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How to Become a CQV Engineer

Ben Pope our consultant managing the role
Posted by Ben Pope
Published on 29 February 2024

The pharmaceutical industry is a global powerhouse, contributing significantly to global health and economic well-being. According to IQVIA the global pharmaceutical market is expected to reach a staggering $1.6 trillion by 2025. This growth is fuelled by ongoing research and development, a rising demand for innovative therapies, and an aging global population.

Within this dynamic industry, CQV engineers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and quality of equipment, facilities and utilities that manufacture life-saving drugs. But what exactly does a CQV engineer do, and how can you embark on this exciting career path?


Demystifying Commissioning, Qualification, and Validation (CQV)

The term CQV stands for commissioning, qualification, and validation. These three distinct but interconnected stages are critical to ensuring the proper functioning of equipment, facilities, and processes used in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Let's break down each stage:

Commissioning: This stage involves installing, testing, and verifying that equipment and systems operate according to their intended design specifications. Commissioning engineers ensure equipment functions in a safe and efficient manner.

Qualification: This process documents that equipment and systems meet predefined standards and are suitable for their intended use. Qualification engineers develop and execute protocols to demonstrate that equipment performs consistently and reliably within defined parameters.

Validation: This stage provides documented evidence that a specific process consistently produces a product meeting its predetermined specifications and quality attributes. Validation engineers design and conduct studies to demonstrate that the manufacturing process can consistently deliver safe and effective products.

In essence, CQV engineers act as guardians of quality, ensuring the pharmaceutical industry adheres to strict regulatory guidelines and delivers equipment that produces life-saving drugs consistently and reliably.


Becoming a CQV Engineer in Life Sciences: Your Roadmap

So, you're interested in becoming a CQV engineer? Here's a roadmap to guide you:

Acquire A-levels: Start by completing your A-levels or equivalent qualifications. These are essential for pursuing further education or training in engineering.

Earn a degree: Earning a degree in a relevant engineering subject is crucial. Consider pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. These programs typically take three to four years to complete. An integrated master’s degree would take an additional year.

Complete an Apprenticeship (Optional): Some individuals choose to gain practical experience through apprenticeships. While not mandatory, it can provide valuable hands-on training and exposure to real-world scenarios.

Gain Experience: Seek opportunities to work in the pharmaceutical industry or related fields. Look for internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions. Experience in commissioning, qualification, and validation processes is essential:

  • Start by seeking entry-level roles such as production technician, commissioning engineer or validation specialist. These roles can provide valuable hands-on experience in specific stages of the CQV process.
  • Consider shadowing experienced CQV engineers to gain insights into the broader scope of their work.
  • Explore internship opportunities in pharmaceutical companies or contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) to gain practical experience in a real-world setting.


Develop Your Skill Set: As a CQV engineer, you’ll need strong communication, problem-solving, and technical skills. Familiarise yourself with industry-specific software and tools used for validation and quality control.

Professional Development: Stay ahead of the latest advancements and regulatory changes by attending industry workshops, conferences, and online training courses.


Find your Next CQV Job with Quanta part of QCS Staffing

At Quanta, we are specialists in uniting people with life-changing industries like Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, and Data Centres and IT. All these industries require CQV Engineers (Commissioning Engineers), so if this is a role or industry that interests you, get in touch with us today! Take the next step in your career and browse our latest vacancies for Life Science Roles. If you can't find the role you're looking for, submit your resume and take advantage of our latest opportunities.

Embark on your journey towards a fulfilling career in CQV engineering and contribute to the delivery of life-saving therapies that make a real difference in the world.