GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices

Strengthen good manufacturing practices in your organization by understanding GMP guidelines and maximizing today’s technologies.

cGMP destacado

What is GMP?

GMP, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, is a system that ensures that manufactured products—such as food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical goods—are consistently produced and controlled according to set quality standards. Implementing GMP can help cut down on losses and waste, and avoid recalls, fines, and jail time. Overall, it protects both the company and the consumer from negative food safety events.

GMPs examine and cover every aspect of the manufacturing process to guard against any risks that can be catastrophic for products, such as cross-contamination, adulteration, and mislabeling. Some areas that can influence the safety and quality of products that GMP guideline and regulation address are the following:

  • Quality management
  • Sanitation and hygiene
  • Building and facilities
  • Equipment
  • Raw materials
  • Personnel
  • Validation and qualification
  • Complaints
  • Documentation and recordkeeping
  • Inspections & quality audits

What is the difference between GMP and cGMP?

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are, in most cases, interchangeable. GMP meaning the basic regulation promulgated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the authority of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ensure that manufacturers are taking proactive steps to guarantee their products are safe and effective. cGMP, on the other hand, was implemented by the FDA to ensure continuous improvement in the approach of manufacturers to product quality. It implies a constant commitment to the highest available quality standards through the use of up-to-date systems and technologies.

What are the 5 Main Components of Good Manufacturing Practice?

It is paramount to the manufacturing industry to regulate GMP in the workplace to ensure consistent quality and safety of products. The five main components of GMP, commonly referred to as the 5P’s, help organizations comply with strict standards throughout the entire production process.

The 5 P

  1. People – All employees are expected to strictly adhere to manufacturing processes and regulations. A current GMP training must be undertaken by all employees to fully understand their roles and responsibilities. Assessing their performance helps boost their productivity, efficiency, and competency.
  2. Products –  All products must undergo constant testing, comparison, and quality assurance before distributing to consumers. Manufacturers should ensure that primary materials including raw products and other components have clear specifications at every phase of production. The standard method must be observed for packing, testing, and allocating sample products.
  3. Processes – Processes should be properly documented, clear, consistent, and distributed to all employees. Regular evaluation should be conducted to ensure all employees are complying with the current processes and are meeting the required standards of the organization.
  4. Procedures – A procedure is a set of guidelines for undertaking a critical process or part of a process to achieve a consistent result. It must be laid out to all employees and followed consistently. Any deviation from the standard procedure should be reported immediately and investigated.
  5. Premises – Premises should promote cleanliness at all times to avoid cross-contamination, accidents, or even fatalities. All equipment should be placed or stored properly and calibrated regularly to ensure they are fit for the purpose of producing consistent results to prevent the risk of equipment failure.

What are the 10 Principles of GMP?

  1. Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  2. Enforce / Implement SOPs and work instructions
  3. Document procedures and processes
  4. Validate the effectiveness of SOPs
  5. Design and use working systems
  6. Maintain systems, facilities, and equipment
  7. Develop job competence of workers
  8. Prevent contamination through cleanliness
  9. Prioritize quality and integrate into workflow
  10. Conduct GMP audits regularly

Further information can be found at this PDF Guide to GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices.

GMP Regulations

GMP regulations are mandated by manufacturers’ respective national governments to regulate the production, verification, and validation of manufactured products and ensure that they are effective and safe for market distribution.

For example, in the United States, GMP is enforced by the US FDA through Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) which cover a broader range of industries such as cosmetics, food, medical devices, and prescription drugs. The FDA conducts facility inspections to assess if a manufacturing company complies with CGMP regulations. If any serious violations are found during the inspection, FDA recalls all products, which is problematic for manufacturers in terms of both profit and business operations.

The quality of manufactured products is highly regulated as it can pose negative health risks to consumers and even the environment. Poor hygiene, temperature-control, cross-contamination, and adulteration in any step of the manufacturing process are some examples of how a manufactured product that doesn’t follow GMP regulations can bring fatal consequences to consumers. See GMP regulation and preamble sources by country here.

GMP Standards

GMP standards are developed to enhance the safety of manufactured products, especially pharmaceutical goods, and to ensure consumers get the highest quality possible. Adherence to GMP standards not only positively impacts the reputation of manufacturing companies but also reduces batch recalls and negative reports from consumers. Below are 4 measures you can follow to uphold GMP standards:

Quality team

Have a team of skilled workers that will focus on improving current manufacturing procedures and complying with GMP. Members will perform quality assessments on operations to identify problems and develop appropriate corrective measures. Part of the team’s responsibility will also be performing scheduled monitoring of instruments, equipment, processes, and staff skills.

