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The benefits of in-person meetings for pharmaceutical microbiology

We’ve all become incredibly familiar with the various online platforms that have facilitated all of us staying in contact and being able to run organisations and businesses throughout the global pandemic. But as we return to normal, it’s like we’ve almost forgotten how to interact with each other. Staying in has become the new going out and we have become incredibly used to logging in to an online forum rather than meeting and interacting with colleagues. What are we missing online? Is it necessary to get together in person? There is a whole wealth of information and nuances of in-person interaction that are critical to moving any discipline forward especially pharmaceutical microbiology.


The benefits of online

We’re not about to rubbish online webinars, meetings or training because they play a critical role in furthering Pharmig as an organisation. The online format can help with busy schedules in the sense that there is no commute, and you simply log in and log off when you’re done. It’s allowed businesses and organisations like Pharmig to remain operational during the pandemic. The other brilliant payoff of online interaction is they can bring people together geographically who otherwise would find it difficult to interact. That said, let’s look at the benefits of in-person meetings.


Engagement and production are better

Having full visibility of people whose attention you’ve lost can be difficult to manage in an online forum. You’re always striking a balance between the more vocal extrovert team members and the introvert who does not feel comfortable in that forum. There is no opportunity to take the quiet members aside and ask if they have any questions or for them to speak to you in private.



Let’s face it we’ve all been there looking at a screen but also gazing around the home thinking “I’ll just put a wash on” or emptying the dishwasher because you can see it. At an in-person meeting, you are fully immersed and engaged.



An organisation like Pharmig is the sum of its parts. And our team members are flesh and blood people with whom we have an emotional connection. It’s what makes our membership strong. We can feel cut off or disengaged when on our own, meeting up with the team lets you know that you are part of something. A sense of belonging is critical to the success of any organisation.


Our goals

The aims and goals of any organisation are what drive it forward and Pharmig is no different. There is always an agenda for training but it’s the interaction between the membership that sprouts other ideas on developments. Whether we are discussing new ideas, for example.  around clean rooms, non-steriles disinfection or contamination control and risk reduction in our labs, sitting with a group of people watching reactions and feeding off the enthusiasm and ideas are so powerful. Therefore in-person meetings and training must happen.

Pharmaceutical microbiology is an ever-evolving discipline, and we rely on the interaction of our members to foster ideas and develop strategies to propel us forward. New ways of working, and ideas sharing are at the core of why our membership started. And truth be told we love each other’s faces and it’s great to see them in the flesh at long last!

So do take a look at our website and see what we have coming up as in-person events which include:

Events and training for pharmaceutical microbiologists 2022

We are almost halfway through 2022 which seems unbelievable! This is a good time to pause and look at the exciting opportunities for our Phamrig members and non-members in respect of the in-person and virtual meetings we have scheduled for the rest of the year, as well as upcoming webinars. As pharmaceutical microbiologists it is critical to develop our practise through engaging with one another as a community to move our discipline forward. Let’s look at the full schedule of upcoming opportunities before celebrating our 30th annual conference in November:


1st June: Approaching error risk reduction: making your labs more compliant (webinar)

8th June: Annual Irish Conference: Hot Topics in Microbiology – Dublin (In person)

9th June: Cleaning & Disinfection: a roadmap to compliance – Dublin (In person)

29th June: Designing an effective contamination control strategy (½ day virtual)

21-22nd Sept: Basic Microbiology Skills- Practical Training Course (In person)




1st June:
Approaching error risk reduction: making your labs more compliant

It is well established that regulators do not like the root causes of deviations to conclude ‘human error’ and for the resultant corrective or preventative action (CAPA) to recommend additional training. Instead, regulators expect organizations to go deeper and to unpick the underlying reasons as to why a person made an error and, from this, error risk reduction actions can be initiated.

