EU GMP Inspection Readiness: Path to Success

Following on from the how to prepare for a regulatory inspection advice we shared during our recent virtual symposium, one of EPiC’s GMP consultants has recently returned from helping a client in California with their inspection readiness activities in preparation for the site’s first EU GMP regulatory inspection.

The on-site consultancy support provided the opportunity for the inspection hosts and subject matter experts (SMEs) to gain an appreciation of the EU GMP inspection process style and what to expect. It highlighted general points for all staff as well as some specific Do’s and Don’ts.

Newfound Confidence

The visit provided recommendations for the management of the inspection with respect to hosting, tour, and the ‘back room’ logistics and provided the opportunity to practice the inspection document request system. The facility tour focused on identifying key GMP issues so that the consultant could work with the SMEs to develop recommendations to address any issues and provided an opportunity for the SMEs to practice presenting information to an inspector.

The client reported that our consultant had been “an amazing asset by highlighting some gaps, conveyed the likely criticality of those gaps, and provided recommendations on how to address.” The inspection readiness support has given the site a newfound confidence to approach the inspection with a realistic yet positive mindset.

The client reported that “whilst we know we will have some observations, we now feel confident that the site will show well and will be able to demonstrate that we are in a state of control”, which all bodes well for a successful inspection outcome.

Are you Inspection Ready?

Take a look at our recent top-tip article by Michelle Yeomans focusing on Inspection Readiness to help you stay calm and be prepared!

Get in touch if you want to know more about our mock inspections or bespoke inspection readiness training by using our contact form here: Contact Us

EPiC Top Tips – Pharmaceutical Inspection Readiness

“Keep Calm and Be Prepared” – Inspection Readiness Top Tips

Article By Michelle Yeomans Operations Manager for EPiC Auditors

Judging by the number of enquiries we are receiving to provide ex MHRA Inspectors to assist with inspection readiness preparations or remediation activities; it certainly looks like the number of regulatory inspections and supplier due diligence audits are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Inspections are an opportunity to demonstrate compliance, so when you receive notification of a regulatory inspection (or external audit), keep calm, and use our top tips to help be prepared:

  1. Inspection Scope  – Make sure that the purpose and scope of the inspection are clearly understood to help identify the relevant people, products, premises, systems, processes, and procedures that are likely to be involved so that these can all be factored into an inspection readiness plan. As part of the plan, consider the need for inspection awareness training for staff likely to be directly involved, especially if they have not previously experienced a regulatory inspection. Do not forget to check any contractual agreements, as contract acceptors may be required to notify the contract giver of any regulatory inspections.  
  1. Compliance Status – Leverage output from the pharmaceutical quality system by referring to performance and trend data from self-inspections, deviations and CAPA, risk assessments, management review, etc. to understand how the quality system and operational processes are performing. This will either give you assurance that you are inspection ready or help identify specific compliance concerns or weakness to enable you to focus on implementing mitigating actions.  
  1. Front and Back Room Organisation – Based on the scope and purpose of the inspection, identify and assign appropriate numbers of personnel (including deputies) to act as hosts, tour guides, scribes, runners, back-room staff handling document requests, and subject matter expects (SMEs). Provide some basic inspection preparation awareness training to give an overview of the inspection process and ensure everyone involved has a clearly defined role and purpose. 
  1. Turning Negatives into Positives – In completing your inspection readiness plan you may have identified potential deficiencies or there may be questions you would not want an inspector to ask. Encourage the SME’s who know the areas of weakness to practice explaining in a clear and succinct way what the issues are and what is being done to improve the situation. Being able to clearly explain the issues, mitigating actions and CAPA already in place can help to reassure the inspector that a situation is under control and may avoid or reduce the severity of a deficiency.    
  1. First Impressions Count – Get the inspection off to a positive start by anticipating likely questions and areas of interest and have documentation and premises ready for inspection.  Prepare a brief presentation covering site activities and confirm any significant changes since the previous inspection (if it is not the first inspection). Check that previous inspection actions have been closed and have evidence of closure to hand. Identify and walk the physical inspection routes and tidy the areas focusing on housekeeping and first impressions. Plan to walk the expected route each day to check on housekeeping, as new deliveries may have arrived, new production batches set up, new teams on shift, etc.   

By following these tips, you can prepare for an inspection by using practice runs and role-play scenarios to practice hosting, tracking, and responding to questions (including the difficult ones!) and help build confidence in being able to demonstrate compliance. 

Get in touch if you want to know more about our mock inspections or bespoke inspection readiness training.  

Telephone: +44 (0)1244 980544 or email us at enquiries@epic-auditors.com

 

Agenda Announced For EPiC’s Virtual GMDP Symposium 2023 

Announcing EPiC Auditors Virtual Symposium 2023

EPiC can now reveal our full agenda for our Virtual GMDP Compliance Symposium,  Beyond the Basics: Mastering GMDP Compliance and Inspection Readiness, taking place on Tuesday 5th December 2023.

Agenda Overview:

  • Recent Updates to Guidance & Regulations
  • How do you know you are Inspection Ready?
  • Deficiency Data-Interpretation & Root Cause Analysis
  • Innovation and ATMP Panel Discussion
  • Annex 1 – Contamination Control Strategy (CCS) / Gap Assessments – Workshop
  • ICH Q9 (new revision) – Risk Assessment
  • GDP Masterclass – challenges faced by RPis, The Windsor Framework update, GDP inspection approaches
  • Q&A Panel Session

Download the full agenda here:

Please take note that our schedules are subject to changes, depending on the situation at the discretion of the organisers.


