INTRODUCTION

This guidance represents the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if the approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations. If you want to discuss an alternative approach, contact the FDA staff responsible for implementing this guidance. If you cannot identify the appropriate FDA staff, call the appropriate number listed on the title page of this guidance.

This guidance provides an overview of the responsibilities of a person who conducts a clinical investigation of a drug, biological product, or medical device (an investigator as defined in 21 CFR 312.3(b) and 21 CFR 812.3(i)). The goal of this guidance is to help investigators better meet their responsibilities with respect to protecting human subjects and ensuring the integrity of the data from clinical investigations. This guidance is intended to clarify for investigators and sponsors FDA’s expectations concerning the investigator’s responsibility (1) to supervise a clinical study in which some study tasks are delegated to employees or colleagues of the investigator or other third parties and (2) to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of study subjects.
FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.
Overview of investigator responsibilities