  • This webinar looks at:
  • The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of human error
  • The ‘true’ causes of error
  • Chunking and subchunking tasks
  • Developing human error checklists
  • Root cause analysis
  • Trending error




Annual Irish Conference – Hot Topics in Microbiology – Dublin

Topics covered include:

  • Objectionable organisms
  • Recent recalls across the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, highlighting key trends and the impact such incidents have.
  • Recent developments with the growth promotion test and environmental monitoring


Cleaning and disinfection: road map to compliance

Topics covered include:

  • Upcoming regulatory changes and their impact for cleaning & disinfection: EudraLex draft Annex 1 v.12 & USP draft chapter
  • Brief summary of the history of these publications and their revisions to date
  • Key changes in the proposed draft regulations relating to cleaning and disinfection, versus current industry practice
  • Disinfectant Workshop: Factors to consider when designing a disinfectant efficacy test and interpretation of results




Designing an effective contamination control strategy

Topics covered include:

  • Regulatory expectations around contamination control strategies
  • What do you actually need to think about when setting up your CCS?
  • Case study 1 – Astra Zeneca: A practical approach on how they set up a CCS (Sterile)
  • Case study 2 – GlaxoSmithKline: A practical approach on how they set up a CCS (Non-Sterile)




Basic Microbiology Skills- Practical Training Course

A 2-day course designed for those who are new to pharmaceutical microbiology. Laboratory based with a strong focus on practical techniques, as well as group exercises and lectures. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice fundamental techniques. Course contents include:

culture maintenance, microbial identification, environmental monitoring, aseptic technique, and data integrity for the microbiology lab.

  • You will leave this course with a clear understanding of not only what happens in a microbiology lab, but why the tests are performed and how to document them correctly.
  • Training in the basics will help you to:

Understand contamination risks to the process

Evaluate the effectiveness of current control measures

Maintain compliance with cGMP and data integrity expectations for the laboratory

A fantastic mix of in person and virtual events that the Pharmig community are proud to offer members and non-members in 2022.

The benefits of training in pharmaceutical microbiology

Our membership draws from a wealth of knowledge and experience and a commitment to share best practise with other members and the pharmaceutical microbiology community. How we impart this knowledge is at the core of why Pharmig was formed: 

To communicate and advance microbiological best practice (including technical, scientific and regulatory aspects) covering Pharmaceutical, Healthcare, Cosmetics, NHS and other related industries.

We see our training and development courses as one of the best ways to communicate and advance best practise to our membership and industry at large.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development better known as the CIPD is a UK based human resources association with a global reputation. In an article published July 2021, they discuss the responsibility an organisation has towards its people and increasing the skill levels of those working within it. The CIPD says that training is about continuity of effective people working within that organisation and that it must always be forward thinking in terms of needs that lie ahead whilst also remaining “aware of the wider skills context and policy environment in the countries in which they operate.” These values are also followed by Pharmig and that is why we have created 2 training opportunities for you:


Basic Microbiology Skills – Practical Training Course 21/22nd September 

What is it?

A 2-day course designed for those who are new to pharmaceutical microbiology. The course is laboratory-based and has a strong focus on practical techniques, as well as group exercises and lectures. Attendees will have the opportunity to practice fundamental techniques. Course contents include culture maintenance, microbial identification, environmental monitoring, aseptic technique, and data integrity for the microbiology lab.

  • You will leave this course with a clear understanding of not only what happens in a microbiology lab, but why the tests are performed and how to document them correctly.
  • Training in the basics will help you to:
    • Understand contamination risks to the process
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of current control measures
    • Maintain compliance with cGMP and data integrity expectations for the laboratory
Who should attend?

Attendees should have a basic grasp of microbiology theory, but only limited or no practical experience. This course is ideal for new lab technicians, graduates, apprentices, and anyone new to the microbiology laboratory environment, as well as managers, production, engineering, and QA staff wanting to understand the basics of microbiology laboratory practice.

