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What is Compliance?

Compliance is about being compliant with specification, policy, standard or law. Also, regulatory compliance for an organization describes the goal to achieve in their efforts to display that they are in conformity with the established regulations, guidelines or specification and government legislation. Quality, on the other hand, is defined as products and services that deliver intended performance consistently based on the customer requirement. In fact, compliance and quality as they complement each other.

For regulated industries, the regulations and guidelines for Quality System are set forth by the governing bodies such as but not limited to:

  • • Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) – 21 CFR Part 11
  • • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – ISO 9001, ISO 17025
  • • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA)
  • • Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • • MHRA, Euro Annexure 11,15

Besides these there are several other governing bodies that define the regulations and guidelines for the industry vertical that they represent.

How do you comply with regulation?

Most of the organization develops their own in-house procedures, work instruction, training, etc., based on the regulations that govern their business. That is why having a procedure up to date and following it helps the organization in solidifying the compliance in their respective fields.

Having a well-integrated quality management system in place helps an organization in the compliance arena. Additionally, a well-defined document management system helps to keep track of all the procedures and efficiently control the revision as the regulation changes.

Implementing a well defined internal audit management system to pulse check your compliance with procedures, work instructions, standards. Similarly, with nonconformance management system, documenting and trending quality incidents for early signals of major issues.

CAPA management to perform effective root cause analysis and put in the action plans to resolve major issues. Sound training management to keep track of training requirements and to ensure that personnel are trained competently to their role.

Oasis solutions are designed over years of experience in industry best practices and offer an out-of-the-box functionality to meet requirements defined by regulatory bodies such as FDA, ISO and suport your in-house procedues.

21 CFR Part 11 is a US FDA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) guideline for a computer system that is used to manage and store electronic records and electronic signatures. It helps companies to define the rules under which electronic signatures and records are considered to be original, accurate, trustworthy, confidential, reliable and equivalent to paper records and handwritten signature.

21 CFR Part 11 Requirement

21 CFR Part 11 is a US FDA Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) guideline for a computer system that is used to manage and store electronic records and electronic signatures. It helps companies to define the rules under which electronic signatures and records are considered to be original, accurate, trustworthy, confidential, reliable and equivalent to paper records and handwritten signature.

21 CFR Part 11 Requirement
The system must be capable to generate accurate and complete copies of records in both human readable and electronic form suitable for inspection, review, and copying.
Validation of systems to ensure accuracy, reliability, consistent intended performance, and the ability to discern invalid or altered records.
Limiting system access to authorized individuals.
Use of secure, computer-generated, time-stamped audit trails to independently record the date and time of operator entries and actions that create, modify, or delete electronic records. Record changes shall not obscure previously recorded information. Such audit trail documentation shall be retained for a period at least as long as that required for the subject electronic records and shall be available
Use of operational system checks to enforce permitted sequencing of steps and events, as appropriate.
Use of authority checks to ensure that only authorized individuals can use the system, electronically sign a record, access the operation or computer system input or output device, alter a record, or perform the operation at hand.
Signed electronic records shall contain information associated with the signing that clearly indicates all of the following:
  1. The printed name of the signer;
  2. The date and time when the signature was executed; and
  3. The meaning (such as review, approval, responsibility, or authorship) associated with the signature.


Computerized system shall be assessed for compliance with EU GMP Annex 11 requirements by comprehensive assessment check list addressing all the clauses (as described below) as applicable. Following is Matrix of Annexure 11 EU GMP provides essential information for you to understand how Oasis Solutions can help meeting compliance:

