationally as a mark of excellence in the profession.

To become certified, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements and pass an examination administered by ABIH. The exam consists of two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. The written portion covers topics such as industrial hygiene principles, toxicology, hazard evaluation, control technologies, sampling techniques, and safety management. The practical portion requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in areas such as air monitoring, noise measurements, ventilation design, hazardous materials management, ergonomics analysis, and risk assessment.

It typically takes between three to five years for an individual to complete the necessary requirements for certification. This includes obtaining relevant work experience in the field of industrial hygiene as well as completing approved courses or workshops related to industrial hygiene topics. Individuals must also submit documentation demonstrating their qualifications for certification.

The cost for taking the ABIH Certification Exam varies depending on which region you are located in but typically ranges from $400-$600 USD. Additionally, there are annual fees associated with maintaining your certification status which range from $50-$100 USD per year depending on your region.

Overall, becoming certified through ABIH can be a lengthy process but it is worth it due to the recognition it provides within the industry and its potential benefits when seeking employment or advancement opportunities in industrial hygiene roles.

9. Qualified Investigator Certification Program (QICP)

The Qualified Investigator Certification Program (QICP) is a certification program developed by the International Association of Certified Investigators (IACI). It is designed to provide investigators with the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct investigations in a professional and ethical manner. The QICP certification is recognized as an industry standard for investigators.

The QICP program consists of three levels of certification: Basic, Advanced, and Master. Each level requires the completion of specific courses, examinations, and practical experience. The Basic level requires the completion of a minimum of 40 hours of coursework and two examinations. The Advanced level requires the completion of an additional 80 hours of coursework and three examinations. The Master level requires the completion of an additional 120 hours of coursework and four examinations.

In order to obtain QICP certification, applicants must meet certain prerequisites such as having a minimum amount of investigative experience or completing specific courses prior to applying for certification. Applicants must also submit their application along with proof that they have met all prerequisites before they can be considered for certification.

The cost for obtaining QICP certification varies depending on which level you are applying for and whether or not you are a member of IACI. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000 to obtain QICP certification depending on which level you are applying for and whether or not you are a member of IACI.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete all requirements necessary to obtain QICP certification depending on which level you are applying for and how quickly you work through the required courses and exams.

10. Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC-US/EU/Canada)

Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC-US/EU/Canada) is a certification program offered by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge and skills of regulatory affairs professionals. The RAC-US/EU/Canada certification is focused on US, European Union (EU), and Canadian regulations and requirements for medical products.

The RAC-US/EU/Canada certification requires applicants to have at least three years of professional experience in regulatory affairs and pass an examination that tests their knowledge of regulations and best practices in the field. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions covering topics such as product development, labeling, manufacturing, clinical trials, postmarketing surveillance, international regulations, etc.

It typically takes about three months to complete the application process and take the exam. Applicants must submit an application form with supporting documentation such as proof of education or professional experience. Once approved, applicants will receive instructions on how to register for the exam.

The cost of the RAC-US/EU/Canada certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of RAPS. For members, it costs $1125 USD; for non-members it costs $1375 USD.

Do You Really Need a Researcher Certificate?

Whether or not you need a researcher certificate depends on your research goals and the type of research you are planning to do. If you plan to conduct research in an academic setting, such as at a university, then it may be beneficial to obtain a researcher certificate. The certificate can help ensure that you have the necessary qualifications and skills to conduct research effectively. It can also serve as proof that you have taken the time and effort to study research methods and ethics, which is important for any successful research project.

On the other hand, if your goal is simply to gain knowledge about a particular topic through informal inquiry or observation, then you may not need a researcher certificate. In this case, having some basic knowledge of research methods can still be helpful but is not essential. You may also want to consider whether or not obtaining a researcher certificate would be worth the cost and time involved in obtaining it.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not obtaining a researcher certificate is necessary for your individual situation. Consider your goals carefully before deciding if this type of certification is necessary for your success as a researcher.

Related: Researcher Resume Examples

FAQs About Researcher Certifications

Q1: What is a researcher certification?

A1: A researcher certification is an official recognition of a person’s knowledge, skills, and abilities as a professional researcher. It is typically offered by organizations or educational institutions to demonstrate that the individual has met certain standards for conducting research.

Q2: How do I get certified as a researcher?

A2: To become certified as a researcher, you must typically complete an accredited program in research methods and/or data analysis, such as those offered through universities or professional organizations. You may also need to pass an exam or demonstrate your proficiency in specific areas of research.

Q3: What are the benefits of having a researcher certification?

A3: Having a researcher certification can make you more competitive in the job market and help you stand out from other applicants. It can also provide opportunities to take on higher-level positions within your organization and increase your earning potential. Additionally, it can help build credibility with clients and peers when presenting research results.

Q4: How long does it take to get certified as a researcher?

A4: The amount of time necessary to become certified will depend on the type of certification program you choose and the requirements for completion. Generally speaking, most programs require at least one year of study and practice before taking the final exam or demonstrating proficiency in certain areas.

Q5: Is there any cost associated with getting certified as a researcher?

A5: Yes, there are typically fees associated with obtaining certifications. These can include application fees, tuition costs for courses or exams, and other administrative costs related to maintaining certification status over time.