Click here for more information >>


Introduction to Sterile Manufacturing – October (dates / VenueTBC)


Designed for those people who are new to industry this virtual training course will help you understand what sterile manufacturing is and will cover topics which include: microbiology, clean room design, sterilisation processes, sterility assurance, manufacturing methods and regulatory oversight.

Target audience (those new to industry): Microbiologists, cleanroom operators, production, quality, engineers, and sales & marketing 

It is designed to:
  • Get you to think about the risks associated with sterile manufacturing
  • Understand the basic elements of sterility assurance
The course will support:
  • Building greater people capability and consistency in your sterile operations
  • Reducing quality issues, waste, defects, and accidents
  • Being better able to meet your regulators expectations
  • Releasing batches more consistently v get products to the patient more reliably
  • Better management of individual performance
At the end of this virtual training programme you will:
  • Have an underpinning awareness of sterile manufacturing and associated risks.
  • Attain an introductory understanding and knowledge of key sterile processes and controls

Click here for more information >> 



Additional Meetings/Webinars that you may also be interested in:


Ireland: Hot Topics in Microbiology Conference – Dublin (May) Cork (June)

Ireland: Cleaning & Disinfection – a roadmap to compliance – Dublin (May) Cork (June)

Virtual event: Designing an effective contamination control strategy – 29th June



Webinar: Getting it in safely: Cleanroom and aseptic transfer – 26th April @ 2pm (BST)

Webinar: The microbiological impacts of moving to a more sustainable cosmetics industry – 4th May @2pm (BST)

Webinar: Using genomics to understand identity and risk of PseudomonasBurkholderia & Enterobacteriaceae bacteria – 26th May@2pm (BST)

Webinar: Approaching error risk reduction: making your labs more compliant – 1st June @2pm (BST)


Routes into microbiology – how apprenticeships help

An apprenticeship in the biosciences can be a valuable way for young people in our industry to get the opportunity to work in microbiology. At Pharmig we recognise the importance of supporting youngsters whilst they train and enjoy the opportunity to enter the world of microbiology. Our apprentice of the year award is now in its third year and we wanted to shout about how important this award is fin our community.


Why we reward apprenticeships

At Pharmig we feel that it is critical to nurture young talent who are making an important contribution in the pharmaceutical microbiology industry. When we reward individuals who strive to make the difference, it raises the standards for all of us in the healthcare industry. An annual award creates a culture where we both recognise and support our people. The apprenticeship system allows us to develop young people providing a tangible reward system that recognises excellence.


Who can be nominated

A key benefit of the Pharmig apprentice of the year award is that it’s open to both members and non-members. This gives us a vital opportunity to grow our microbiology community and membership. The criteria for nomination is that the apprentice must have been working in a technical role for at least a year with a strong emphasis on microbiology but without restricting it to a  laboratory environment.

The judging panel will review the nominations using the following selection criteria when reviewing applications:

  • Professionalism – e.g., competency, accountability, communication, organisational skills
  • Contribution – e.g., role played in team and examples of collaboration
  • Achievement – e.g., outstanding skills and expertise in the role, examples of inspiring colleagues, innovation and creativity
  • Development – e.g., personal development and scientific curiosity


What are the qualities that help

Whilst the selection criteria for the judging panel have been outlined above and will need to be evidenced, this is really about looking at an individual who shows qualities that make them stand out from those others. The individuals that have won Apprentice of the Year in the past have brought additional skills to the role. These are the apprentices that go over and above their designated tasks. An Apprentice of the Year is someone who puts themselves forward for projects without being asked and takes the initiative in any element of microbiology which falls outside their standard remit. A microbiology apprentice who continually questions and shows a consistent desire to further themselves and their colleagues and sets a bar for other apprentices.


How you can support that nomination

To support the nomination the following information must be provided in an email to

  • A one page supporting statement addressing the selection criteria listed above
  • The nominee’s CV – a one-page summary of education and career
  • The names and contact details of two referees, including details of their relationship with the nominee and conflicts of interest (if any).

