This course will provide detailed explanations and examples for Building a Vendor Qualification Program for FDA Regulated Industry. With today’s pharmaceutical market, raw materials, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), Containers & Closures, inactive or excipients and other components are being sourced from all over the world. We also have Third Party Manufacturers and outside testing facilities that are part of our supply chains. Building and following a robust vendor qualification Program is essential for pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers. We must create a procedure, which will be used to remain aware of the compliance status for all of our suppliers. Some raw material components may move from producers to brokers to the end users. In addition, there may be other shippers and wholesalers responsible for moving and holding our raw material components.

Since, all of our components are being used to manufacture finished drug products and API, we must ensure the safety, efficacy and purity of these drug products. Our consumers deserve to have a consistent supply of the finished drugs they use each and every day. Many of our raw material ingredients are manufactured globally and we are required by law (21 CFR Part 211.84, Testing and approval or rejection of components, drug product containers, and closures) to be tested and approved before use in manufacturing. Moreover, FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires that we ensure the safety of drug products as they pass through the supply chain and end up in the hands od consumers. Although, Serialization and Traceability are not being discussed during this conference, our vendor qualification and continuous monitoring of our suppliers must be intermingled with our Supplier Quality Audit Programs.

One of the most important objectives during this conference is to write or enhance our Supplier Quality Audit Programs. If you already have a written procedure for conducting supplier quality audits, is this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) sufficient to comply with all of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Finished Pharmaceuticals and ICH Q7 (Good Manufacturing Practice for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients). We will learn about why we need to regularly audit these suppliers. Also, we must determine a sufficient frequency for conducting audits of all of our suppliers. There are many companies that can conduct Third Party Audits for our companies. Does FDA accept the use of Third Party Audits? Do we need to have two, five, twenty-five, fifty or one hundred Supplier Quality Auditors working at our firms? This depends on the number of suppliers that we have and how often we purchase from these suppliers. Is it acceptable to simply send the suppliers Questionnaires? Are these surveys considered to be an acceptable substitute for direct, physical audits of these suppliers?

We will also learn about estimating the time and travel expenses for these supplier quality audits. We need to have adequate funds to pay for these audits. We will also learn how to write and why we need to prepare audit agendas. What should we do if we do not cover every single item on our audit agendas? The recommended contents of a Supplier Quality Audit Report will also be taught during this presentation.



  • The laws that require supplier quality audits
  • Writing robust procedures for a robust supplier quality audit program
  • Who must conduct these audits
  • What are the qualifications needed for conducting supplier audits
  • How much experience do auditors need
  • Will experienced auditors from another industry suffice for CGMP audits
  • The difficulties of scheduling audits
  • Required number of days for each audit
  • Do we have to cover every single operation during each and every audit
  • Focus on the more important audit objectives first
  • We will learn how to adequately communicate our questions
  • The auditors must ensure that all of our questions are understand and that we understand the answers
  • Do audits need to speak every language in the countries where audits are conducted
  • We will learn how to determine how many auditors we need to conduct each audit
  • Discover the learning potentials during each site visited
  • Quality Assurance Departments
  • Quality Controls Departments
  • Supply Chain Departments
  • Chemistry and Microbiology Professionals
  • Research & Development Departments