There are many different types of Regulatory audits that can be conducted. These are audits that upon successful completion demonstrate to a regulatory body that the manufacturer is compliant with their regulations. Some audits are for one regulation while others look at multiple. The more regulations that an audit verifies for, the more complex and detailed the audit will be. These audits are done by an external auditor in order to remove bias. In some cases, regulatory actions may be taken against a manufacturer if there is a finding as a result of the audit.
One audit that is a bit simpler is the QSIT audit by the FDA. The Quality System Inspection Technique (QSIT) is a top-down style audit that is conducted by the FDA on the quality management system of medical device manufacturers. A top-down style audit is one that looks at procedures/manuals within the quality management system first and then moves downwards from there looking at forms, work instructions, and records related to the procedure viewed first. The audit is conducted to ensure compliance with the FDA’s Quality System Regulation (QSR, 21 CFR 820). Should the inspector detect a nonconformance then a Form 483 will be issued to the manufacturer. Should the inspector find no issue the manufacturer will be deemed to be in compliance with the regulations. This audit may be announced or unannounced.
Another audit that can be conducted is known as an MDSAP audit. This is the Medical Device Single Audit Program. This audit is entirely voluntary but it does allow a manufacturer to demonstrate compliance with five different regulations at once. If the audit is successful the manufacturer will be considered compliant with US FDA regulations, Australia’s regulations, Japan’s regulations, Brazil’s regulations, and Canada’s regulations. While obtaining the MDSAP certification is incredibly useful it is also incredibly difficult to obtain. The need to be compliant with all five regulations is one reason why the certification is not common. If there is a finding there is regulatory action taken against the organization, however, the organization will not gain approval to sell in those five countries.
Both these audits above, as well as other regulatory audits like a notified body audit for European union approval, are difficult to prepare for. In some cases, if it is a surprise audit there is no time to prepare at all. That is why it is better to be prepared at all times. EMMA International can help prepare a medical device manufacturer or any life sciences manufacturer for an audit. Whether it is preparing long before an audit is ever expected to occur or preparing a few days before the audit, EMMA International can set an organization up for success. EMMA International provides Full Circle Consulting services, give us a call at 248-987-4497 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with our team of experts today.