Schools Training

Deciding Between Two Careers in Quality Assurance and Quality Control

16 APR 2012
Career Path : Food Safety and Quality

As soon as you heard about quality assurance and quality control, you knew that it was for you. Maybe it was the cool factor. You liked the idea of taking up a profession that had its origins in the munitions factories of World War II. Or the science factor. You love the idea of working in a laboratory. Or the manufacturing aspect. You like the idea of being involved in the making of something tangible. Not to mention the idea of safety and protection, of making sure that things are done as they should be done.

But you still have a question, a rather major one at that: should you pursue food quality training or pharmaceutical quality training? One has to do with the ways we manufacture food, the other with the ways we manufacture drugs. Read on to find out if one of these careers could be right for you.

Food quality training

If you opt for food quality training, you could find yourself working in the public or private sector as:

  • a food-safety inspector, checking, for instance whether the equipment in a meat processing plant has been properly sterilized to prevent listeria
  • a quality assistant at a food processing plant, conducting internal food quality audits, supervising wearing of protective gear by team, ensuring proper labeling of all food products
  • a food technologist, optimizing food manufacturing processes, developing new food products

To complete your food quality training, you will have to take courses on:

  • advanced hygiene
  • the basics of food
  • the laws surrounding food
  • food safety
  • auditing food
  • the science of food

Pharmaceutical quality training

If you opt for pharmaceutical quality training, you could find yourself working in the public or private sector:

  • developing quality assurance and quality control procedures for pharmaceutical products
  • developing and implementing methods to document the quality assurance and quality control procedures for pharmaceutical products
  • developing and respecting ways to report on deviations
  • determining expiry dates for pharmaceutical products
  • following up on and recording consumer complaints
  • co-ordinating quality assurance and quality control projects
  • analyzing laboratory results for pharmaceutical products

Pharmaceutical quality training includes courses on:

  • pharmaceuticals manufacturing
  • clinical trials
  • chemistry
  • “natural” products
  • lab testing

Deciding between the two may be difficult, but one thing’s for sure: Both food quality training and pharmaceutical quality training will lead to quality assurance and quality control careers best suited to detail-oriented, scientific minded people with a rigourous work ethic and a high sense of personal responsibility. The safety of our food and drug supply depends on it!