July 2004
The Evolution of the ACDM
What is the purpose of the ACDM? Which direction is it taking? How can we serve our members more effectively?
These are just a few of the key questions which the current Board of Directors tried to answer at its Strategy Day on 22nd April this year, using the information which you provided through the membership survey, conducted earlier the same month.
In order to look forward, the Board spent some time reappraising the current Objectives and Vision of the ACDM. These were defined several years ago and we needed to assess their applicability to today's Association, ensure we understood the values behind the words used, and use this as a framework for deciding how we could ensure these principles were kept alive in our proposed strategy for the Association.
Many organisations represented amongst the ACDM membership have similar types of statements which enable everyone involved to have an understanding of where the establishment is aiming (often known as the 'Vision') along with accompanying statements which add some flesh to the bones and give an indication of how the vision is accomplished (often termed the 'Mission'). Some companies go as far as to ask their employees to analyse the vision and mission statements as they apply to them so that they can set their annual goals with them in mind. Thus collectively, the organisation can become aligned to the Vision and Mission and the individuals therein can also be aligned to each other.
The ACDM is no exception in this regard. The terminology may be different, but the principles behind having them are the same. In a similar vein, our analysis of the Vision and Objectives and efforts to translate this into practical terms and set goals for the Association is carried out for exactly the same reason: alignment. What does this bring? Well, naturally we would expect that focussing the energies of the Board and the Committees in the same direction should bring about greater success in achieving our goals and meeting your needs.
Following below are the current Objectives and Vision statements for the ACDM as your Board currently sees them. In our analysis we agreed that these statements are still good for today, and only a few, very minor changes have been made to some of the elements of the vision:
Objectives
To promote the professional identity of Clinical Data Management.
To further knowledge and provide education in Clinical Data Management.
Vision
To lead the profession of Clinical Data Management in the development and appreciation of its essential activities
To promote the development of its members and enable their participation in Drug Development. This is accomplished by providing key fora for the membership to develop standards within the profession and to enhance their skills and knowledge.
The ACDM is an independent, not-for-profit, influential organisation.
The objectives statements are very self explanatory. However, as mentioned above, the 'meat' comes with the Vision statements, and I have taken each one in turn below to explain how these will translate into our Strategy, becoming the basis for more detailed goals as we move forward. Much of this has come to light through the review of your survey data.
To lead the profession of Clinical Data Management in the development and appreciation of its essential activities.
It is recognized by the Board of Directors that more can be done by the ACDM to lead the profession of Clinical Data Management. The Association is not currently meeting the needs of all of its members: in particular the more senior and experienced people who could naturally turn to the ACDM for information on current and future topics. Much good information exists within the activities of the Association, which could be shared more widely in a variety of ways. The Board of Directors and the Committees will be working together to ensure that this happens more readily than currently is the case.
With the promotion of greater information sharing across the organisation, and also the development of more formal links with other associations and external bodies, we believe that the ACDM will be able to deliver more opportunities for our members to tune in to the hot topics they are interested in via various fora, and also to get involved in debating the related issues if interested. This in turn may produce opportunities to develop 'best practice'.
To promote the development of its members and enable their participation in Drug Development. This is accomplished by providing key fora for the membership to develop standards within the profession and to enhance their skills and knowledge.
The ACDM currently provides a range of opportunities for personal development, but seemingly it is not always clear as to what these resources are, or how they can be used to enhance career development within Clinical Data Management. To this end, a comprehensive training 'route map' will be developed. This will enable our members to see what is currently available to them at the different stages of their careers. It will also enable the Board of Directors and the various training committees to keep the portfolio relevant.
The ACDM is an independent, not-for-profit, influential organisation.
We recognize that our independence and maintenance of our identity is important, but isolation is not an option. As roles within the data management sphere of interest continue to change and merge, we will be looking to our external partners to develop the Association and meet members' needs.
Any profit made by the ACDM is required for cash flow purposes and for continuous development of services for its members.
Finally, in moving the Association forward in ways described above, we intend it to take a more influential stance on matters which affect our members.
In conclusion
The ACDM currently provides much valuable information and opportunities for members, but as many of you explained to us, more can be done to keep the Association relevant for the membership as it moves forward. If you wish to view the data from the survey, the slide pack can be found on the Web Site: www.acdm.org.uk.
Please look out for the various developments which should start to take shape over the coming months, which we will endeavour to publicise as much as we can.
Finally, don't forget that the Association is only as good as the efforts made by its members. The success of the ACDM is very dependent on the commitment made by volunteers who recognise that as well as benefiting their fellow members, they and the companies they represent also derive advantages from their involvement. If you would like to participate on the Board or on any of the committees – at a level which you can manage – we will always welcome additional support. Contact details are on the back cover of the Newsletter.
Louise Wood
ACDM Chairperson