We look forward to revealing the recipient of this award after the closing date of Friday 3rd June 2022.


Make your nomination >>


The Importance of Apprenticeships


Apprentice of the Year 2021 winner

Benjamin Pickard – Astra Zeneca


Ben’s Professionalism

Ben sets an excellent example to other apprentices at AstraZeneca. He has met all college deadlines, has excellent attendance levels and works independently with minimal support. Ben asks many questions and has learnt a significant amount of microbiology in 3 years from his peers around him. He has brought his technology skills to the team and supported team members with building electronic process to manage samples and new pieces
of equipment through the tech evaluation process. The technology processes involve communication with suppliers, managing servicing and breakdown repairs and hosting people on site. During the pandemic, resource was limited due to isolation of staff so Ben offered his services as a validated testing technician to go into the QC team to support testing and release whilst also managing his work in development.


Ben’s Contribution

Stretch goals were set for Ben at the beginning of his apprenticeship. Ben was the first apprentice to be recruited into the Pharmaceutical Technology and Development (PT&D) Microbiology Team. For Ben’s first year he completed a 12-month secondment to the QC Microbiology Product Testing Team where he became trained & validated in all basic microbiology product testing techniques for sterile and non-sterile formulations. Initially the plan was, on moving to PT&D, to perform
the sample management and to shadow senior scientists on non-sterile projects in development. It soon became clear that Ben had the capability to perform the responsible microbiologist role for the oral solid dosage products and he took on this responsibility for several development projects and paediatric formulations in his final year.


Ben’s Achievement

Ben has far exceeded our expectations for our first apprentice. Some of his achievements are as follows;

  • Led the installation and evaluation of two on line water bioburden analysers on a purified water system on site. This was his also his final year University project.
  • Led and performed the technology evaluations of 3 automatic agar plate instruments for the Global AstraZeneca Network.
  • Presented at the Global AZ Microbiology Network Meeting.
  • Performed the responsible microbiologist role independently for non-sterile development projects which included radiolabelled IV studies.
  • Volunteered in several STEM events which involved taking science
    into the primary school setting
    and presenting to local sixth form colleges on apprenticeships
  • Supported the interview process for the AstraZeneca Apprenticeships.
  • Qualified COSHH assessor.
  • Presented at the PT&D Science Day with posters and talks.
  • Developed an electronic process and SOP for sample management.
  • Leads Deviations as part of a small team for PT&D.
  • Promoted to Associate Scientist in March 2021.
  • Science Industry Partnership Ambassador
  • Representative on the PT&D Postcard Board which is responsible for showcasing good science across the business.


Ben’s Development

Ben started with no experience in Pharmaceutical Microbiology after completing his A Levels. In 3 years, he has progressed from Lab apprentice, to the PT&D responsible microbiologist and recently secured a permanent role as an associate scientist. Ben hopes to continue building his experience and has recently started to work on sterile projects. He also hopes to take the OWBA instrument further continue to share his data and experience with the external OWBA network.

The history of pharmaceutical microbiology

Everyone wants to know where they come from, and microbiologists are no different. But were we grown in a petri dish? Well, it’s a little more complicated than that as we know. Pharmaceutical microbiology is a specialist area of microbiology and one concerned with the use of microorganisms in pharmaceutical development and with maintaining contamination control.

In broad terms, microbiology is made up of several sub-disciplines, which include bacteriology, virology, and parasitology.  These sub disciplines then split out into various specific fields such as immunology, food microbiology and the one we are more concerned with, pharmaceutical microbiology. Let’s go back to where it all began and look at the origins of pharmaceutical microbiology.


The mother of all microbiologists

One of the first women to really move microbiology forward was the rather wonderfully named Fanny Hesse who is generally considered to be the mother of microbiology. Fanny Hesse was the best known for her hard work in growing cells; without this development growing cell cultures would not be simple as it is today. Another true pioneer of microbiology was Dr Ruth Ella Moore. An African American bacteriologist, Dr Moore was the first African American to receive a PhD in natural science. She remained active in the field of microbiology and immunology for many years and her contribution was significant.


