Standard Practice Overview

Standard Practice Guidelines for managing a core set of activities associated with the conduct of clinical trials

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These Standard Practice Guidelines (SPGs) are designed to provide the framework for managing a core set of activities associated with the conduct of clinical trials.

In the management of clinical trials, it is critical to define and adhere to process standards that are consistent with institutional, state, federal, and international policies and regulatory requirements. The guidelines may be applied at the research team, department, or organization level to document regular work processes.

Documentation of standard practices (i.e., Standard Practice Guidelines [SPGs], Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs], Quality Assurance Procedures, Best Practice Guidelines etc.) is required for sponsors when conducting clinical trials that follow International Conference on Harmonisation Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP), and are used to help researchers promote consistency, quality, and ensure compliance with University of Michigan policies and governmental regulations. Although the material presented is geared toward clinical trials, the value of utilizing standard practices and following ICH GCP applies to all types of clinical research.

Keep in mind that SPGs used for clinical trials that require regulatory compliance (i.e., FDA and/or ICH GCP) are treated differently than best practice or guidance documents. SPGs for these types of clinical trials are auditable by relevant internal as well as external entities and regulatory bodies. The FDA, OHRP, and the IRB will hold the study team to the SPGs they create and will find non-compliance if they fail to follow the documented written procedures. Therefore, SPGs should be written in a manner that provides a reasonable level of detail while still allowing for acceptable and expected variations in how the work is routinely performed. To ensure SPGs are followed, remember to:

1. Store SPGs in a centralized location that allows for ease of access for all study team members.

2. Adopt a version control process so the most current, approved version of an SPG is used.

Standard Practice Guideline (SPG) Templates

The Standard Practice Guideline templates provide a core set of standard, high-level guidance documents that can be utilized by University of Michigan researchers when conducting clinical trials. These documents can be customized by research teams to address specific study team, department, or organization requirements. The template content was provided by clinical research subject matter experts.

Note: These SPGs should not be confused with the University’s Standard Practice Guide which is approved by university leadership and applies to the entire institution.

The University Standard Practice Guide applies to the whole institution, but every campus, school, college, and department has unique needs and operations. Individual units may develop policies and procedures to suit their circumstances, provided they remain consistent with SPG requirements and external legal obligations.

How this advances translational science

Implementing operations that facilitate and support the quality and impact of research.

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