Just out of universities with flying colors? Students from medical, dental, paramedical, or life sciences dream big of stepping into the lucrative field of ‘Clinical Research’. An ideal training institute sets the right track to gear up on the required skill-sets for realizing the aspirations of a high-flying career!
As you put on your thinking caps and stand at the crossroads of selecting an ideal institute, how do you decide which one is perfect for you? Getting influenced merely by the fee structure or hearsay never always works. Detailed research by considering apt criteria sets the tone in making the right decision.
This carefully crafted list of guidelines takes into account 9 essential factors based on which you may weigh your options wisely. So here we go!
1. Government Affiliation and Recognition of an Institute
The foremost concern for any student is the reputation of an institute. The institute’s reputation is not solely based on the age of its establishment, but also on its credibility. This can be assessed if an institute has the following:
- CR Industry Oriented Program such as ISEP Certification (Industrial Skill Enhancement Professional Certificate).
- Affiliation of the institute with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India – Skill India. ( Government Affiliation& recognition)
2. Number of Branches of an Institute
If an institute has more than one branch, preferably spread across more than one city, it holds beneficial for students because:
- It is a matter of convenience and popularity.
- There is a higher probability of placement opportunities for students.
3. Courses Offered
Depending upon the time you want to invest in getting yourself trained, it is important to know the duration and the flexibility of the course. Most institutes offer:
- Certification Program in Clinical Research (usually of shorter duration).
- Post-Graduate Diploma (PG-Diploma) in Clinical Research, also called PGDCR, which is of a longer duration (either with or without an internship program).
Along with the duration of the course, it is essential to know the timing and schedule of training hours per day. Many students may already be employed or still studying and would be benefitted if allowed to choose accordingly. Institutes may usually offer:
- A minimum of 2 hours daily spread over 5 days a week.
- Weekend batches with elaborate hours on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Online and Offline Mode of Learning
With the prevailing pandemic and frequent lockdowns, students are concerned about continuity in sessions. While some may prefer continuous online mode of learning, others may find it valuable to attend physical classes. Confirm if both modes of learning are encouraged appropriately.
Flexible Program for Various Modules
Your preference in taking up specialization in the modules may be influenced by your study background or career ambition. Find out if there is a choice in combination with available program modules. The modules covered generally include:
- Clinical Trial Management
- Clinical Data Management (CDM)&Introduction to SAS (Statistical Analysis System)
- Pharmacovigilance (PV)
- Regulatory/Medical Writing
Certificate of Course Completion
A certificate speaks much about the details of the course undertaken and your strong points in specialized modules to present during interviews. The institute must necessarily provide the Certificate of Course Completion.
4. Soft Skills Training
Sometimes just being well-versed in technical areas cannot land you your dream jobs. Grooming in basic presentation skills can highlight your confident personality to meet corporate expectations. Make sure soft skills session is given due importance for:
- Communication skills and etiquette in digital communication such as e-mails, or video conferences.
- A positive and optimistic attitude, skills in teamwork, and strong leadership qualities among others.
- ‘Mock interviews’ that prepare you for the actual interviews.
5. Experience in Training Staff
The training staff forms the backbone of any institute. Therefore, look for:
- The years of experience the management has to its credit, and whether the staff members have themselves undergone a course in Clinical Research prior to taking up teaching in the field.
- The amount of industrial exposure and expertise of the trainers in the field of clinical research.
- A number of trainers involved and whether each domain would be handled separately by specialized trainers. This would amount to nearly 5-6 trainers for the entire course.
6. Strength of Each Batch
An institute is not only made by good trainers but also by good students. Most learning happens with a combination of:
- Student-trainer interaction
- Student-student interaction
Explore hence, if there are enough students in the institute and the batch you opt for.
7. Placement Track Records
The success of any training institute is when the management boasts of successful placements for its students in reputed companies. An excellent employment track record of students is proof enough to provide assurance for those looking to join afresh for the course. The same can be judged with Industry network, strong Alumni network, and dedicated Placement Cell.
8. Google Reviews
Google rating and reviews stand out as the most influential parameter for students to make their choice! They are prima facie one of the best markers mainly because:
- The reviews come from students themselves who have had first-hand experience with the trainers and the ambience of the institute.
- It provides the latest reviews because stale reviews become irrelevant in this dynamic field.
9. Fee Structure
Last but not the least, the fee structure is undoubtedly a very important factor, and the basic tagline if you want value for money is:‘Quality with Affordability’.
Weigh the fee structure based on:
- The standard set by the institute based on the criteria discussed till now.
- Convenience in payment mode and comfortable installments offered.
‘Never judge a book only by its cover!’
Know well how to choose an institute before enrolling yourself in the training program.