Guy’s and St Thomas’ is celebrating its first clinical research practitioner to join a professionally accredited register.

An accredited register for clinical research practitioners was approved by the professional standards authority and established by the Academy for Healthcare Science for Clinical Research Practitioners.

A special meeting taking place online this week will celebrate the first Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff to join the register, and share information with colleagues hoping to take this step in their career.

Clinical research practitioners are professionals who facilitate trials, and it can include working on administration of trials, some work with patients, and work on research governance to ensure trials have the correct approvals.

Ophthalmology research practitioner Diana Kolev was the first clinical research practitioner at the Trust to gain the accreditation.

She said: “Gaining this accreditation means so much to me and my career. I’m really passionate about research and what it can do to benefit patients. Gaining this accreditation shows the value of practitioners and all research staff, so I hope it will help us to advocate for research and for each other.”

This group of staff have previously had varying job titles and role descriptions. As part of ongoing work to improve staff engagement and enable career progression, we have worked to standardise job descriptions and titles, and provide regular contact and peer support.

Clair Harris, Head of Research Workforce, said: “This is an exciting milestone for this growing profession. Accreditation helps to recognise the skills and expertise of our clinical research practitioners. Congratulations to Diana and I look forward to seeing more of our practitioners take up this opportunity.”

Professor Christopher Hammond, consultant and professor of ophthalmology, supported Diana’s application. He said: “Diana is a great part of our team and I’m so pleased that her work is being recognised in this way. Congratulations Diana!”