🔍Meet the Experts🔎

Our carefully selected speakers bring a wealth of industry knowledge, having served as MHRA Inspectors. Their expertise and insights will provide you with invaluable guidance in navigating the complex landscape of regulatory compliance.

Discover how our expertise can take you beyond the ‘basics’ and propel your organisation towards excellence in pharmaceutical manufacturing and compliance!

Click here to read more about our speakers!

Not available on the day? We understand your schedule may not allow you to attend all the sessions of the event. A recording of the event will remain open 24/7 for 30 days. You can access the presentations whenever it’s convenient for you during this time.

Have a question? Need to register multiple people or pay offline?

Please email enquiries@epic-auditors.co.uk

We hope to see you there!

European Forum for GCP On-line Seminar: Renovation & Regulation

The European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) are hosting a half day seminar this autumn on regulatory and ethical hot topics including practical considerations for ICH GCP E6(R3) Renovation, Investigational Medicinal Product (IMP) Regulations (EU and UK IMP considerations for compliance), an update from the MHRA GCP Inspectorate and ethical discussions on consent modernisation.

EPiC Auditors are pleased to support the event hosted by the Quality Working Party. Pharma compliance expert Michelle Yeomans will be delivering a presentation on the Clinical Trials Regulation transition and the implications for IMP management to ensure compliance. We believe in the importance of collaboration and knowledge exchange in the field of clinical trials to improve and protect public health.

The virtual seminar takes place on Monday, September 11th, 2023, and brings together leading experts and stakeholders to discuss practical considerations, updates, and ethical debates that are at the forefront of the industry.

To see the full agenda and register please visit the EFGCP Website.

EPiC Top Tips – Assessing the Effectiveness of Training

Measuring Success – Top Tips for Assessing the Effectiveness of Training

Article By Michelle Yeomans Operations Manager for EPiC Auditors

effectiveness of training

The Covid-19 pandemic led to changes in the amount and delivery method used by Pharmaceutical companies to conduct training. Some companies cut back on training to conserve resources for core functions, whilst others invested in virtual training and e-learning to provide continued development opportunities for their employees. The situation was no different for regulators.

During the pandemic, I was the Unit Manager of the GMP and GDP Inspectorate at the MHRA, and as well as developing remote inspection approaches to ensure a continued level of regulatory oversight, MHRA used the opportunity to dedicate Inspectorate resource to enhance the range of training materials available within the ‘Inspector Academy’ knowledge hub and developed virtual training modules and competency frameworks. At the time, it was a case of adapting to the situation and being innovative in exploring available tools and techniques to identify the “least worst” available option.

Post pandemic, several conferences and training events have now returned to being run as face-to-face events, while others are continuing to offer virtual or hybrid options to maximise accessibility and minimise costs. EU GMP Chapter 2, 2.11 refers to the need for “continuing training” to be given and for its “practical effectiveness” to be periodically assessed. Continuing training is an ongoing process of learning and acquiring new skills and knowledge to help individuals stay updated with the latest developments and changes relevant to their role and industry sector. Continuing training can include self-learning so is not just limited to attending workshops, seminars, conferences, or specialist courses. The key point is finding a way to stay current with industry trends, which will help increase expertise and proficiency and support compliance with GMP requirements. Another key consideration is the need to keep a record to document the training, as training records are routinely reviewed during a regulatory inspection and provide evidence of continuing professional development.

With different training opportunities and formats on offer, it is important to have clearly defined learning objectives and ways of collecting information to determine whether the training provided has produced the desired effect and contributed to the development of the trainee.

Here are our top tips for assessing the practical effectiveness of training:

  1. Pre and post-assessments: Conducting assessments, questionnaires, or quizzes before and after the training can help measure the knowledge, skills, or behaviour changes that have occurred as a result of the training. Comparing the scores or performance levels before and after the training provides an indication of the impact of the training.
  2. Observations and simulations: Observing participants during or after the training session can help assess their application of the newly acquired knowledge and skills. This can be done through simulations or real-world scenarios to evaluate their ability to transfer the learning into practical situations.
  3. Follow-up assessments: Conducting assessments weeks or months after the training has taken place can help evaluate the long-term impact and effectiveness of the training. This can provide insights into whether the learning has been retained, and if it has influenced the individual’s work performance over time.
  4. Feedback: Soliciting feedback from trainees and supervisors or managers who work closely with the individuals can provide an additional perspective on the effectiveness of the training. They can assess whether the training has positively impacted the individuals’ job performance, productivity, or overall contribution to the organisation.
  5. Performance metrics: Comparing PQS performance, KPIs or Quality metrics before and after the training can yield insights into any improvements or changes in the workplace performance of individuals or teams who participated in the training. An overview of GMP related training completed, and a review of PQS performance to identify compliance improvement topics for inclusion in further GMP refresher training should be included as agenda items at periodic Management Review meetings.

By using a combination of these assessment methods, organisations can gain a comprehensive understanding of the effectiveness of their training efforts and identify areas for improvement.

Please get in touch if you want to know more about our virtual symposia and bespoke in-house training courses.

Telephone: +44 (0)1244 980544 or email us at enquiries@epic-auditors.com