January marks the time to develop goals for the upcoming year, and for 2023, I wanted to create a goal outside of project work and pursue individual career development. I became aware of the Certified Clinical Data Manager (CCDM®) program/exam. The exam is offered by the Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM) “to help clinical data managers to institute a standard of knowledge, education, and experience by which they would be officially recognized by the profession.” After 6 years of Data Management experience, 4 of those as a Clinical Data Manager at PROMETRIKA, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to demonstrate expertise and credibility within the field of Data Management.
The process began with my application to take the exam. Eligibility could be based on years of experience in Data Management, and given my ~6 years in the field, the application was accepted. Preparation for the exam involved reviewing the Good Clinical Data Management Practices (GCDMP) handbook provided by the SCDM. The 500+ page document covers the many aspects of Data Management, from study start-up through database lock. Despite the intimidating size of the GCDMP, it was a relief to discover that most of the material and concepts were part of my daily work at PROMETRIKA. These familiar tasks included clinical database design, validation principles, and external/laboratory data handling. I focused my review on the minimum standards and best practices outlined for each topic and scheduled the exam for March.
The 3-hour, multiple choice exam was administered online by an online proctor. Once I was done, I felt a conflicting sense of relief and nervousness as I awaited the results. About 24 hours later, I received the confirmation email; I had passed the exam and CCDM status was granted. I’m grateful to have been able to apply and validate my experience as a Clinical Data Manager throughout the process of obtaining my certification. The certification allows a Data Manager to showcase their knowledge and skills required to handle complex clinical data effectively, while also displaying commitment towards professional development.