10 Ways to Cut Your Training Costs for GMP
How can you best keep your employees’ GMP training up to date yet keep your training and development budget under control? In today’s top online training and development blog, we discuss 10 ways to cut your training costs for GMP training requirements. We review affordable GMP training methods and cost reduction strategies best suited for the Pharmaceutical, Veterinary, Bio-Sciences, Medical Device and Herbal Medicine Cultivation Industries. Reading time: 2.5 minutes.
Training and Development Budgets | Certificate Courses
Online GMP training for new employees, contractors and refresher courses (Certificate Courses)
Certificate Course completion record-keeping and GMP training requirements can sometimes catch organisations and contractors off guard.
- You need to make sure your employees are well-trained, with personnel records up to date to remain compliant.
- This also improves compliance with organisational protocols / GMP requirements.
- But employee raining comes at a cost; and blended learning solutions are best for ensuring GMP knowledge is learned, remembered and applied.
- The question is, how can you ensure all your employees are up to date on their training, on a budget?
Employee Training Budgets and Annual Training Expenditures can be a bane to Personnel Directors and Training and Development experts.
With ongoing GMP training required for new and existing employees — as well as temporary onsite contractors — how do you keep your GMP training costs under control?
Annual budget constraints are a part of life. With cost controls and budget limitations impacting training choices, team leaders face new challenges to meet their GMP training requirements. Keeping training costs for GMP courses to your budget restrictions can be particularly challenging during times of company growth, new pharmaceutical innovations and/or high employee turnover.
L&D teams are frequently seeking new ways to reduce costs for GMP training and refresher courses in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Veterinary sectors.
FAQs for meeting GMP training budget parameters in specific industries include:
- How can you best MATCH training budgets with various course delivery methods to meet your GMP training requirements?
- Is it really possible to keep your GMP compliance and knowledge levels sufficiently elevated, without exceeding your annual training and development budget?
- Are online GMP courses suitable for various industries or are they too generic?
Online GMP courses (Certificate Courses) are definitely available in industry-specific training bundles. You can also investigate customised online GMP courses for larger teams, by asking for a quote. Review industry-specific GMP courses available online as a low-cost training option.
The answer to annual training expenditure controls for GMP courses lies in a two-pronged training budget strategy.
The best ways to reduce GMP training costs for Certificate Courses require two important approaches:
- PLANNING: careful planning with strategic timing
- BLENDING: employing blended-learning solutions
Essentially, you can cut your average annual GMP training and development costs by planning your GMP orientation and refresher training well in advance. Plus, take time to thoughtfully consider which certificate courses are best delivered online, SCORM compliant and with flexible access, versus instructor-led certificate courses.
In terms of overall annual GMP training costs, it’s helpful to remember they are not limited to the course or transportation fees alone.
Workplace ‘absenteeism’ related to training, while beneficial in the longer run, has other impacts to consider on your workflow. We suggest choosing slower production times to schedule courses. Plan well in advance and make sure employee training dates are well away from long weekends or school holidays when employees are most likely to be taking leave. If you’ve fully automated and integrated your GMP training reminders with your personnel reporting systems, all the better.
Also, bear in mind that the cost of training is insignificant compared to the costs of a breach in your GMP compliance.
However, wanting to control the training budget is a positive step for overall industry profitability; and a necessity in today’s competitive, high-cost production environments.
Employee GMP training, quality, facility designs and/or validation training options include:
- capped-cost onsite training expenditures (daily rates for up to 10 to 15 employees)
- customised offsite GMP courses at nearby venues – e.g., local hotels, nearby conference centres and other training venues
- may better accommodate larger numbers of staff than your onsite conference rooms
- offer some training or conference amenities that might not suit a pharmaceutical environment
- group training discounts
- GMP training for groups of up to 15 people may be more affordable than sending individual employees to offsite public courses
- Offsite public courses may also incur transportation and/or travel costs or be impacted by production demands)
Here are 10 ways to cut your training and development costs while meeting your GMP Certificate Course requirements.
10 Ways to Cut Your Training Costs for GMP Instruction
#1: TIME MANAGEMENT and PLANNING: Organise onsite training during your slower production times
Thoughtfully selected training dates minimise production disruptions and improve your organisational time management.
- Training Budget Strategy: Train several employees at one time, onsite, to minimise disruptions to production or complications in relation to time management and scheduling.
The training budget is only one factor of the costs of training your employees in GMP and Quality Assurance/Validation processes.
- Other factors to consider: lost production time, disruptions to workflows, and the morale problems that co-exist with short-staffed production and changes to employee’s schedules (or negating leave time to attend training).
- Custom onsite GMP training also lets you choose the most convenient time(s) of any given week, month or year
- Announce the training dates well ahead of time
- Arrange schedules accordingly
- Avoid busy production periods, school holiday periods and weeks that border long-weekends
#2: LOCATION: Arrange offsite training nearby, equivalent to onsite if you choose the venue carefully
- Training Budget Strategy: Avoid travel costs and internal disruption(s) by planning employee training at nearby facilities (if your site has inadequate space for group training sessions).
- Other factors to consider: Offsite locations should be cheap, located nearby, and have suitable amenities.
- Shop around for a great venue and location that offers convenience as well as economic appeal
- Ask which days or months are less expensive, due to booking gaps
- Parking fees may be a factor; if you’re paying for parking in an expensive city area, make sure you ask the venue to include free parking for the set number of attendees as part of their venue-booking package.
