According to CROS NT, a contract research organization (CRO), the new five-point model is driven by the concept of “sustainable quality.”
Chris Hamilton, Chief Commercial Officer at CROS NT, told us that vendors providing FSP are required to recruit “knowledge workers” – a demographic that he said is motivated by progression and learning, in addition to salary and benefits.
“Vendors find that staff turnover increases because they cannot satisfy the progression and learning elements,” Hamilton explained. “This problem is compounded by the fact FSP staff tend to operate in a ‘silo’, separate from their co-workers running traditional projects.”
The silo approach also causes another problem, Hamilton said, explaining “one of the benefits of working with staff in a CRO is access to best practice and innovation.
“These assets are gained by staff when working with a number of customers,” he added. “Once a vendor moves the FSP into a silo, these benefits are reduced and eventually disappear.”
According to Hamilton, CROS NT has evolved the FSP model to bring the market “Next Generation FSP” or what he calls “FSP 2.0” – a model that “retains the advantages needed by sponsors but deals with the disadvantages seen in the old model.”
Hamilton explained the new model offers an optional alternative whereby the majority of the team works 60% to 70% on the FSP contract, while being exposed to other customers and projects the rest of their time.
“CRO personnel are very used to moving between projects and this model brings advantages to the sponsor,” he said. “Individuals are able to grow and see variety introduced into their work plans. They are able to integrate into the company more fully and to develop in a more rounded fashion. This in turn lowers staff turnover.”
As part of this new model, Hamilton said the sponsor benefits from a more stable team as well as an outside perspective. “This together with a thorough team selection procedure and training in the sponsor’s process, results in sustainable quality,” he explained.
CROS NT also developed the Micro FSP approach for teams of less than 10 people. The model is geared toward medium to small-sized sponsor companies.
“It addresses the issues associated with busy and slack periods avoiding the risk of not having enough work, or too much work, for full-time employees,” said Hamilton.
The model provides resources for the number of days per week needed and is flexible in terms of operating procedures.