The Swiss Clinical Trial Organisation (SCTO) is a research infrastructure committed to promoting high-quality, patient-oriented clinical research in Switzerland. The SCTO is an independent, non-profit organisation funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), and it has been mandated to advance academic clinical research in Switzerland by serving as a nationwide collaboration platform and international networking partner.
The SERI commissioned an independent evaluation of the SCTO’s Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) Network and platforms for the time period of 2017–2020. The evaluation focused on the following three key areas:
- the significance of the CTUs’ services for clinical researchers
- the role of the CTU Network with regard to challenges in clinical research
- an evaluation of the SCTO Platforms’ role.
The recently released evaluation report (available in German) summarises the results of the evaluation, presents initial conclusions, and identifies action points.
Overall, a large majority of respondents were satisfied with both the services provided by the various local CTUs and their professional expertise; most respondents rated cooperation with the CTUs as efficient. In terms of barriers for using the CTUs, respondents often mentioned costs as a limiting factor.
All respondents credited the SCTO umbrella organisation with serving a supportive role for collaboration and communication within the CTU Network. In addition, the SCTO’s external role as a point of contact for third parties received a positive rating. All respondents rated the role of the SCTO Platforms very positively and agreed with the platforms’ topic-based focus. Products created by the platforms were viewed as having high quality, and the platforms’ work was perceived as being both effective and efficient.
The SCTO’s Steering Board is pleased about the overall positive result of the evaluation. The Board will carefully analyse the action points identified in order to start putting appropriate measures in place that will improve and further develop the organisation.