S No.
1. Risk Assessment Risk management should be applied throughout the lifecycle of the computerized system taking into account patient safety, data integrity and product quality. As part of a risk management system, decisions on the extent of validation and data integrity controls should be based on a justified and documented risk assessment of the computerized system.
2. Personnel There should be close cooperation between all relevant personnel such as Process Owner, System Owner, Qualified Persons and IT. All personnel should have appropriate qualifications, level of access and defined responsibilities to carry out their assigned duties.
3. Suppliers and service provider 3.1 .When third parties (e.g. suppliers, service providers) are used e.g. to provide, install, configure, integrate, validate, maintain (e.g. via remote access), modify or retain a computerized system or related service or for data processing, formal agreements must exist between the manufacturer and any third parties, and these agreements should include clear statements of the responsibilities of the third party. IT-departments should be considered analogous.
3.2. The competence and reliability of a supplier are key factors when selecting a product or service provider. The need for an audit should be based on a risk assessment.
3.3. Documentation supplied with commercial off-the-shelf products should be reviewed by regulated users to check that user requirements are fulfilled.
3.4. Quality system and audit information relating to suppliers or developers of software and implemented systems should be made available to inspectors on request.
4. Project Phase Validation 4.1 The validation documentation and reports should cover the relevant steps of the life cycle. Manufacturers should be able to justify their standards, protocols, acceptance criteria, procedures and records based on their risk assessment.
4.2 Validation documentation should include change control records (if applicable) and Reports on any deviations observed during the validation process.
4.3. An up to date listing of all relevant systems and their GMP functionality (inventory) should be available. For critical systems an up to date system description detailing the physical and logical arrangements, data flows and interfaces with other systems or processes, any hardware and software pre-requisites, and security measures should be available.
4.4. User Requirements Specifications should describe the required functions of the computerized system and be based on documented risk assessment and GMP impact. User requirements should be traceable throughout the life-cycle.
4.5 The regulated user should take all reasonable steps, to ensure that the system has been developed in accordance with an appropriate quality management system. The supplier should be assessed appropriately.
4.6 For the validation of bespoke or customized computerized systems there should be a process in place that ensures the formal assessment and reporting of quality and performance measures for all the life-cycle stages of the system.
4.7 Evidence of appropriate test methods and test scenarios should be demonstrated. Particularly, system (process) parameter limits, data limits and error handling should be considered. Automated testing tools and test environments should have documented assessments for their adequacy.
4.8. If data are transferred to another data format or system, validation should include checks that data are not altered in value and/or meaning during this migration process.
5. Operational Phase Data Computerized systems exchanging data electronically with other systems should include appropriate built-in checks for the correct and secure entry and processing of data, in order to minimize the risks.
6. Accuracy Checks For critical data entered manually, there should be an additional check on the accuracy of the data. This check may be done by a second operator or by validated electronic means. The criticality and the potential consequences of erroneous or incorrectly entered data to a system should be covered by risk management.
7. Data Storage 7.1 Data should be secured by both physical and electronic means against damage. Stored data should be checked for accessibility, readability and accuracy. Access to data should be ensured throughout the retention period.
7.2. Regular back-ups of all relevant data should be done. Integrity and accuracy of backup data and the ability to restore the data should be checked during validation and monitored periodically.
8. Printout 8.1 It should be possible to obtain clear printed copies of electronically stored data.
8.2. For records supporting batch release it should be possible to generate printouts indicating if any of the data has been changed since the original entry.
9. Audit Trails Consideration should be given, based on a risk assessment, to building into the system the creation of a record of all GMP-relevant changes and deletions (a system generated "audit trail"). For change or deletion of GMP-relevant data the reason should be documented. Audit trails need to be available and convertible to a generally intelligible form and regularly reviewed
10. Change and configuration Management Any changes to a computerized system including system configurations should only be made in a controlled manner in accordance with a defined procedure.
11. Periodic Evaluation Computerized systems should be periodically evaluated to confirm that they remain in a valid state and are compliant with GMP. Such evaluations should include, where appropriate, the current range of functionality, deviation records, incidents, problems, upgrade history, performance, reliability, security and validation status reports.
12. Security 12.1. Physical and/or logical controls should be in place to restrict access to computerized system to authorized persons. Suitable methods of preventing unauthorized entry to the system may include the use of keys, pass cards, personal codes with passwords, biometrics, restricted access to computer equipment and data storage areas.
12.2. The extent of security controls depends on the criticality of the computerized system.
12.3. Creation, change, and cancellation of access authorizations should be recorded.
12.4. Management systems for data and for documents should be designed to record the identity of operators entering, changing, confirming or deleting data including date and time.
13. Incident Management All incidents, not only system failures and data errors, should be reported and assessed. The root cause of a critical incident should be identified and should form the basis of corrective and preventive actions.
14. Electronic Signature Electronic records may be signed electronically. Electronic signatures are expected to: a). have the same impact as hand-written signatures within the boundaries of the company, b). be permanently linked to their respective record, c). include the time and date that they were applied.
15. Batch Release When a computerized system is used for recording certification and batch release, the system should allow only Qualified Persons to certify the release of the batches and it should clearly identify and record the person releasing or certifying the batches. This should be performed using an electronic signature
16. Business Continuity For the availability of computerized systems supporting critical processes, provisions should be made to ensure continuity of support for those processes in the event of a system breakdown (e.g. a manual or alternative system). The time required to bring the alternative arrangements into use should be based on risk and appropriate for a particular system and the business process it supports. These arrangements should be adequately documented and tested.
17. Archiving Data may be archived. This data should be checked for accessibility, readability and integrity. If relevant changes are to be made to the system (e.g. computer equipment or programs), then the ability to retrieve the data should be ensured and tested.

