Welcome to Next Phase Recruitment! We are very experienced in helping people to progress their careers in Quality Control. Firstly, here is a general guide to a career path in this sector. Please also scroll further down the page to see and apply for our current jobs that match your search criteria. We also invite you to go to the main page of our website for a broader job search and call us on 01403 216216 for a confidential discussion about your career options.
Quality Control (usually known as QC), is an important part of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device production and supply process. It often means different things in different contexts.
Quality Control Scientists often work in close collaboration with Quality Assurance (QA) staff. QA is defined as a procedure or set of procedures intended to ensure that a product or service under development (before work is complete, as opposed to afterwards) meets specified requirements. QA is sometimes linked together with QC as a single expression, quality assurance and control (QA/QC). Typical QC Scientist duties will include preparing and testing a wide variety of raw materials, in-process samples and finished products. QC Scientists will frequently use chromatographic techniques such as HPLC and GC and will be responsible for maintaining and validating records on assay sheets and laboratory IT systems such as LIMS. QC Scientists will assist in the maintenance and optimisation of lab equipment and ensuring that stocks are ordered and maintained efficiently.
In order to implement an effective QC program, an enterprise must first decide which specific QC standards the product or service must meet. Then the extent of QC actions must be determined (for example, the percentage of units to be tested from each lot). Next, real-world data must be collected (for example, the percentage of units that fail) and the results reported to management personnel. After this, corrective action must be decided upon and taken (for example, defective units must be repaired or rejected and poor service repeated at no charge until the customer is satisfied). If too many unit failures or instances of poor service occur, a plan must be devised to improve the production or service process and then that plan must be put into action. Finally, the QC process must be ongoing to ensure that remedial efforts, if required, have produced satisfactory results and to immediately detect recurrences or new instances of trouble.
Typical Job Titles include – QC Assistant, QC Technician, QC Inspector, QC Manager, QC Scientist
Key Skills and Experience required to become a QC Scientist
- Most QC Scientist roles require a degree in an analytical science such as Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, or similar.
- Knowledge of analytical techniques (e.g. HPLC, GC, MS, LC-MS, GC-MS etc)
- Ability to complete and process complex documentation and data
- Knowledge of GMP/GLP
- Ability to stay focused, even if undertaking routine repetitive tasks
Entry-level QC roles generally start in the region of £17k - £18k and move up relatively quickly, especially if you have a degree. QC teams are often divided into levels (1, 2, 3 etc), with clearly defined salary bandings. Generally, an experienced QC Scientist who undertakes QC project leadership duties (e.g. method development, stability etc) will earn something in the region of £25k - £28k. Then, if you go down the QC supervisor / manager route, a QC Manager salary might start around the “mid 30s”. QC is not necessarily the most highly paid part of the Life Science industries, but it is varied and very important.