National Coordinating Centre (NCC)

As the centre of operations for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, the National Coordinating Centre manages many of the logistical processes associated with a national and geographically distributed long-term study.
 
As part of its mandate, the NCC leads the continuing development of the scientific content of the CLSA, conducts methodological research and data linkage, manages the recruitment of CLSA participants and baseline data collection, leads the implementation of the follow-up waves and the development of retention strategies, oversees the data collection operation across the country and continues to develop standard operating procedures and protocols for accommodating participants for data collections (e.g. cognitive impairment).
 
The NCC is also responsible for developing and updating of the CLSA suite of software, supporting the overall IT needs of the CLSA, providing continuing staff training and documentation for the Data Collection Sites (DCS) and the Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) sites, developing the Quality Management System for all aspects of the CLSA operations and playing a central role in the assessment of data quality, data management and archiving. In addition, the NCC is also responsible for the overall budget and financial agreements, management of the core CLSA infrastructure, communications and partnership development for the CLSA platform.
 
Sample attrition due to losses to follow-up, deaths and refusals to continue in the study will be an important and ongoing challenge for the CLSA. The NCC is responsible for developing strategies to minimize losses to follow-up. A protocol for tracing study participants who are not located at follow-up will cover linkages with mortality databases and communicating with alternate contacts identified at baseline. At each follow-up, some CLSA participants will have died, and the CLSA team will make every effort to avoid upsetting family members with uninformed calls.
 
The NCC works closely with the Statistical Analysis Centre (SAC) to facilitate the data management of the CLSA platform. The NCC also supports the chair of the CLSA Data Access and Sample Committee to process the applications to access CLSA data. The NCC also provides support to the Biorepository and Bioanalysis Centre (BBC).
 
The NCC is affiliated with McMaster University and is located at the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Parminder Raina, the scientific lead principal investigator for the CLSA, also serves as director of the NCC, and Ine Wauben serves as managing director of the CLSA platform. The NCC team also includes co-principal investigators (Drs. Christina Wolfson and Susan Kirkland), CLSA national coordinators, an operations manager, communications manager, financial and IT managers, scientific collaborators, data coordinators, IT personnel and research assistants.