Tier Advancement

Recent Updates

Please do not forget to check out our new FAQ on professional certifications and proctored testing. 

New training has been added! Click below to check it out!

 

Tier Advancement Cycle 2022

Cycles of Tier Advancement

Tier Advancement is offered once annually. Employees may complete assessments, and managers may score them, at any time during the year.  Proctored testing is held only during the Tier Advancement cycles. Managers are encouraged to use the assessments as tools for onboarding, training, and evaluating staff performance.

Tier Advancement Cycle 2022

Eligibility (official policy can be found here)

Staff mapped into, or hired into, any of the four classifications below may be eligible:

  • Clinical Research Coordinator (1201)
  • Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator (1203)
  • Regulatory Coordinator (1219)
  • Research Program Leader (1280)

These staff are eligible if they:

  • Have not reached the top tier for the classification (Tier 3, except in the case of Research Program Leader, which is Tier 2).
  • Have not received an overall “Needs Improvement” on their most recent performance appraisal or mid-year review (if applicable) prior to announcing intent to go through tier advancement.
  • Appropriate parties believe the candidate is ready for tier advancement.  Appropriate parties may include faculty, managers, and those in human resources – those who are associated with the professional development of the clinical research staff member.

 

Process Overview

  • The RPM will be responsible for serving as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC; official policy can be found here) and completing a REDCap survey for each employee applying for Tier Advancement. The link to complete this survey can be located on the RPM Wiki.  It is the department/center/institute’s responsibility to ensure appropriate parties (faculty, HR, others) are included in the conversation about whether an employee is ready for advancement.
  • WE-R will contact employees participating in tier advancement. Employees will:
    • Complete a survey to record the competencies and level at which they would like to be tested.
    • Drive the process and complete assessments in a timely manner.
  • The manager will:
    • Review the employee’s survey submission and make necessary adjustments.
    • Review with the employee the list of assessments that will need to be completed.
    • Conduct and score relevant assessments.
    • Input the results of employee assessments into REDCap by the cycle due date.  We strongly encourage early submissions.
  • WE-R will:
    • Input scores from centrally-reviewed and proctored assessments.
    • Confirm final point tally.
    • Convene committees for review of applications for staff advancing to Tier 3 (CRC, CRNCs, and Reg Coordinators) or those advancing to Research Program Leader Tier 2; input outcome of committee meetings.
    • Communicate employee results to the department/center/institute RPM in October. It is the department/center/institute’s responsibility to share the results with the employee.

 

Tiering Results & Salary Implications

Staff and their managers will be notified of results of their testing in September, with an expected effective date of November 1st. The salary increases will be as follows:

  • 3% for advancement to Tier 2
  • 5% for advancement to Tier 3, or for those advancing from a Research Program Leader Tier 1 to Research Program Leader Tier 2

Welcome Packets

These documents provide employees and managers with a comprehensive look at the Tier Advancement process.

Employee Welcome Packets

CRC, CRNC, and Regulatory Coordinator Welcome Packet
Research Program Leader Welcome Packet

Manager Welcome Packets

Manager of CRC, CRNC, and Regulatory Coordinator Welcome Packet
Manager of Research Program Leader Welcome Packet

 

Sign Up for Office Hours

Virtual Office hours for WE-R Tier Advancement will be held every Monday (with the exception of Holidays), 12PM-1PM, from April 11 to July 18. We will speak individually with people who have questions; please prepare your questions in advance. To sign up for a 15 minute slot, click this link. Sign up for Office Hours. A WE-R team member will call you during your designated time. If you become unavailable during your selected time, please contact WER-jobs@dm.duke.edu.

 

Readiness Tool

Use this tool to plan for Tier Advancement for clinical research job classifications at Duke. This is to be used by employees and their supervisors, faculty, and HR managers to decide whether tier advancement is appropriate. Note – this is a self-assessment tool. Candidates applying for Tier 3, and Tier 2 for RPLs, will also receive committee review of their application.  

CRC, CRNC, and Regulatory Coordinator Readiness Tool
Research Program Leader Readiness Tool

 

Certifications in relation to Tier Advancement: 

As part of Tier Advancement for CRCs, CRNCs, and Regulatory Coordinators, staff members who have been professionally certified through a clinical research organization will receive credit. Staff will receive two points for being certified and uploading documentation of said certification during their next Tier Advancement cycle. In addition, staff may receive an additional two points for maintaining their certification for at least one certification renewal cycle (refer to the certification requirements; they may differ across organizations). Staff may receive a max of four points throughout Tier Advancement. An FAQ has been posted. If you have additional questions, please email WER-jobs@dm.duke.edu

Note: Please do not submit to Tier Advancement just to add these points.

