EU QA Conference Reflections

The cofounders of World of Auditing had the pleasure of presenting on the “Future of Auditing” at the EU QA Conference in Mainz, Germany on April 21, 2023. This article is a collection of conference reflections.

The EU QA Conference is organized to gather the pharmaceutical industry, the supporting industries and service providers to discuss the challenges and look for solutions. Most of the participants were holding positions at QA or QC, primarily involved in GLP and GMP activities where GLPs are used in the context of research and development, GMPs apply when products being manufactured for sale.

“You value rationality, accuracy, thorough planning, and high-quality standards. Your strengths are analytics and attention to detail; you are highly organized, persistent, and able to concentrate.” This is how the blue color – cautious personality is defined at DISC, a popular test for determining an individual’s personality traits. DISC is founded on the concept that everyone has traits from all four types (red, yellow, green, and blue), but that some will be more obvious than others. It should come as no surprise that the majority of the participants at EU QA Conference had strong shades of blue.

One of the opening speeches was on Storytelling. It was an inspiring session to start the day. The keynote speaker listed the objectives of storytelling as follows:

  • emotional connection,
  • information delivering,
  • inspiration and motivation,
  • reminding,
  • branding

Coming from a data-driven world, it was a great mental workout to look for ways to turn our “numeric” lives into “stories” to remember.

The sessions we attended gave us some flavor to understand the dynamics of pharma industry on a high level. It is an industry which is highly regulated, and compliance is key. Particularly the clinical studies which might take years to complete, necessitate a massive amount of data to be generated, protected, analyzed, audited, and maintained. As a result, a significant number of presentations and attendees at the conference focused on either improving data governance or developing digital tools to make data more trustworthy and useful. This is true not only for the pharmaceutical industry. If one common question for all industries entering 2023 had to be answered, it would have been how the digital era will affect the future of doing business.

We have also heard during the sessions that Quality by Design and Quality Culture are becoming equally important and used as the driving engines to move from reactive approach (strong compliance only) to proactive (risk-based) approach. Does this sound familiar to you as well?

On the final day of the conference, we were on stage to talk about the “Future of Auditing” through our experience in the food and beverage industry.  We did appreciate a full room of participants attending our session and confirming some of the similar challenges we have. We left them with some key questions to be asked at defined intervals:

  • Why are we all doing audits?
  • How do we ensure the right strategies to stay relevant?
  • What kind of leadership do we need to demonstrate to continue generating value?

One of the most important takeaways from the conference is that auditing has similar challenges across industries and collaboration is the answer to many of those.

By Tülay Kahraman
May 02, 2023

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