ISO helps Businesses Improve Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system.

Oasis Solution Information Matrix for ISO 9001

It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction (www.iso.org).
The standard is divided in 8 sections:
  • Section 1—Scope
  • Section 2—Normative Reference
  • Section 3—Terms and Definitions
  • Section 4—Quality Management System (QMS)
  • Section 5—Management Responsibility
  • Section 6—Resource Management
  • Section 7—Product Realization
  • Section 8—Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

Requirements Section
Section 4: General Requirements: Quality Management System Provides requirements for the overall Quality Management System from quality manual documentation to the control of documents and records.
Section 5: Management Responsibility Provides requirements for Management’s role and commitment in the QMS.
Section 6: Resource Management. Provides the guidelines for resources to perform the job competently and in safety.
Section 7: Product Realization Provides the guidelines for customer related processes, design and development and purchasing
Section 8: Measurement, Analysis and Improvement Gives ISO requirements on monitoring processes and improving those processes such as customer satisfaction, internal audit, control of Non-Conforming Product, Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) and continual improvement


For quality control laboratories, there can be quite a few regulations to follow depending on the industry you serve. We have outlined below common regulations of the pharma industry with their requirements and guidelines describing some areas that should be assessed when implementing and maintaining a LIMS for your laboratory operations.

ISO 9001

Laboratories operating to ISO 9001 standards will have a general framework in place for quality management which helps them deliver a consistent product and service enhancing their customer satisfaction. This standard is generic and is not specific for laboratories; however, there will be some requirements of the standard you should consider when implementing a LIMS:

Resources; Your organization is required to determine and provide resources needed. This also includes identifying those resources that are obtained from external providers.

Documented Information; As a LIMS is used to store documented information, be sure that the access, storage, retrieval, control of changes, retention and disposition of data within the system is aligned with the requirements of your quality management system.

Control of externally provided processes, products and services; Where your LIMS is a hosted solution, be sure to have a documented contract or SLA in place that details your requirements for their service and their responsibilities. As good practice, you should define criteria for evaluation, selection, monitoring of performance and re-evaluation of your suppliers.

ISO 17025

The ISO 17025 standard is designed specifically for quality management for laboratories of all types. Where a lab complies with ISO 17025, they will operate a quality management system that also meets the requirements of ISO 9001. Therefore, highlighted below are some key areas of this standard which are different to those of 9001 that should be considered when using a LIMS:

Document Control; There are specific requirements regarding changes to documentation. You should have procedures that detail how changes in documentation that is maintained within a computerized system such as a LIMS are created and controlled.

Control of Records; Laboratories should maintain a procedure for identification, collections, indexing, access, filing, storage, maintenance and disposal of quality and technical records. As a LIMS is used to record and store records, you should ensure your procedures cover the use of your LIMS. It would be beneficial to describe where and how records are held secure and in confidence, and also how records stored electronically are backed-up and data integrity is maintained. Furtherrequirements are specified for technical records. These requirements would also apply to the functionality with your LIMS.

For example, observations, data and calculation shall be recorded at the time they are made and identifiable to a specific task. This could be translated to the recording of test results via equipment integration for a sample against a particular test method in your LIMS. In addition, where mistakes occur, the original record should not be erased or deleted. This should be key functionality in your LIMS to ensure edits do not overwrite original data entries.

Control of Data; Where computer software is used for processing, recording, storage and retrieval of test data, the laboratory must ensure that the software is fit for purpose and can maintain the integrity of test data. Bespoke software developed by the laboratory itself should be suitably validated as being adequate for use. Commercial of the shelf software (COTS) maybe be considered sufficiently validated; however, the laboratory should validate the configuration. Procedures should also be implemented for protecting data integrity, confidentiality, entry, storage, transmission and processing. Where any of the above is completed by the supplier as part of a hosted solution, a contract or SLA should be in place to detail the responsibilities of your supplier.

