Establishing a Compliance and Assurance Office in a Research Centre in Saudi Arabia

Several years ago, in my role as the clinical research coordinator, I observed a primary investigator (PI) violate the research protocol. This made me think about how to track PIs’ adherence to guidelines and regulations as well as how to track their accomplishments. I looked for support from the Research Centre- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This Centre has an Office Research Affairs (ORA) that supports the hospital’s research. It is divided into three units: the Process Unit, the Sponsored Unit, and the Compliance and Assurance Unit. After some negotiations my Department obtained approval to establish a compliance office in our branch. Consequently, I will now need to undergo training on how to monitor research from the beginning all the way to publication.  Recently, I obtained the go-ahead from my department to receive internship training with an auditor in Riyadh. I had to leave my family for this period, but I gained tremendous benefits from this training, which bolstered my career. Ultimately, it helped me develop the compliance office in my department that will enhance the overall quality of research.

The on-the-job training opportunity with the Assurance & Compliance Unit in Riyadh expanded my knowledge and professional development. Therefore, I consider myself a very lucky individual. I am also grateful for the chance to have met so many wonderful people and professionals who guided me though this internship period.

My aspirations are to be the best in my field. In order to accomplish this goal, I chose the MERETI program with its great supportive network of teachers and participants. This program has faculty and support staff to help individuals like myself become effective professionals in the area of research ethics. In that past, I felt that there is a lack of knowledge regarding research ethics in my country, and with this training, I hope to become a major contributor to ethical research practices in my country. The research expertise provided at my institute is second to none, and I feel that the mix of practical plus research work is something that has benefitted me tremendously.

Sawsan M. Bassi, 17 MERETI Trainee
Senior Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Studies Department
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


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