The Highly Effective CRA: Soft Skills for Taking Your Work to the Next Level

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Course Description

Good monitoring skills are not the only critical skills a CRA needs to be effective in their role. A highly effective CRA is a great communicator; is able to anticipate potential challenges and barriers to success and takes the steps to remove and/or mitigate them; focuses on building relationships and partnership with their key stakeholders to position their projects/studies for success; resolves conflict with confidence, bravery, and laser-sharp solution focus; and identifies and solves problems for their root causes. This course is for the CRA who wants to build upon their existing communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills, and ultimately increase their effectiveness at the study site. Through highly interactive role-play and real-world case study activities, we will address:

• How can I move from reacting to challenges to anticipating and removing barriers to success?

• How do I drive results when I do not have direct authority over the investigator?

• How do I take a proactive approach to my work and work-related issues?

• How do I have the tough conversations with the investigator and her/his staff?

• How do I take my work to the next level of effectiveness?

Learning Objectives

  • Describe what it means to be a highly effective CRA
  • Describe the CRA/Investigative Team relationship lifecycle during a study
  • Identify common pain points in this relationship, their root cause, prevention, and solutions
  • Identify three steps to being proactive and deliberate in your everyday activities
  • Explain how great communicators think
  • Perform active listening behaviors
  • Identify five motivators and points of leverage in the Investigator-CRA relationship
  • Describe the mindset of a true professional and name 10 tips for increasing your professionalism
  • Examine issues in real world situations between the CRA and Investigative sites
  • Conduct two root cause analysis techniques with your peers
  • State 6 practical tips for assessing and addressing conflict
  • Define partnership

Who Should Attend

  • This is an intermediate level course for the CRA who has more than 2 years of experience and seeks to build upon their existing communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills


The course will be led by one of the following instructors:

Holly J. Deiaco-Smith, M.S.Ed.

Click here for complete trainer biographies

Course Outline

Day One: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • The Highly Effective CRA Defined
  • Common Pain Points in the CRA Investigative team relationship lifecycle  
  • The Proactive CRA  
  • The Proactive CRA: Being Deliberate; Proactive Language Activity; Outcomes-Based CRA Activity
  • The Great Communicator: 5 components of communication; Active Listening; Investigative Site Role Play; Self-Awareness and Thinking Win-Win; Win-Win Island Activity; Points of Leverage in the CRA-Investigative Site Relationship

Day Two: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • The True Professional: Building trust through your actions; Professionalism Case Study Activity
  • The Problem Solver: A problem solving method; Root cause analysis techniques; Root causes analysis Team Activity; Sustainable solutions; Problem Solving Activity
  • Conflict Resolution Framework: Being Brave: Tips for having the difficult discussions; Sticky Situations Case Study Activity; Conflict Resolution Simulation
  • Moving to Partnership  

Interactive Activities

  • Case study review; situational reviews; conflict simulation; active listening simulation; problem identification simulation; problem solving relay

Registration Fees

Registration fees include assorted breakfast items that will be available each day ½ hour prior to the start of the seminar. Also included is a Networking Lunch that will be served each training day.

Special rates are available for multiple attendees from the same organization.  Contact Melissa Dolen at 781-972-5418 to discuss your options and take advantage of the savings.     

Click here for our seminar cancellation policy

Accreditation Information

Barnett International is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.  Participants will receive 15 hours (1.5 CEUs) of continuing education credit for full participation, including the completion of a pre-test, post-test, and program evaluation.  Barnett International will issue a receipt of completion for earned CEUs within three weeks of program completion.  ACPE#: 0778-0000-17-008-L01-P. Released: 2/17.


Hold this course at your company! For more information, contact Naila Ganatra at +1 215.413.2471.