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RQA Certification Scheme

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Launched in 2021, the RQA Certification Scheme will be the leading credential for personnel working in life sciences research. It is intended for professionals involved with the quality of research and development of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and medical devices.

The certification demonstrates that the holder understands quality and how it applies to their role within their organisation.

Certification from RQA is a mark of quality excellence. It helps professionals boost their career through the recognition of knowledge and experience. In addition, such certification confirms a deep commitment to the profession.

Certification demonstrates essential knowledge and a commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The certification is based on an online examination of knowledge and experience. A record of additional learning (CPD) is required to maintain the Certification.

Each certification candidate must pass an online examination comprised of multiple-choice questions on Quality Management and one related topic of their choice. The examination is taken online in two parts; 100 questions in total—75 on Quality Management and 25 on the chosen topic. Each of these assessments must be taken in one sitting.

RQA Certification Scheme: Quality excellence to boost your career and enhance your organisation's performance.



The purpose of the RQA Certification Scheme is to assess the knowledge and skills required for the competent undertaking of a professional role. The assessment is accomplished by completing an examination covering two examination modules, one on Quality Management and one on a topic selected by the candidate.

Each Certificate shows the topics that were assessed in the examination, i.e. Quality Management and the candidates chosen topic. For example, a Cert-GCP certificate is awarded to a candidate who passed the Good Clinical Practice exam alongside the Quality Management exam.

RQA Certification Scheme:

  • Provides a means for Certification of research quality professionals
  • Promotes an understanding of directives, standards, regulations and guidelines
  • Creates a process for the verification of knowledge and experience by a professional organisation
  • Creates a platform of recognition for QA professions working in life sciences research.

Exam Candidate:

  • The Certification is aimed at all personnel implementing, monitoring or maintaining QA in life sciences research, including those working in GCP, GLP, and GMP.

Eligibility for taking the RQA Certification Scheme examination:

  • Knowledge of Auditing, GCP, GLP, and GMP relating to QA and research, including knowledge of applicable legislation—visit the extensive BODY OF KNOWLEDGE.


  • A minimum of five years' experience in the field of scientific research and development; OR
  • A degree, or equivalent academic qualification, and three years of experience in scientific research and development.

The RQA Certification Scheme is only available through RQA.


Candidates must complete the online booking process. The RQA office will then confirm the registration and provide a unique candidate number, which must be used in all correspondence with the RQA.

When registered, the candidate will join the RQA Certification Scheme. Upon payment of the fees, the RQA Office will provide a secure link to the examination. There is no time limit to complete the examination; once the candidate has registered online, paid in full and been sent the secure link, access will remain active for as long as required.

Certification Fees Non-Member RQA Member
The RQA Certification Scheme registration and examination fee (one topic) £400 £250
The RQA Certification Scheme examination re-take fee (per module) * £150 £100
The RQA Certification Scheme examination fee (per additional topic) £150 £100
The RQA Certification Scheme renewal/
re-examination fee (one topic).
Every five years
£200 £150

* The Quality Management module and the candidate's chosen topic are considered as two separate modules.

All prices listed exclude VAT which is chargeable in the UK and Europe. The VAT rules are based on where the candidate accesses the assessments, not where the purchaser is based. For full details on the VAT rules and other information relating to the purchase of RQA certifications please view our Terms and Conditions.

If you are not a member of the RQA, it will be cost effective for you to join before registering for the RQA Certification Scheme exam. Visit our membership pages to join now and to find out about the many benefits of becoming a member of the RQA.



Discounts are available for the purchase of five or more RQA Certifications. To take advantage of this offer all bookings must be received at the same time. This is not available to book online. For bookings and enquiries please email rqacert@therqa.com.

We base all corporate discounts on member’s prices, regardless of whether people are members of RQA or not.

The price without discount for certification is £250/person and £100/person for additional topics (or € and $ equivalents which vary based on exchange rate). The standard non-member prices are £400/person and £150/person respectively.

  • 5-20 certifications purchased (10% discount) = £225 per certification
  • 5-20 additional topics purchased (10% discount) = £90 per topic
  • 21-50 courses purchased (20% discount) = £200 per certification
  • 21-50 additional topics purchased (20% discount) = £80 per topic.


The RQA Certification Scheme examination is a web-based assessment comprising 100 multiple-choice questions covering the mandatory Quality Management module and one other related topic. The candidate must select the topic to be assessed—the available topics are:

  • Good Clinical Laboratory Practice: Cert-GCLP
  • Good Clinical Practice: Cert-GCP
  • Good Clinical Practice VICH: Cert-GCP:VICH
  • Good Laboratory Practice : Cert-GLP
  • Good Laboratory Practice Study Director: Cert-GLP:SD - COMING SOON
  • Quality Risk Management: Cert-QRM. - COMING SOON

The Quality Management module includes 75 questions; other modules span 25 questions. All questions are multiple-choice in a range of formats.


Marking the RQA Certification Scheme examination:

  • The RQA Certification Scheme examination is marked electronically
  • A candidate must score 80%, or higher, for both modules
  • If a score is below 80% for either module, the candidate must retake the failed module(s)
  • A maximum of two retakes is allowed, after which a period of 12 months must elapse before the examination can be retaken.

Examination security:

  • Candidates must confirm that they accept the specified examination conditions
  • Candidates must confirm that the examination is solely their own effort.


  • Candidates have the right to appeal a decision. However, the appeal must be in writing and submitted to the RQA office no more than 30 days after the date of notification.
  • Appeals will be submitted to the RQA Board for resolution. The decision of the RQA Board will be final.


  • On successful completion of both examinations a certificate will be emailed to you
  • Separate certificates will be issued for any additional topics taken.
  • Once you are certified, you may use the designatory letters Cert-(discipline) or MRQA Cert-(discipline) after your name depending on your membership status.


The RQA Certification Scheme is valid for five years from the date of Certification—it lapses automatically.

To maintain the Certificate, holders must either:

  • Apply for recertification. For recertification, candidates must have gained 30 CPD points since the awarding of the Certificate and should produce records of the CPD. 30 CPD points is equivalent to 30 hours of formal learning. The RQA Office will confirm the acceptance of the CPD records, or
  • Take the relevant RQA Certification Scheme examination again.


RQA offers a range of face-to-face and remote courses to suit all levels; each provides a practical and flexible learning method. The courses provide awareness of legislation, current best practice and identify critical areas in the topic—the Professional Development Training Courses and Seminars cover a vast array of subjects and are of one-, two-, or three-day duration.

Additionally, RQA offers an extensive portfolio of eLearning courses—each is made up of several bite-size modules of around 30 minutes. The majority of the courses carry an assessment, with an 80% pass mark, to verify the learner's gained knowledge.

Details of CPD points available for each of the above is detailed on the appropriate webpages.

To complement the face-to-face and on-screen training, RQA has published a library of electronic booklets which are available to download instantly—topics covered include Auditing, Good Clinical Practice, Good Clinical Laboratory Practice, Good Laboratory Practice, Good Manufacturing Practice, and Good Pharmacovigilance Practice.

The annual RQA International QA Conference offers an immersive educational and networking experience where QA professionals meet, learn and share knowledge on a range of QA-related topics.


If you have any questions, please contact rqacert@therqa.com.

Further information on gaining the certification will be available in due course.

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