- Many hotels and conference centres offer huge price incentives, with parking included, to attract conferences and training sessions
#3: BLEND IT: Combine e-learning (online GMP training) with onsite training and on-the-job instruction, especially for new employees or contractors
- Training Budget Strategy: Use online training courses for GMP orientation training and you’ll also reduce internal training time (but DO combine with on-the-job instruction and the required onsite courses or public training sessions)
- Other factors to consider: Orienting new employees and contractors to GMP requirements is easiest by using online GMP training.
- You can arrange training before an employee officially starts
- Online GMP training options work best when blended with on-the-job instruction and formal training courses. either onsite or offsite at a nearby location, as above.
- Digital courses are extremely affordable and offer unprecedented flexibility; plus instant Completion Certificates on passing online assessments.
#4: PRE-ARRANGE TRAINEE TRANSPORTATION
- Training Budget Strategy: Kilometres, parking expenses or public transport costs can get expensive over time. If you’re training several individuals at once, at a public course, encourage sharing an Uber or consider using your company bus (if available) and avoid expensive car-park fees.
- Other factors to consider: While costs to attend training might not sound high to a local event, these can quickly add up!
- If you have 10 employees travelling to a public course twice per year, and each trainee expenses over $80 in terms of kilometres/transportation costs and daily parking (especially if in the city), that’s $1,600 off your training budget for transportation alone. And that’s local!
- But if you plan ahead, and negotiate with the venue’s Event Manager, you can easily reduce these types of expenses.
#5: HAVE A BACK-UP TRAINING ATTENDEE ON STANDBY
- Training Budget Strategy: Most instructor-led training courses and Annual GMP Forums and Masterclasses are non-refundable. However, life events can get in the way. Up to 20% of registered course attendees, or higher, may miss a course due to personal reasons or workload changes. As a Training and Development Director or Human Resources Manager, it’s ideal to have an alternative staff member, a backup attendee as it were; who currently needs, or will eventually need, the training being offered.
- Other factors to consider: Most good GMP trainers allow substitution for training lists or course rosters.
- Have another employee on standby to attend the training course, in case the original registrant needs to cancels
- You’ll then gain an early training benefit vs forfeiting your entire registration cost(s).
- Just be sure you let the trainer know as soon as possible.
- Otherwise, the logins and certificates could end up in the wrong employee’s name!
#6: ATTEND GMP FORUMS where you’ll be able to bring back updates in Pharma 4.0, validation, design and GMP to your team
- Training Budget Strategy: GMP and Validation Forums offer engineers, designers and managers more intensive training opportunities with a wider view towards innovation. They are also about adapting to changes; a requirement in today’s environments. Forum formats are typically 2 to 3 days of industry expert case study presentations, panel discussions, lectures and workshops. If your team leaders attend, then go back and let your employees know the latest technological changes and audit trends likely to impact their day-to-day processes, you can help foster a culture of curiosity, learning, and openness to change.
- Other factors to consider: Staying abreast of factors likely to impact GMP — and keeping your employees informed — is going to save you time in the longer run, mostly by reducing resistance to change by pre-empting it, and leading progressive changes, rather than responding to them in an inefficient, time-pressed manner.
- 2019 Conferences in Australia: GMP Forum and Masterclass | Melbourne
#7: CONDUCT A TRAINING GAP ANALYSIS
- Training Budget Strategy: Don’t just put everyone into training courses they may not need; make sure your training scheduling and training certificate monitoring systems are compatible.
- Other factors to consider: Ask new employees or contractors to provide you with any prior GMP training certificates or course agendas.
- If these are valid and/or relevant, that employee or contractor may only require the GMP or validation refresher courses
- Some of these can be completed readily online.
#8: DON’T WAIT until just before an Audit (or worse yet, until AFTER)
- Training Budget Strategy: This strategy feeds back into Strategy #1, time management and planning. Like most budget slips or GMP compliance slips, a lack of monitoring, planning and time management is a contributor to increasing training costs.
- Other factors to consider: Staying on top of employee training requirements, especially if that’s not your only responsibility or KPI, can be challenging.
- The more you systemize your processes and automate your record keeping and training update alerts, the more likely you’ll meet your GMP training requirements, and to be able to put into place the cost-saving measures we listed above. Training automation tracking systems should be prioritised, given the consequences of non-compliance and the time savings of automated record-keeping for course completions and GMP refresher due dates.
#9: KEEP YOUR EMPLOYEES TRAINED at least one step ahead of their current role responsibilities
- Training Budget Strategy: Training your employees to fulfil their likely next job roles has two key benefits: (1) employee motivation and loyalty, because employees value training and development opportunities and feel more secure when they know you’re investing in their skill sets and knowledge; and (2) it covers you in the event of an emergency, e.g. if a key manager suddenly falls ill or absconds to your competitor.
- Other factors to consider: If your employees understand why their team leaders are making certain production or engineering decisions, based on higher level GMP knowledge, validation expertise or clean-room experience, employees are also more likely to support management-led production changes and/or comply with changing regulations.
- Another outcome is potentially improving your employee retention rate by offering quality orientation programs and ongoing training and development opportunities.
#10: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENTS in Product Quality and Safety
- Training Budget Strategy: Training your employees to respond proactively to GMP or PIC/S updates, and other innovations in manufacturing (Pharma 4.0), means they’ll be able to lead the way in continuous improvement processes.
- Other factors to consider: Keeping employees up to date and in the loop of prospective GMP changes can lead to higher employee contribution to new SOPs, process improvements and related efficiency changes. Additionally, the primary benefit of having recently GMP trained employees comes down to quality and safety. In a rapidly changing sector subjected to increasing regulations, record-keeping demands and reporting requirements, you can’t afford to neglect to train your staff to maintain high levels of vigilance in relation to GMP compliance.