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WCG CenterWatch Reveals Results of its Global Clinical Trial Relationships Survey

The industry’s preeminent benchmark survey provides timely insights into clinical trial sites’ relationships with sponsors and CROs during the pandemic

Princeton, NJ – January 11, 2022 – WCG™, a leading provider of clinical trial solutions, today released highlights from its 2021 CenterWatch Global Site Relationship Benchmark Survey. The results show how more than 3,700 representatives from clinical trial sites around the world rate their sponsor and clinical research organization (CRO) relationships and their partners’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Clinical trial sites are facing unprecedented and growing pressure. Clinical trial starts and protocol complexity are at an all-time high, while capacity to perform trials at sites is nearing an all-time low. Our industry is facing a critical situation. We are asking clinical trial sites to do the impossible: juggle patient care with decreased resources, while managing cutting edge clinical trials with fewer resources – all while delivering a wonderful patient experience and running trials with supreme quality and accuracy. The CenterWatch Global Site Relationship Benchmarking Survey shines a light on the issues sites are facing and begs a number of important questions such as “are biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) doing enough to support the very sites they rely on to run their trials and to take care of the patients in their trials – especially in these unprecedented times”, said Nicholas Slack, MBE, President of WCG.

“Strong site, sponsor, and CRO relationships form the essential foundation on which efficient and effective clinical trials are built. We conduct the CenterWatch Global Site Relationship Benchmark Survey as a service to the industry, highlighting behaviors and approaches that are strengthening partnerships and revealing areas that merit improvement. As COVID-19 has put additional strain on relationships of all types, we also requested feedback on partners’ pandemic response in this latest survey,” said Cynthia Carter, President, Market Intelligence and Insights at WCG.

“This survey was developed with input from sponsors, CROs, and sites to ensure that its results remain highly relevant,” she added.

Site respondents were asked to rank the overall reputation of 53 sponsors and 29 CROs and rate the relative importance of performance related attributes. They were then requested to identify the organizations they had worked with most during the past two years and rate those organization’s performance against the attributes.

As a group, sponsors received the highest scores for being professional, organized, and knowledgeable, and for being accessible, especially for discussing escalating issues. Similarly, CROs as a group received high marks for being professional, organized, prepared, and for maintaining open communication. Amongst the two groups, site recommendations for improvements to both sponsors and CROs included: providing protocols that require minimal amendments; being flexible and willing to modify protocols and budgets; and reducing monitor staff turnover. WCG CenterWatch included the same performance attributes in its 2017, 2019, and 2021 surveys so that comparisons can be made between those results, and trends evaluated. An in-depth report, which includes the 2021 sponsor and CRO rankings, is available for additional analysis at

About CenterWatch

Since 1994, CenterWatch has been the recognized global publishing leader in providing clinical trials information to a broad and influential spectrum of clinical research professionals ranging from top sponsors and CROs to research sites and niche providers, as well as an engaged population of patients interested in clinical research and volunteering. CenterWatch joined the WCG family of companies in June 2016. For more information, visit

About WCG

WCG is the world’s leading provider of solutions that measurably improve the quality and efficiency of clinical research. Comprised of two divisions, the industry’s first central IRB – WCG IRB – and first clinical services organization, WCG enables biopharmaceutical companies, CROs, and institutions to advance the delivery of new treatments and therapies to patients, while maintaining the highest standards of human participant protection. For more information, please visit, or follow us on Twitter @WCGClinical or LinkedIn.

About WCG

WCG is a global leader of solutions that measurably improve and accelerate clinical research. Biopharmaceutical and medical device companies, contract research organizations (CROs), research institutions, and sites partner with us for our unmatched expertise, data intelligence, and purpose-built technology to make informed decisions and optimize study outcomes, while maintaining the highest standards of human participant protection. WCG raises the bar by pioneering new concepts, reimagining processes, fostering compliance and safety, and empowering those who perform clinical trials to accelerate the delivery of medical therapies and devices that improve lives. For more information, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn or X @WCGClinical.