CSM Randomised Controlled Trials Course September 2016


I recently attended the CSM RCT course at Pembroke College. As a trial manager, working on RCTs, statistics has always been a bit of mystery for me. In the past I’ve skipped over the sample size and analysis sections in protocols and papers and moved to the parts I can digest easier. However, the RCT course ignited a dormant interest in statistics and consolidated my practical knowledge with the theory behind it.

The course presenters were engaging and experienced. They covered all aspects of a trial. Mike Clarke, a long-time favourite teacher, presents RCTs in a way like no other person – so easy to follow whilst also really making you think about your own projects. I particularly enjoyed the examples of good and bad trials from the teaching team. The more detailed statistics sessions were presented well and were followed up by practical sessions in smaller groups. These were extremely helpful.
The course also involved smaller group work. The groups had time during the course to design a trial and present it to the larger group at the end of the week. Competition was alive and kicking. Each group worked tirelessly to present their project. This was a great way to meet other people and work in a different team environment – certainly highlighted a few personalities.

I would highly recommend this course to any other trial managers who feel they need to update their statistical knowledge and skills in relation to RCTs. It was extremely timely for me, as a few weeks later we were presented with results tables from our statistician and I didn’t need to skip over them this time! I could understand the graphs and even explain them to someone else. Prior to the course – I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this.

The course was well organised and the food was absolutely delicious.