Quality research is one antecedent to quality improvement in clinical care. The commitment of nurses within primary care to the success of externally funded research studies is often crucial, but the nature of their input may not be formally acknowledged.We received a request to provide a certificate for a nurse who had taken responsibility for delivering a research study intervention, regarding smoking cessation, to patients in her practice. To address this requestwe sought to develop a certificate that would reflect national policy and be acceptable to nurses,nursing leads/managers and researchers. We considered how the certificate might be used to encourage interest in research, to support the provision of quality clinical care, and to enhance the professional development of nurses. To achieve this we attempted to link the research activities undertaken to indicators identified within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework. The article describes how the certificate was developed and agreed. Its derivation is supportive to both clinical and research governance.Importantly, the article also raises the question of how the professional nursing community and their managers might want to develop the approach in order to inform the development of career paths inservice that include and support research activities as integral to the delivery of high quality care.