Regulatory Affairs is an important aspect of the pharmaceutical industry. As a professional in a regulatory affairs role, you’ll play a crucial role in ensuring that pharmaceutical products are manufactured and distributed in compliance with industry regulations. Your work will confirm that pharmaceutical drugs and medical products are safe and effective for human use.
The scope of Regulatory Affairs is wide, as it’s essential to ensure compliance at every stage of the development process, including the testing, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution stages.
If you’re wondering what a career in Regulatory Affairs could look like, read on to discover a few different paths you could take as a professional in the Regulatory Affairs industry.
1. After Getting Your Regulatory Affairs Certification, You Can Work as a Regulatory Affairs Specialist
One of the most common career paths for graduates with regulatory affairs certification is a career as a regulatory affairs specialist. Regulatory affairs specialists perform a range of duties to ensure that an organization’s processes or products are in line with industry regulations. These professionals can work in various different sectors including:
- The pharmaceutical industry
- Medical Devices
Depending on their chosen field of practice, a regulatory affairs specialist’s duties will depend on the regulations applicable to their industry. Their success relies on their ability to maintain an updated understanding of the regulations affecting their working environment. With this knowledge base, a regulatory affairs specialist may:
- standardize organizational operations to reflect regulations
- organize data and documentation to demonstrate compliance
- analyze clinical research reports, case files, marketing and more to ensure good regulatory practice
- conduct internal audits of products and processes to determine if standards are met
- act as a point of contact between their organization and various regulatory agencies
While these professionals have many responsibilities, their work is vital as they ensure that an organization’s processes and products are safe for human use.
2. You Can Pursue a Career as a Compliance Specialist
After completing your regulatory affairs training, you can also pursue a career as a compliance specialist. Compliance specialists, otherwise known as compliance officers, are professionals who perform oversight and risk management duties for an organization in a relevant industry—such as the medical or pharmaceutical fields. Compliance specialists have a few main responsibilities, including:
- ensuring organizations are up-to-date in meeting company, provincial, and federal regulations
- advising managers on changes to policies and regulations
- analyzing operations to determine whether there are compliance risks
- investigating compliance violations
- maintaining future compliance
Compliance specialists are important in helping organizations to avoid legal consequences such as fines or lawsuits. With their advice, organizations can establish a compliance program tailored to developing beneficial policies, educating their workforce and addressing violations if they arise.
3. With Experience, You Can Explore More Senior Managerial Roles
While a position as a regulatory affairs specialist or a compliance specialist is a common entry-level career in the regulatory affairs industry, you can explore more senior roles in this sector after gaining a few years of experience. One possible opportunity is a career as a Regulatory Affairs Manager. Regulatory affairs managers work within several different departments of an organization including:
- Research and Development
- Senior Management
These professionals have a wide range of duties, and their main goal is to develop regulatory and implementation strategies for any new products created by an organization. Regulatory Affairs Managers will work with different teams to ensure that the product in question will adhere to regulatory standards, and that all stages of its production reflect these standards. On any given day, a Regulatory Affairs Manager might be:
- Writing up reports on a new product
- Analyzing legal and scientific documents
- Communicating with various teams to meet development goals
- Standardizing operational procedures for a product, such as labeling and packaging
A Regulatory Affairs Manager has plenty of authority when it comes to developing a product in line with industry regulations. With prior experience in the field, you could become qualified for this position in the future.
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