Training the Biopharma Industry - Using a competency-based approach to effectively train biopharmaceutical industry staff. - BioPharm International


Training the Biopharma Industry
Using a competency-based approach to effectively train biopharmaceutical industry staff.

BioPharm International
Volume 25, Issue 9, pp. 58-60

Customized training

Companies' training needs can be highly variable, making a one-size-fits-all approach inapplicable. All aspects of training, including design, development, and delivery, should be customized to meet the specific needs of a company. NIBRT holds that whether a company is establishing a new facility and needs to rapidly hire and develop a new workforce or cross-skilling experienced staff, novel pedagogical methods that incorporate distance-learning techniques should be used to minimize disruption to normal work practice.

Certified programs

To ensure the highest quality standard and effectiveness of the training, it is recommended that training programs be accredited by a nationally recognized educational body. NIBRT's programs are accredited by partners within the Irish education system, which was ranked 7th out of 134 countries surveyed by World Economic Forum in 2010 (4).

Continuous professional development

Effective training should not be viewed as a one-time event, but rather as ongoing continuous personal development that is an integral part of the organization's culture. Training solutions should have a modular, flexible structure that facilities the integration of training within the workplace.


Training programs should be benchmarked not only to ensure their cost-competitiveness but also to ensure the effectiveness of the learning outcomes. Where possible, the quantification of training benefits should be documented.


Since it opened in June 2011, NIBRT has delivered training programs to numerous global biopharmaceuitcal companies, including Big Pharma, with positive feedback (6, 7). To date, the Five Cs competency-based model has been well received by both the industry and the government. The organization looks forward to sharing its approach and what it has learned in the bioprocessing area with BioPharm International readers in the months ahead.

Killian O'Driscoll is director of projects at the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) in Ireland, tel. +353 1 215 8100,


1. Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, "Pharmaceutical Healthcare Facts and Figures" (2012),

2. NIBRT website,

3. ISPE, Facility of the Year Awards (2012),

4. The World Economic Forum, "2009–2010 Global Competitiveness Report."

5. NIBRT Press Release, "Minister Sherlock launches partnership between Waters and NIBRT," Mar. 27, 2012,

6. NIBRT Press Release, "Online Courses win Taoiseach's Public Service Excellence Award," June 28, 2012,

7. NIBRT Press Release, "Outstanding Achievement Award for MSD Training Program with NIBRT and IT Sligo," Apr. 5, 2012,

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