If you’ve looked at this year’s 45th LTEN Annual Conference agenda, you may have been surprised to see a new training track designed for GxP, quality, R&D, medical affairs, regulatory and manufacturing trainers. That’s not the typical commercial-focused training session you’d expect at this conference, and it likely would attract a different type of trainer. So why the addition? To answer that question, you first need to understand the organization I work for — the Life Science Training Institute.
The Life Science Training Institute specializes in GxP (good manufacturing, clinical and/or laboratory practices) education for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. It is part of Life Science Connect, a group of life science industry websites, magazines and conferences focused on connecting people and ideas that will advance the industry and help bring more lifesaving and life-improving therapies to market.
When communicating with the thousands of GxP trainers we come in contact with, we’ve often heard the same refrain — there are plenty of general training organizations (e.g., automotive to HVAC), but none that specifically address the life sciences industry for GMP, regulatory and compliance. Furthermore, these trainers told us they would like to learn more about different training modalities, engage with other life science trainers and be part of a life science training community. They believed other training groups were experiencing high levels of comprehension from their training methods, so they wanted a way to share best practices with colleagues within the industry.
Recognizing this need, we began to investigate this discovery–to-commercialization training market. We expected to engage with the GxP trainers within the industry through tradeshows and conferences. But, as we did more research, we could not find a training tradeshow organization that offered national and global representation of the GxP training industry. What we needed was a partner with an established community. We soon discovered that LTEN was a perfect match.
With a long history in the life science commercial training industry and an interest to expand its membership, LTEN embraced the idea of including the GxP trainers into its community. You can tell by engaging with fellow LTEN members that they are passionate about their industry and highly engaged with the organization. Their events are professionally run and are staged at some of the most beautiful venues in the country — feats that would be hard to accomplish by a startup organization.
With the thought leadership from John Constantine, executive director and dean of the Merck Polytechnic Institute, and Dawn Brehm, executive director of LTEN, a committee was created to identify educational tracks and to create social networking opportunity for the GxP trainers in the life sciences industry. We now have a series of education tracks created for GxP trainers at the 45th LTEN Annual Confernce, being held June 13-16 in National Harbor, MD. We are creating meet-and-greets for these new members at the social gatherings throughout the conference. The goal is to make these new members feel welcome and to give them a community to interact with trainers from both the GxP and commercial side.
What We Still Need
In talking to the many LTEN members, they often speak highly about the resources available to them through the organization. They tell me about the community environment that connects them with other forward-thinking training colleagues. They are passionate about improving training standards and advancing their training abilities through the career resources LTEN offers.
Do you know of trainers from other divisions of your company that could get similar value from LTEN? These are trainers that are working on R&D, manufacturing, regulatory, quality and compliance. These are the trainers that struggle with the same issues as you. If you find value in the career development, knowledge sharing and community environment of LTEN, we ask you to invite them.
We have planned specific tracks on training that will interest them. They will find value in some of the current training tracks, too, as well as the overall LTEN community. Let us know. We will be happy to engage with them and help them see the value of LTEN.
John Clifton is the director of training development for Life Science Training Institute. Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.