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Your next step as a Validation Engineer

Ben Alger our consultant managing the role
Posted by  Ben Alger
Published on 24 June 2017

Validation Engineers are integral to Quanta and the life science industry as a whole. This role can encompass a variety of different disciplines and areas and we’re always looking for experienced, talented engineers to take up contracts with clients both at home and abroad. So what are employers looking for and how can you secure these coveted contracts?

Validation Engineers: An overview

Validation is an integral part of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical processes where evidence is documented to show that a particular process, procedure or activity that occurs during production or testing is in accordance with the required level of compliance. In layman’s terms, it’s a type of quality assurance role that ensures every element of a system is fit for purpose. Not all engineers are created equally, however. Within validation engineering you have equipment validation, facilities validation, HVAC system and process validation, amongst many other subsections.

Validation all over the world

Our clients are based throughout Europe and further afield, in places as diverse as North London, Ireland, Belgium and India. We see average initial contracts of around 9-12 months, however many of the people we place receive a contract extension and go on to work for 18-24 months on the project. Some of our contractors already live in the locations where our employers are, but many are seasoned pros who are happy to travel around to where the work is. In Europe, contractors often do a weekly or bi-weekly commute, whereas locations afield typically see people working and commuting on a rotational period.

The opportunities in some of these destinations are incredible, and indeed Ireland is one of the most heavily invested locations for biopharmaceutical new builds at the moment so there’s significant potential for longer-term work there. Working on new build facilities and large projects always looks good on your CV and the travel opportunities when you take up these contracts abroad can be really appealing.

What do employers want?

Our clients often look for validation engineers with abilities in sterile filling, particularly in the India and North London positions we have available. Within these sterile filling roles, engineers may need experience in utilities, process equipment and the process of manufacturing that drug itself.

In biotech roles in Ireland and Belgium, candidates need experience in bulk drug substance upstream or downstream processes.

Within the typical validation skillset, clients want experience in writing and executing validation documentation. This includes installation qualification, operational qualification and performance qualification.

What are we not seeing from candidates?

From a recruitment standpoint, the biggest thing we are noticing in candidates coming through for validation engineer roles is a lack of content on their CVs. Job titles need to be clear and relate to the roles on offer. Similarly, jobseekers need to document their experience properly, including the equipment they have worked on, systems they have validated and projects they have contributed to.

Make it clear where you have worked in the pharma or biopharma industries and put your most relevant experience front and centre.

Find out more

For more information on Validation Engineer roles we have available and how you can secure your next life science job, contact Global Business Manager Ben Alger at ben.alger@quanta-cs.com.

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