PanACEA Monitor Training Programme
As part of the PanACEA vision for capacity building of research sites conducting studies funded and/or working in collaboration with PanACEA, a monitoring training programme was offered to sites. Internal monitors play a vital role in ensuring and verifying that quality studies are conducted, as well compliance to the protocol, SOPs and local and international guidelines.

Sites were asked to identify and put forward the name of a staff member who would be interested and willing to take up the position of an internal monitor. These individuals where then sent to attend the ACRO Basic Monitoring Course, offered by African Clinical Research Organisation (ACRO), a locally owned company based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 2011 ACRO conducted Monitor Training for 11 learners from various sites located in Gabon, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.  The course aims to give learners a broader overall understanding of the clinical research environment, as well as monitoring functions. The Monitoring Training Course is divided into 3 stages, Part I consisting of classroom based theory and practical exercises, followed by vocational training at the workplace. The course is rounded off with Part II as classroom based theory and practical exercises.

Additional to attendance of the course, Accompanied Site Visits (ASVs) by ACRO were planned. To ensure the success of the ASVs, each site is requested to identify a supervisor for their trainee monitor. The supervisor is expected to have adequate time to supervise, as well as have managerial skills and a basic understanding of trials. The supervisor, trainee monitor and ACRO team member work together closely and give regular feedback on the conduct of the ASV.

ASVs are conducted to assess the learner’s progress and ability, as well as identify possible areas of improvement. As part of the training, trainee monitors were also expected to develop monitoring tools to assist in their monitoring functions, as well as how to write good monitoring reports.
The ultimate goal of PanACEA sites participating in this training programme, is to ensure standardised systems across the sites, which includes the vital role of internal monitoring functions resulting in the completion of excellent quality studies and setting a standard for higher achievement.