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Continuous Improvement Tools and Techniques

Course Overview

Industry Expectation

Increasingly strict regulatory measures are drawing attention to the systems and processes life sciences companies use to manage quality and delivery. Longer lifespans, increased level of inspection, rising customer demands and globalisation are all challenges that life science business needs to be able to adapt to in order to stay in business.

The goal of life science development activities is to design a product and processes to consistently deliver the intended performance and meet the needs of patients or consumers, regulatory authorities and customers’ requirements. Basically the expectation is that organisations need to have robust mechanisms to establish great process, put things right and keep it that way. Continuous improvement is a set of philosophies and tools that help support process development, problem solving and risk mitigation to ensure great quality, compliant products are produced every time.

Course Information

This course is designed to explore the aspects of Continuous Improvement that work in the life sciences industry. Explore the theory and mind set required alongside practicing a selection of tools and techniques that will enable you to critically review and improve any process.

Over the 2 days you will go on a journey through a structured problem solving methodology. Using this structured approach you will carefully analyse a problem and learn how to generate effective solutions so that you can meet customer expectations and get it right first time. 

Who should attend?

Managers, quality professionals and practitioners that need to solve problems in the workplace to improve systems and processes.

Benefits Include

  • Guidance on the purpose and benefits of continual improvement in terms of philosophy and mindset
  • Understand how to determine true root causes and assess risk
  • Understand how to identify improvement targets and solutions
  • Practical help on how to implement the tools and techniques
  • Access to an experienced panel of speakers including a Lean 6-Sigma black belt

The course is structured to encourage delegates to

  • Discuss and develop ideas
  • Solve specific problems
  • Examine particular aspects of continuous improvement.

Course Tutors

Tutors will be comprised from the list below:

Vanessa Grant (Course Principal)
Director, VG Quality Solutions Ltd

Steve Rush


Course Programme

Please note timings may be subject to alteration



Day 1

9.00 Welcome and Introduction 
 9.15 Continuous Improvement Introduction
An oversight of the scope, application and benefits of continuous improvement tools and techniques.  An introduction to Lean principles. 
 10.10 The Customer and Value
Specify value in the eyes of the customer and the business.  Introducing Takt time. 
 10.45  Break
 11.00 Value Stream Mapping
Identifying the value stream and eliminating waste.  Practice creating a value stream map.
 12.30 Lunch 
 13.15 Key Process Metrics
Consider process metrics - time and quality.  Making your data count through use of control charts. 
 14.00 Waste and Waste Identification
Identifying the 8 wastes and how to recognise them. 
 15.00 Process Mapping
Understand why process maps are used and the types of process maps which are useful.  Practice process mapping.
15.30 Break
 15.45 Problem Identification
Introducing problem solving and pain point identification using our process maps.
 17.30 Close of day 

Day 2 

 9.00 Review of Day 1 and Questions and Answers
Discussion of issues raised by course delegates
 9.20 Root Cause Analysis
Understanding what root cause analysis is, why it is performed, the principles and tools available for use. 
 10.30 Break 
 10.45 Root Cause Analysis continued
Practical exercise in using the tools. 
 11.30 Risk Analysis
Understanding Failure Mode Effect Analysis as a proactive tool, how to perform FMEA and apply Risk Priority Number.
 12.45 Lunch 
 13.30 Project Selection   and Documentation
Approaches to project selection, defining and scoping the project.  Exercise in writing a project charter.
14.30 Lean Principles
Benefits of standard work, understanding flow and approaches to solution identification, generation and selection.  Visual workplace, displays and controls are discussed along with types of mistake proofing.
14.45 Solution Generation
Charging paradigms, solutions specifications and matrices are discussed.
15.30 Break
15.45 Taking People With You
Consider how to change to close the gap, Continuous Improvement leadership Gemba walks are discussed.
16.30 Close of course

Course Material

Following requests from attendees of previous RQA events we are pleased to offer course material in PDF format for delegates attending this course. 

The advantages of this include

  • Ability for delegates to keep material on a mobile device
  • Ability to review material at any time pre and post course
  • Environmental benefits – less paper being used per course

The material will be emailed in advance of the course and RQA will not be providing any printed copies of the course notes during the training itself. Delegates wishing to have a hard copy of the notes should print these in advance to bring with them. Alternatively delegates are welcome to bring along their own portable devices to view the material during the training sessions.

Additional Requirements
(not included in course fees)

Where the venue is Madingley Hall, accommodation and dinner are available for the dates of the course (we recommend you take this as the location has few nearby facilities). 
If you wish to book additional dates please specify in the ‘accommodation requirements’ box when making your booking and we will check availability with Madingley Hall. Bed and Breakfast is £77*, dinner (three courses with drinks, in the main dining room with other course participants) is £35* (* per night per person) - these can be selected during the booking process.  As part of the booking process we ask for dietary requirements and these will be taken in to consideration by Madingley Hall.  Alternatively bar snacks are available on a pay as you go basis, not bookable through RQA.

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