A day in the life of a CRA

How does your day start?
First of all, there’s no such thing as a typical day for me. I spend my time between working from home and working on site so I tend to get up at about 7am and straight away I check my emails, the first thing I do is delete any emails that aren’t relevant to me so I can make sure I keep on top of everything!

While in this job there can be very long days, I also have a great deal of flexibility with my hours, so it all balances out nicely.

How do you prepare for your working day?

I always make sure that I run monitoring reports the day before I have a site visit so I’m ready to go. This saves me time so I can get straight into the important business of the day.

I’ve been travelling around the world as a CRA for nearly 10 years now and in that time I’ve got packing light down to a fine art.

What do you do when you arrive at work?

No matter where I am, I start the day by going through my emails and checking my monitoring reports. Keeping on top of everything is key to what I do so when I’m going through my emails it’s important for me to prioritise and respond accordingly. I create metrics for different sites to follow. Each site has to meet a certain amount of compliance so if they’re behind with this I set up action plans for them to follow so they can get back on track.

What’s the most important part of your day?

I work on a number of different trials, each with their own specific targets. Making sure that deadlines are met is essential, as missed deadlines can have a knock on effect which can jeopardise the whole trial. I particularly enjoy the sense of responsibility that comes with this aspect of the job.

The two things that I find really help me to achieve deadlines are organisation and strong relationships. I have to work closely with all of those involved in the trial so I have to be ruthlessly organised, it makes everyone’s life so much easier. There are so many moving parts in my job; one study can have a number of different sites, each one at a different point so I have to keep these all clear in my head.

I need to be able to negotiate and empathise with those working on each trial as we all pull together towards a common goal – it’s my job to make sure everyone feels listened to and appreciated.

What’s the toughest part of your day?

When I’m working from home and my internet runs slowly, it’s infuriating when I can’t get online and update my reports in real-time!

How do you manage your work load?

Organisation, organisation, organisation! I have a daily action list, prioritised according to my deadlines and make sure I work through it, updating it as I go. That includes adding the follow-ups that I have to do and ensuring these are completed on time. I have so many plates in the air every day so I also prioritise my deadlines.

Finally, what’s your favourite part of your job?

Without a doubt it’s the interaction with other people. I consider myself a people person and I take real pleasure in getting to know the different team members, the doctors and nurses on each trial, and working out how I can make their lives easier. We’re all working towards a common goal: getting a drug to market and we all know how incredibly important the work we’re doing is. Every drug that is successfully trialled goes on to improve and even save people’s lives. That’s a powerful responsibility and the relationships we form can have a real effect on this.

I also love the fact that no two days are the same. There’s always a new challenge, something different happening, something to learn and I get to travel which I still really enjoy 10 years on!

You can find out more about the international CRA roles we currently have available here.