Digitalisation of the Quality Management System of Pharma Regulated Laboratories

Bob McDowall, an analytical chemist with 50 years of experience, facilitates the training course and workshop under the topic «Digitalisation of the Quality Management System of Pharma Regulated Laboratories».

This hybrid program starts on June 22nd with a four-hour online session to develop the strategy for digitalization and map and redesign the laboratory processes for automation.

On October 9th and 10th the expert will be facilitating in person a workshop of two 5-hour sessions per day.

On site visits to each one of the participating pharma will follow to provide scientific/technical advice and sustainable solutions based on long-term experience and expertise.


Από 01/01/2023 οι αιτήσεις συμμετοχής στα εκπαιδευτικά προγράμματα υποβάλλονται μόνο ηλεκτρονικά, μέσω της πλατφόρμας «Ερμής» της ΑνΑΔ.

Για να γίνει αυτό, η επιχείρηση αφενός και κάθε πρόσωπο που εργοδοτείται σε αυτή αφετέρου, πρέπει να εγγραφεί στην πλατφόρμα Ερμής.

Αν έχετε ήδη κάνει εγγραφή, μπορείτε να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή στο πρόγραμμα μέσω του συνδέσμου «Ερμή». Κατηγορία: ”Προγραμματισμός και Έλεγχος Παραγωγής” αριθμός προγράμματος: #……

Αν δεν έχετε κάνει εγγραφή, σας παρακαλούμε όπως συμπληρώστε και μας αποστείλετε την δήλωση συμμετοχής και θα επικοινωνήσουμε μαζί σας για τις περαιτέρω λεπτομέρειες και τον τρόπο εγγραφής σας στη ψηφιακή πύλη «ΕΡΜΗΣ».

Program code


Program numbering



14 hours of the seminar plus

4 hours on site visits


22/06/2023 08:30-13:00

09/10/2023 08:30-14:00

10/10/2023 08:30-14:00

Venue: Hybrid learning

HRDA Beneficiaries(1): €1530,00 + VAT

HRDA subsidy: €1530,00

More than 3 participants:€600 +VAT per person

Non HRDA Beneficiaries: €900(1) + VAT

(1) onsite visit not included


The aim
this program

Why should you attend this program?

A subset of Pharma 4.0 is Lab4.0 or the digitalization of GMP regulated pharmaceutical laboratories to ensure efficient and effective working and quicker product release to the market. 

This practical course consisting of presentations, workshops and discussions provides an in-depth understanding of how to approach Lab 4.0 including:

  • Developing a strategy for digitalization
  • Mapping and redesigning processes for automation
  • Managing both project and regulatory risk and digitize them
  • Clarifications on regulatory & business risks
  • Automation examples from Pharma laboratory environment
  • Effective computerised systems validation and IT infrastructure qualification & support
  • Options to integrate and maintain the automated systems
  • Change control.

Key Topics

  • Understanding and redesigning your processes
  • How good are your current systems?
  • Developing a Digitalization Strategy
  • Managing regulatory & business risks
  • Effective & efficient computerised systems validation
  • IT infrastructure qualification & support
  • Integrating & maintaining the systems

The training

Why did we design this program?

The need for digitalization in pharmaceutical laboratories is continuously evolving & there is a need for a more unified approach to laboratory and data management. Leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies are re-assessing the processes and digital tools (incl. information systems)
they use to collect, handle and organize QC laboratory data.
In practical terms, Pharma 4.0 means more connectivity, more productivity, simplified compliance, and the marshaling of production information to respond to problems as they emerge.

The Pharma 4.0 mission statement is “[To] Manufacture pharmaceutical products with maximum product and process understanding, data integrity by design, efficiency and optimal resource allocation on the basis of full digital data transparency–to the benefit of the patient.”

To this end, there are six stages of digital maturity: Computerization, Connectivity, Visibility, Transparency, Predictability, adaptability. This practical course provides an in-depth understanding of redesigning processes to automate & digitize them and brings clarifications on  regulatory & business risks as well as the automation examples from Pharma  laboratory environment. It will focus as well on effective computerised systems validation and IT  infrastructure qualification & support.

Participants will learn about the options to integrate the system and maintain it, including change control.

They will enhance their digital laboratory automation journey to achieve greater innovation, collaboration & productivity.

Who should attend?

The course addresses the QC Analysts e.g. analytical chemists, pharmacists, regulatory personnel,
pharmacopeia specialists.
More specifically, personnel involved in:
• Managers and scientists from Quality Control and Analytical Development Laboratories wanting
to understand the digilization of data
• Quality Assurance personnel providing digital GMP data
• Contract Research Organization and Contract Manufacturing Organization laboratory and QA
• Auditors (internal and external) responsible for assessing laboratory quality and data integrity

Course Facilitator

Who motivates you develop new knowledge?

Bob McDowall

Pharmaceutical Consultant.


How you Will transform your cognitive profile?

