Report of the Annual Advisory Board Meeting of the European Compliance Academy (ECA)

Once every year the ECA Advisory Board convenes to review past activities and to determine activities throughout the year and beyond with the goal to strengthen and expand ECA's leading position as the European information and training services provider in the field of GMP and pharmaceutical Quality Assurance. In the year after ECA's 10th anniversary the meeting was held in Mainz near Frankfurt.

"I'm very grateful for the support from all board members to advance the European Compliance Academy.", said Daniel Scheidegger, Chairman of the ECA Advisory Board. "Due to the high-quality services we have been providing throughout the past 10 years professionals in both the industry and authorities today perceive the organisation as a constant and rely on our advanced training and information services." 

During this year's meeting, the following developments and future activities were discussed:

ECA established as Foundation
For the past ten years the European Compliance Academy (ECA) was lead as a membership association. With the beginning of 2010 the organisation was transferred to a Foundation. This Foundation  is lead by a foundation board with 10 members from industry and authorities and is comprised of a non-profit educational organisation (ECA Academy) and various non-profit interest groups. A new group on “Quality Control” has been established and a group on "Good Quality Supply Chain Practices" is planned for 2010. To learn more about the new foundation please see the information "About ECA".

ECA GMP Certification Programme
Just in February the acknowledged programme was extended from seven to eleven certification programmes and now provides professionals with the opportunity to advance their knowledge and complete an additional qualification in even more areas. To learn more about the programme please go here.

European QP Association
The European Qualified Person Association under the leadership of Dr Bernd Renger has been growing steadily since its foundation in 2006. In 2009 the number of members grew again by more than 20%. Today the association counts more than 1.200 members, representing the needs and concerns of QPs throughout Europe.

In 2008 the interest group was invited to the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Inspectors Working Group Interested Parties Meeting for the first time and was re-invited in 2009, providing substantial input to joint industries responses to several issues like inconsistencies in GMP interpretation in the various Member States. This input was based on comprehensive feedback to various surveys conducted by the EQPA. The results of these surveys are a recognized source of information for authorities, industry and other organisations (EFPIA, EIPG…).
As the harmonisation of national requirements is a main objective of the European QP Association we will continue to conduct surveys on currently discussed issues for providing direct input from professionals affected.

In 2010 the well established QP Forum - today the major event for QPs from all over Europe - will include a first time pre-conference workshop on audits bringing together the players from the major international authorities and industry organisations.

Initially started in 2008, the QP Association just recently released the next generation of its shared audits database - "QPSHARE". With this new database exclusively available for members QPs are able to instantly and easily identify suppliers and the number of other QPs interested in auditing these suppliers.
Rapid Microbiology Method (RMM) Group
Alike the QP Association the Rapid Microbiology Method (RMM) Group under the leadership of Dr Sven Deutschmann has been experiencing an increasing awareness. By now the group counts 230 members from Europe and abroad. The first time RMM Conference conducted in 2009 attracted more than 80 delegates. For 2010 it is planned to further raise awareness for the group, e.g. by developing a series of articles.

Under the leadership of Daniel Scheidegger, Chairman of the Foundation Board, and Richard M. Bonner as new Vice Chairman, the ECA will continue to develop activities to increase the foundation's attractiveness as a membership organisation and will further seek a closer contact to regulatory authorities to accomplish its mission and to provide feedback from its members in a timely manner.

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