Results of 250 Investigators Surveyed – MAY 2020


Trifecta Clinical surveyed 250 clinical trial investigators based in the US on how their perceptions have changed on protocol training with the impact of COVID-19.  In a normal year, investigators generally attend 4 to 8 meetings per year on average.   Prior to COVID-19 about 50% of those meetings were in-person investigator meetings with the other half delivered via on-demand or virtual meetings.

This report is intended to help sponsors, in their planning stages, to build strategies that will strengthen relationships with sites and improve study start up timelines during this transitional period.



A major complaint that trial investigators all shared is the re-training on redundant or repeated content such as GCP training, informed consent and common rater scales.  On average, investigators estimate the amount of repeat content taken when getting certified to run a study to be at 65%.  That’s a lot of wasted time that can otherwise be spent with patients.

Cross sponsor mutual recognition of training is gaining traction as a solution to the redundant training topics burden.  A key benefit of InvestigatorSpace® is its ability to automatically apply training credit earned on one study to future studies regardless of the sponsor or compound the training is associated with.  Eliminating redundant training for clinical researchers saves a tremendous amount of time.  We’ve found on average over 200 hours of redundant training per study is saved when using Mutual Recognition of Training, and well into the thousands of hours saved on large phase III studies. Non-protocol specific topics including GCP Training no longer need to be repeated for each study.



Historically investigators prefer in-person Investigator meetings by 70% vs. an online/virtual event.  Whether it’s seeing familiar colleagues, meeting KOLs in person, or traveling to a new destination, some things just can’t be replicated in a virtual setting.  However, when asked this same preference going forward since the COVID-19 outbreak this in-person meeting preference dropped by 20 percentage points.  Or in other words virtual meetings preference has increased by over 65%.


In terms of travel we asked if given the option in the next 6 months would you be willing to travel for an in-person investigator meeting the answer might surprise you.

If answering NO, respondents were then asked a follow up question:

For those respondents that were opposed to travel in the next 12 months, comments show how concerned about COVID-19’s impact.

Selection of comments:


“Once there is an effective vaccine and myself and my whole family are vaccinated.”

“After vaccine is available. If this year, fine. But not until.”

“When there is a safe effective vaccine and sufficient herd immunity to make it safe.”

“When a vaccine is available or number of new cases per day is < 100 across hosting country.”

“Possibly never. Apart from Covid19, the travel takes up too much time.”

Implement a hybrid-approach to improve the site experience build a strategy that focuses on ease, flexibility and convenience.  Deliver the most important aspects of training via a short live virtual meeting where attendees can interact with presenters and KOLs while basic content can be hosted on-demand.  Training doesn’t just occur at the investigator meeting or even just at the start of a study, but can happen at site initiation or with protocol amendments. Having training in an on-demand platform allows sites to choose when they train and will automatically keep a record as certification occurs.



Over 15 years of experience Trifecta Clinical has cultivated a long list of lessons learned and best practices for delivering certified virtual investigator training. We decided to put one of those best practices to the test:

Clearly 87% of respondents don’t want to sit on a long 3 to 4 hour meeting at their desks for what is most likely repeat or redundant content. The hybrid approach to training is a core principle Trifecta Clinical has worked with our clients on to reduce burden on investigator sites while still delivering quality training to reduce protocol deviations. An unsurprising stat in our opinion but now backed by data.    

Employ an essential content optimization strategy at the sponsor level to identify the most crucial content. Work together with KOLs and focus on the key operational and safety concerns of the trial to deliver effective and consistent training.  Pair this with InvestigatorSpace® to deliver both live and on-demand training in a hybrid-approach that works with site’s time constraints rather than against them. At the live virtual meeting investigators can ask questions in real-time and interact with the presenters. On-demand content can be accessed at anytime.  

Watch code training can be used as a creative solution for on-demand training to ensure user are learning content in full.  Completely configurable this patented feature can present the viewer with a random code at intervals throughout the training that must be input by the user within one minute. Without the watch code input, training can be set to pause or return to the beginning based on your requirements.  

Our team of experts is always available to address any questions you may have about best practices in Investigator Training. Submit your contact information and we’ll be in touch shortly.