Participants will be able to:


  • Identify the digitalization of data and data integrity requirements of a GMP-regulated laboratory in Pharmaceutical organizations and contract labs
  • Reveal current regulatory citations driving automation and elimination of paper
  • Ensure compliance with the EU and FDA Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations Impacting
  • Laboratory Data and Results
  • Gain the principles of laboratory automation to ensure business efficiency and regulatory compliance.
  • Evaluate the current laboratory system.
  • Manage regulatory & business risks.
  • Develop effective & efficient computerized systems.
  • Reveal critical insigths into IT infrastructure support & qualification.
  • Utilize records generated by (1) Paper (records maintained in a laboratory notebook or controlled
  • sheets), (2) Hybrid Systems (signed paper records with underlying electronic records) and (3)
  • Electronic Systems incl. ELNs (an electronic system using electronic signatures)


  • Redesign the laboratory processes and data logging.
  • Develop a Digitalization Strategy
  • Validate the computerized systems.
  • Support the IT infrastructure.
  • Maintain the laboratory digitalized environment.
  • Manage throughout the system life cycle.


  • Integrate the laboratory data within the digitalized laboratory environment.
  • Prioritize the areas within a pharmaceutical quality system to focus on when conducting a data.
  • integrity audit.
  • Adapt laboratory processes to the digital laboratory environment.
  • Explore the examples of automation.
  • Gain insights into practical change control and configuration management

From on-site consultation and advice:

  • Practice the proper laboratory database.
  • Automate the multi-parameter workflows.
  • Practice the electronic data management functionality that automatically collects complete data from the analyses.
  • Develop/Improve the standard operating procedures (SOPs) into workflows, then let the software guide operators step by step at the instrument terminal to prevent errors.
  • Ensure only adjusted and calibrated resources are in use with the software.


Which are the new cognitive subjects?

Day 1 (22/06/2023)
Introduction & speed networking
Introduction to the Course
• Topics covered over the two days
• Drivers for change: understanding the c in cGMP
• What do we call this: paperless, less paper, automation, electronic working, digitization?
• How the interactive workshops will be organized and run
• Outputs from the workshops will be available after the course
• Discussion sessions
Developing a Laboratory Automation/Digitization Strategy
• Business benefits drive or regulatory requirements push? Current regulatory citations driving automation and elimination of paper
• Develop a Laboratory Automation Strategy
• You can’t automate the whole laboratory at once, it will take time
• Where are you now?
• Where do you want to be?
• Top down or bottom-up approach to automation?
• Use application convergence to your advantage
• Three principles of laboratory automation to ensure business efficiency and regulatory compliance
• How to get there?
• Configuration versus customization of software
• Senior Management support and resources are critical for success
• The first project is critical to ensure user buy-in and demonstrate benefits of the strategy

Day 2 (09/10/2023)

Process, Process, Process
• The key to digitization success is to understand your current process and design activities to work electronically
• Map the current process: identify inefficiencies
• Design the new process
• Prototype the application to refine the process and user requirements
• Interactive Workshop
Attendees will be given a process to analyse – interactive feedback of comments
• Redesign the process to automate and digitize the process

Managing Business and Regulatory Risk
• Annex 11 clause 1 requires risk management throughout the system life cycle
• Project risk management and regulatory risk management
• Purchasing the system: are you perpetuating the data integrity problem?
• Is your company’s computer validation procedures fixed or flexible?
• Installation options: On-premises, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS)?
• Working with a supplier to improve your processes and their software
• Leveraging a supplier’s software development to reduce your validation work
• Facilitated Discussion / Case Study: How would you conduct a Supplier Assessment to reduce your validation effort?

Automation Examples and Mini Workshops
• This session will feature a number of case study examples of automation examples and miniworkshops
• Mini-workshops will involve
• Presentation of a scenario to attendees to suggest options for automation
• Feedback by the trainer followed by discussion

Day 3 (10/10/2023)

Effective and Efficient  Computerised System Validation (CSV) and Analytical Instrument Qualification (AIQ)
• CSV is a fact of life in regulated pharma laboratories
• Is CSV a business benefit or a regulatory burden?
• Integrated analytical instrument qualification (AIQ) and computerised system validation (CSV)
• Flexible approaches to CSV to ensure business efficiency, regulatory compliance and data integrity
• Avoiding CSV pitfalls to make validation efficient
• Workshop: How would you approach these qualification / validation situations?

IT Infrastructure Qualification and Support
• Any digitization programme must have a stable IT infrastructure with effective support to ensure that the laboratory can operate efficiently without
• What is required?
• IT infrastructure qualification: what to do and what not to do
• Time synchronization and time/date stamps
• User account management: avoiding conflicts of interest
• Cybersecurity
• Backup, recovery and archive
• Disaster recovery and business continuity planning

Integrating Systems to Leverage Further Business Benefits
• Networked system can automate a process efficiently but to leverage benefits for the laboratory systems should be interfaced together
• Options for integrating systems e.g. instruments to instrument data systems, instruments to LIMS, LIMS to LES and LIMS to ERP systems
• Workshop: Scenarios for attendees to determine interfacing options

Maintaining the System
• Regulatory requirements for change control
• Current pharma industry approaches: its validated – don’t touch it!
• Business v IT v QA for change control
• Change issues with On-premises versus SaaS installations
• Practical change control and configuration management
• Workshop: given examples of changes to
computerised systems


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