Recently I was asked to audit a pharma warehouse where nearly all the staff had undergone a ‘comprehensive’ online GDP course.

I asked to see the notes provided and yes, it was rather comprehensive and filled with useful information.  The certificates were all neatly filed away and everyone was happy with their achievements.

However, I became concerned when one trained member of staff couldn’t answer a simple question, ‘What does GDP stand for?’.  I elaborated and said ‘tell me what you understand about Good Distribution Practice’.  This too proved difficult to answer.

During my audit, it became evident that a full understanding of the Requirements of GDP and where responsibilities sit was lacking.

Face to face training is far more beneficial as it provides key opportunity to network, discuss scenarios with people from different backgrounds, the chance to have 1-to-1 problem solving and the possibility of adapting the training to the level of experience and understanding of the trainee.

All key personnel (Responsible Person and Department Managers) should have face to face training and where possible filter this through to their staff.

Online training may be effective if you are working on a tight budget and have a huge workforce to train.  However, if your key personnel do not have any knowledge about pharma distribution, then face to face training must be the starting point.  Hopefully then we wouldn’t hear the serious answer of Gross Domestic Product when we ask staff to define GDP!