 

Assessments

 

Below are the assessments for tier advancement. If you have questions, please contact wer-jobs@duke.edu.

Note: * This is a proctored assessment and learning objectives are provided below.

 

Research Operations

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Contracts and Agreements *

WE-R Knowledge

FDA Regulatory Submissions

Manager Self-Report

Institutional Regulatory Policies and Processes *

WE-R Knowledge

International Regulatory Documentation

Manager Self Report

Investigational Products *

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Monitoring and Audits

Manager Self Report

Participant Level Documentation

Manager Self Report

Participant Retention

Manager Self Report

Recruitment

Manager Self Report

Screening

Manager Self Report

SOPs

Manager Self Report

Specimen Management

Manager Self Report

Study Level Documentation *

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Study Visits

Manager Self Report

Team Meetings

Manager Self Report

 


Safety and Ethics

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Adverse Events *

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Consent Procedures

Manager Direct Observation

Development of Informed Consent Doc and Plan *

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Navigating the Ethics Review Process (IRB)

WE-R QA

Sponsor/Regulatory Reporting *

WE-R Knowledge

 


Data

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Data Collection and Entry

Manager Self Report

Data Quality Assurance

Manager Self Report

Data Security and Provenance *

WE-R Knowledge

Mapping Data Flow *

WE-R Case Study

Technology Use and Innovation

Manager Self Report

 


Scientific Concepts

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Funding Proposal Development

Manager Self Report

Literature Reviews

Manager Self Report

Protocol Development

Manager Self Report

Research Design *

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Scholarly Works

Manager Self Report

 


Site and Study Management

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Coordination with Sponsor/CRO Manager Self Report

Electronic Management of Research Participants

WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)
Electronic Management of Research Protocols WE-R Knowledge (+ Self-Report for Advanced Only)

Feasibility

Manager Self Report

Managing Resources

Manager Self Report

Managing Risk

Manager Self Report

Operational Plans

Manager Self Report

Study Closeout

Manager Self Report

 


Expert/Senior and Other

 

Competency assessment or guideline

Scored by

Mode of testing

Expert/Senior

Manager Self Report

**Other

Manager Self Report

 

**Employees may only test for one “Other Competency”. Employees and managers will alert WE-R to the chosen “other competency” via a separate process, using this survey: Other Competency REDCap Survey. This survey will need to be completed with both manager and employee present no later than April 25th to be considered for approval. You will receive an email from WER-jobs@duke.edu with a final determination by April 29th.

 


Competency assessments for RPLs

Complete this template, upload into your Box folder

Leadership assessments for RPLs

Complete this template, upload into your Box folder

Leadership assessments for CRCs, CRNCs, Reg Coordinators seeking Tier 3

Complete this template, upload into your Box folder

 

Guidelines for Portfolio Submissions

Cover page for RPLs
Guidelines for RPLs
Cover page for CRC, CRNC, Reg Coordinators seeking Tier 3
Guidelines CRC, CRNC, Reg Coordinators seeking Tier 3

Training for Tier Advancement

Training for All Staff and Managers

Tier Advancement Overview: This course will provide an overview of the Tier Advancement process and tips on how to navigate the Duke Office of Clinical Research Workforce Engagement and Resilience (WE-R) web page to access important tools and resources available.

Register

 

Training for Managers

Self Report Assessment and Scoring Guide for Managers: This self-guided course provides a detailed look at the Self Report Assessment that is used during the Tier Advancement process. This course is intended for managers, to understand how the form is completed by employees, and how the form is used to assess competency levels.

Register

 

Difficult Conversations: Tier Advancement Guide for Managers: This course will provide Duke Clinical Research Managers with resources, best practices, and communication tips for potentially difficult conversations they may face before, during, and after the Tier Advancement process.

Register

Manager Tips for Advancement Success

This session for managers provides tips and strategies for successfully navigating the Tier Advancement process with your employee. Topics that are covered include: how to reduce the time burden for yourself and your employee, how to strategize competency and level selection to maximize opportunities for success, and the manager’s and employee’s distinct roles in the Tier Advancement assessment submission.