Validation

Validation is the documented act of demonstrating instruments, processes, and activities that are regularly used or done. This is done to check if they function according to expectations. GMP can involve a number of things to be validated, but it’s good to focus on the following processes:

Surprise Audits

A surprise audit every now and then can help gain a more accurate insight into what goes on in the facility. Identify real root causes of non-compliance and take action before it progresses into a larger issue. Read more about best practices in doing GMP audits.

Compliance Training

Providing compliance training to staff is the best way to ensure compliance with GMP standards. Help staff gain a better understanding of GMP and continually improve operations or systems in place to ensure standards are GMP-compliant. All employees should receive training on recordkeeping, sanitation, proper equipment handling, and labeling, and SOPs to minimize errors and maintain compliance.

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How to Comply with Guidelines

GMP guidelines and regulations address different issues that can influence the safety and quality of a product. Meeting GMP or cGMP standards helps the organization comply with legislative orders, increase the quality of their products, improve customer satisfaction, increase sales, and earn a profitable return of investment.

Conducting GMP audits play a big part in assessing the compliance of the organization to manufacturing protocols and guidelines. Performing regular checks can minimize the risk of adulteration and misbrand. A GMP audit helps improve the overall performance of different systems including the following:

  • Building and facilities
  • Materials management
  • Quality control systems
  • Manufacturing
  • Packaging and identification labeling
  • Quality management systems
  • Personnel and GMP training
  • Purchasing
  • Customer service

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Ensure consistency in quality and safety with GMP training

Good Manufacturing Processes, or GMP, make sure that products are controlled in quantity and produced in such a way that meets quality standards. GMP involves many factors such as hygiene, environmental conditions, and more. Through this process, any flaws or anomalies can already be identified earlier on which wouldn’t be detected when the final product is tested or already out in the market. By making sure that your products go through GMP, you’ll have high-quality end products that are safe for use or consumption which, in turn, will give better customer satisfaction and yield higher revenue.

We’ve curated a list of GMP training courses that will guide your employees in following GMP standards so they can be proactive in minimizing risks in all aspects of manufacturing products such as food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical goods. These courses cover topics such as good manufacturing practices, quality control, risk management, and many more.

Compliance and Your Organization

GMP compliance is crucial in the manufacturing industry. Providing quality-assured products can secure the health and safety of the public. Robust processes and easy-to-use systems that enforce and monitor standards can strengthen GMP compliance in your organization. With technological advances in the industry, food manufacturers have more opportunities to transform reactive company culture, into a proactive, predictive workforce equipped for continuous improvement. Utilize digital tools such as SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), a mobile inspection app and GMP software, and sensors to move your GMP beyond compliance. With SafetyCulture you can:

  • create, customize, and use mobile-ready GMP audit checklists anytime, anywhere;
  • attach photos and make annotations within the app;
  • set and notify scheduled GMP audits;
  • integrate existing software systems; and
  • save all GMP documents securely on a cloud.

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FAQs About GMP

Some of the GMP requirements to be able to produce quality and safe products include policies such as: 

  • maintaining appropriate manufacturing conditions, like temperature and humidity control;
  • ensuring proper hygiene and sanitation;
  • having qualified personnel with adequate training;
  • keeping records accurate and complete; and
  • performing regular equipment calibration and maintenance.

The main difference between GMP and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the industry and their area of focus. GMP focuses on ensuring the safety and efficacy of products in regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and food. ISO, on the other hand, involves establishing and maintaining a QMS that meets customer and regulatory requirements across a range of industries.

The 5Ps of GMP are the key elements to consider when implementing effective guidelines for your business. These 5Ps compose of the following:

  • People – Properly training all the personnel involved in manufacturing, testing, and quality control of products is a must.
  • Premises – Manufacturing and storage facilities should adhere to pre-determined conditions.
  • Processes – The manufacturing steps must be well-defined, validated, and controlled to ensure consistent quality of the product
  • Products – Raw materials and final products should be formulated, tested, and labeled to ensure that they meet the required specifications, are safe, and effective for their intended use.
  • Procedures – All manufacturing procedures must be followed and well-documented to provide consistent quality and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Yes, the FDA regulates GMP in the United States. The FDA enforces GMP requirements by inspecting manufacturing facilities to ensure that they adhere to the set guidelines and are compliant with safety practices.

Jona Tarlengco
Article by

Jona Tarlengco

SafetyCulture Content Specialist
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her years of experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.