Lead CRA Q&A: Do We Have To Do an SIV?

Melissa commented in… “Pre-Study Visits and Site Initiation Visits“:
Do sites HAVE to have an SIV? Especially for a simple data collection study? Or is a web training sufficient for sites that have done research with us before?  September 9, 2011

The Lead CRA responds…

Hi Melissa, it sounds like you may be working on a non-interventional observational study (so no medication or any special assessments or survey instruments are given. For your study, perhaps you are just reviewing standard data that would be collected in the course of normal clinical conduct). In that instance, you may be able to do a web training for sites that you know and have worked with recently.
Without an in-person visit, however, how will you be sure that the facility remains adequate and that the study can be conducted there feasibly? As sponsors, we are obligated to ensure that the people working on our studies are qualified by education and experience. You could do that remotely by reviewing CVs and monitor reports for other studies. I hope this addresses your question. certainly there is a trend to not have expensive Investigator Meetings and I have worked on many studies where the PSV is combined with an SIV.

Site Visit
It is important to visit a clinical study
site to inspect the labs, pharmacies,
facilities, storage, and other areas
where the research will be conducted
to ensure they are adequate.
It is more rare for me though to work on a study where there is no SIV at all but this sometimes happens when it is a site that we have had recent experience with (say in the past year).  We sometimes also waive the SIV when the PI and the important study staff attend the IM. If you won’t be performing SIVs, definitely document at the sponsor level TMF how you determined the sites were qualified and trained.

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The Lead CRA

Nadia started The Lead CRA blog in 2007. She is now lead author for ClinOps Toolkit. Nadia is currently working as a Clinical Program Manager at a small specialty pharmaceutical company in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can reach Nadia via email at leadcra@clinopstoolkit.com anytime.