View Recording

 

Training for RPM/ARPM

RPM/ARPM Overview of WE-R Initiatives and Tier Advancement Responsibilities: This course will introduce new RPMs and ARPMs to responsibilities related to WE-R initiatives and the tier advancement process as a whole.

Register

Certification Related to Tier Advancement

 

Where will I record this information? ​
In the beginning of the next cycle of Tier Advancement that you apply for, you will be sent a REDCap survey to record the competencies and levels that you would like to test for. On the first page of that survey, is a demographic section. Here you will be asked if you have a professional research related certification. If you answer yes, you will be prompted to upload documentation of your certification. You will then be asked if you have maintained the certification for at least one renewal cycle. If you answer yes, you will be prompted to upload documentation of our maintenance.

If I am professionally certified by more than one organization, do I receive two points for each? ​
No, you will receive credit for one or the other. You may receive the additional two points for either of the certifications if you have maintained for at least one renewal cycle.

If I was certified in the past, but did not maintain the certification, can I still receive credit towards Tier Advancement?
As long as you have documentation of this, you are able to receive the two points for being certified.

If I am currently certified, do I need to submit documentation if I am not applying to tier right away?
No, in the beginning of the next cycle of Tier Advancement that you apply for, you will be asked for this information.

Does this apply for Tier Advancement for Research Program Leaders?
Research Program Leaders do not receive points, however they are encouraged to submit documentation with their portfolio if they are certified.

What if the renewal cycles are different?
You should refer to the certification requirements. They are on different certification renewal cycles.

 

Proctored Testing for Tier Advancement 

 

How do I sign up? ​
To schedule an appointment, please use this link: https://duke.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01cYa2ixDtoBqf4. The testing center will create an appointment to send to you using outlook calendar. This invite will contain the time and date as well as the Zoom link that you will be asked to sign into during your appointment.

How many appointments can I schedule? ​
We expect you to schedule no more than two sessions. We expect that during each proctored testing appointment, you will be able to complete at least four tests (although more may be taken if the staff member chooses to do so).

How long can my appointment be? ​
The session can span any time between 8AM-5PM. If longer than 4 hours, schedule a break—must be between assessments and not during an assessment; no breaks during an assessment; all assessments for an individual person must be scheduled in as few sessions as possible, no more than 2 sessions per person without express permission from WE-R.

What happens if I need to reschedule or cancel my appointment?
All cancelations or reschedules should be made by calling or emailing the testing center testingcenter@duke.edu; (919) 684-1601 48 hours or earlier before the scheduled time. Rescheduling or canceling an appointment within the 48 hour cutoff is at the discretion of the Testing Center.

Will the testing center contact me if I do not log in on time? 
No, it is your responsibility to be there on time.

Can I choose what order I take my proctored test(s) in?
No, proctored tests are set up in a specific order. Tests will be presented in the order they are listed on your assessment checklist. Each test will roll into the next after you have completed it. You will be assigned the tests based on those you have selected to be tested on.

How long are the assessments?
Most assessments are approximately 20 questions in length.

How long will the assessments take me?
Each assessment takes approximately 30 minutes.

Do I receive my scores immediately after testing?
No, the WE-R operational team performs and item analysis after all tests have been taken to ensure fairness and correctness of questions. Individual scores will be sent out with the full packet of results in early October.

What if I need to complete an “Advanced Only Self-Report?”
These can be located on the WE-R website under the competency assessment section.

Does the level chosen for testing change the test I will take, or is it the same test for everyone regardless of which level they want to be tested?
The tests will all be the same with the exception of Mapping Data Flow. This assessments is administered according to the level requested.

If I choose to be tested for the Advanced level but only score high enough for the Skilled level, will I still get points for reaching the Skilled rating?

If the knowledge test is based exclusively on score (ex: Contracts and Agreements) you’ll receive the level that you end up scoring on regardless of what you entered.

60- Fundamental or 1 point
80- Skilled or 2 points
90- Advanced or 4 points

However, there are some competencies that have an extra component that is required to achieve Advanced. For these, even if you score 100 on the assessment, the highest you could score is Skilled if you aren’t completing that second piece. (Study Level Documentation)

60- Fundamental or 1 point
80- Skilled or 2 points
90-you would still receive skilled unless you did the extra component