Reporting Results; Your LIMS may automate results reporting for you. Therefore, you should ensure your LIMS has the functionality to meet the requirements of this standard. Most LIMS have a reporting package that allows you to customise reports. As a guideline, your LIMS should include the following on your electronically generated Test Reports: o A title o The name and address of the laboratory o Unique identifier and page number o The name and address of the customer o Identification of the method used o A description of the items tested o The date of receipt of the test items o Reference to the sampling plan and procedures used by the laboratory o The test results o The name, function and signature of the person authorising the report o Where relevant, a statement to the effect that the results relate to only the items tested o Interpretations of the results where applicable/necessary o Results of sampling where necessary for the interpretation of the results


GMP, known as Good Manufacturing Practice, is the generic practice for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and is enforced by different regulatory bodies for each country across the world (e.g. the MHRA in the UK and the FDA in the US). Each regulatory body may also publish their own respective guidelines for companies to implement GMP to assure products are manufactured to a high quality and do not pose a risk to consumers or patients. Example guidelines are the Orange Guide by the MHRA and 21 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) by the FDA. GAMP, known as Good Automated Manufacturing Practice, is a publication to provide guidance to achieve computerized systems that are fit for intended use and meet current GxP regulatory requirements (‘x’ can be interchanged with acronyms other than ‘M’ such as ‘C’ for Clinical or ‘D’ for Distribution). Annex 11 of the Orange Guide describes the UK GMP guidance for the use of Computerized Systems, and 21 CFR Part 11 details the US FDA regulations on electronic records and signatures. Click Here to download your 21 CFR Part 11 checklist. In the section below, we highlight a few key areas for consideration when implementing and maintaining a LIMS in a GMP environment. Please refer to your relevant regulatory authority GMP guidelines for full details.


LIMS used as part of GMP regulated activities should be validated. The validation process should be based on a risk assessment and would generally include the following documentation providing evidence your LIMS is fit for purpose: • Traceable user requirements which describe the required function of the system based on risk and GMP impact. • Suppliers should be assessed to ensure the system has been developed in accordance with an appropriate quality management system. • Evidence of test methods and test scenarios should be documented, especially around parameter limits, data limits and error handling. • Any changes or deviations during the validation process must be recorded and documented. • Where data is migrated, validation should include checks to ensure data integrity has been maintained.


The guidance detailed for the operational phase for your LIMS focuses both on functionality required of the system as well as processes and documentation you should have in place to maintain your LIMS throughout its lifecycle. We have summarised five areas of guidance below: • Accuracy Checks – The functionality within your LIMS should include additional checks on the accuracy of data. It should be done by an independent and secondary operator by validated electronic means (typically using electronic signatures). • Data Storage – Whether you have an in-house or hosted solution, the data within your LIMS should be secured by both physical and electronic means. Regular back-ups should be performed and the integrity of the back-up data should be checked during validation and periodically throughout the lifetime of your LIMS. • Audit Trails – GMP-relevant changes and deletions should be recorded in a system generated “audit trail” which is not editable. These audit trails should be available and regularly reviewed. • Security – Many LIMS have user account functionality to restrict access to authorized persons. This is a key requirement of GMP where the extent of the security controls in place are appropriate to the criticality of the data being accessed. Creation, change or cancellation of access should also be recorded, and because LIMS is designed to manage GMP critical data, the system should record the identity of operators entering, changing confirming or deleting data including date and time. • Electronic Signature – Your LIMS should have electronic signature functionality which is permanently linked to their respective record, include the time and date it was applied and has the same impact as a hand-written signature with your company. There is further detailed requirements of electronic records and signatures in 21 CFR Part 11 that is also recognized by regulatory bodies other than the US FDA.
ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems – Requirements – ISO EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories – ISO/IEC Rules and Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Distributors 2014 – MHRA Guidance for Industry Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures – Scope and Application – US FDA GAMP Good Practice – A Risk-Based Approach to GxP Compliant Laboratory Computerized Systems Second Edition – ISPE

Key Points for Compliance

Confirm the specification requirements

It is important that the specification requirements meet the demands on the system and operating environment, and also incorporate the technical elements to satisfy part 11.
The documentation of plans procedures, and reports and appropriate review, approval, and management

Effective user management

O-link user administration comprises of the setting of rights group and assignment of rights to users, it enables easy setting of user access rights as well as rights group matched to each user’s required task. Functions such as these achieve effective user administration matched to laboratory operations from managerial tasks to data acquisition operations.

Firm Security

Features functions for setting an audit trail to ensure data reliability and security features include various settings, such as setting the length, expiration date and complexity of passwords for user accounts, setting the lockout function to prevent illegal access, and registering settings for the deletion and alteration of registered users, to enable highly secure system operation.

Audit Trail for achieving change history management

The changes history of method files is managed by the audit trail, application of audit trail to all methods can also be set in security policy settings. This prevents inconsistencies in compliance with regulations.