Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

female clinical research professional smiling at the camera female clinical research professional smiling at the camera

Clinical Research Associate

Design, manage and maintain clinical trials.

Learn More.

No further applications for new candidates are being accepted to this program.

If you are currently enrolled in the program,  you will have the opportunity to finish the program between now and Winter 2019. Winter 2019 will be the final term in which you can take courses.


Note: Courses are not interchangeable between the Clinical Research Associate Certificate program (in-person) and the Applied Clinical Research Certificate program (online).

Design, manage and maintain clinical trials.

The Clinical Research Associate (CRA) program, offered by McMaster University Continuing Education and affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences, is designed to develop the concepts, skills, strategies, attitudes and knowledge required to perform clinical trials. 

A CRA is an individual who functions as administrator, coordinator, consultant, educator, and/or researcher in the management of clinical trials.  A CRA will acquire skills in the administration and progress of a clinical trial while understanding the ethical and legal ramifications for all participants.  This covers protocol development, data collection, analysis, monitoring, recording, auditing, ethics and regulations, liabilities and responsibilities of conducting research with human subjects. 

Program objectives

Students will:

  • gain knowledge of the Canadian health care system, health care legislation, procedures and practices for regulating the development of health care products;
  • be able to critique a journal article and rate the evidence level;
  • be able to formulate a clinical development plan, ensure clinical trial data is credible and accurate and that the rights, integrity and confidentiality of trial subjects are protected; and,
  • gain an understanding of the challenges and limitations of implementing and maintaining databases. 

Who should take the Clinical Research Associate program

  • professionals from a variety of academic backgrounds, including health sciences, medicine, nursing, health informatics, or epidemiology.

Program delivery format

  • in class, evenings, on the main McMaster campus.