Evolution of microbiology

If Fanny Hesse was the mother than its widely agreed that the father of microbiology was Louis Pasteur. He worked in the middle and late 1800s and his renown grew from carrying out experiments to determine why wine and dairy products turned sour. He discovered the bacteria was to blame and brought attention to the importance of microorganisms. This knowledge was an important leap that caused scientists to connect bacteria to human illness. Despite Pasteur’s numerous attempts to prove his theory, his experiments were unsuccessful. It took Robert Koch to cultivate anthrax bacteria and then inject into mice to show the bacilli caused anthrax. These procedures gave scientists a set of principles that they could use to relate microorganisms to other diseases.


Prevention of diseases

These early pioneers enabled pharmaceutical microbiology to advance massively. One of the most notable developments of the 20th century was antibiotics. This literally changed the way we were able to treat infections and save lives. Vaccines of course are very much in the news now with the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not just the drugs themselves, the development of microbiology has played an important part in the quality control of a pharmaceutical laboratory. The prevention of contamination when developing pharmaceuticals is critical. Microbiology has achieved so much in advancing all medicines and the way we manage laboratories.

Pharmig would not be here today if it weren’t for the efforts of all these early pioneers. It is because of all they achieved that we can now pick up the baton and move pharmaceutical microbiology forward. The Pharmig membership and collaborative associations develop best practice in pharmaceutical microbiology further through our publications, meetings, online training and webinars etc. What will we achieve in the 21st century? Join our membership to find out.


Sustainability in the microbiology lab

Sustainability in the microbiology lab

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you can’t help but have noticed the word sustainability seeping into every single industry. My Green Lab® (MGL) is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to introduce sustainability to the community responsible for global life changing medical and technical innovation. At the end of January (26th) , we will be offering a webinar about sustainability in the lab in conjunction with My Green Labs. With values and ethos that naturally align with Pharmig, this is a positive collaboration to take us into 2022.


Why do we need to think about sustainability in the laboratory?

Anyone who has worked in a lab knows how much waste is generated. Granted the lab is one of the most resource intensive spaces throughout industry but there are ways improvements can be made. When confronted with an issue as big as the climate crisis, it can be hard to know what to do as the challenge seems too big but the best way, we can have an impact is to start with our working space. When we start with ourselves and sustainable working practices, it has a small but positive impact that reverberates beyond the laboratory.

How has My Green Lab impacted lab culture?

When My Green Lab first started in 2013, there were fewer than 10 organisations with a program dedicated to laboratory sustainability. Today there are over 100 worldwide, and that number is quickly growing. We have certified over 700 lab groups and have worked with tens of thousands of scientists.

Not only is the culture changing in the lab, but it’s also changing in the companies that support labs. Companies are designing and packaging their products with sustainability in mind. Over 2000 products have been labeled with our ACT eco-label, and that number is quickly growing.


The webinar: Sustainability in the lab – January 26th 2022 @2pm – 3pm (BST)

The purpose of the webinar is to communicate the rationale and practical aspects of moving towards more green labs.


The leaders of the webinar Rachael Relph (Chief Sustainability Officer, My Green Lab) and Una Fitzgerald (Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator, Biomedical Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway) will be sharing how MGL educates and takes action. They’ll be discussing ways to engage and create a green lab movement in your organisation. They will also be sharing the impact of what My Green Lab has achieved in the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) and what specific changes took place in the lab as part of their green lab efforts.

This is an exciting opportunity for the Pharmig membership and industry at large to be part of facilitating positive change through your working practices.

This webinar will be FREE to current (2022) Pharmig Members. You may well already be one through one of colleagues who has already taken out site membership. If you would like to find out – email and you could be eligible to attend this insightful webinar FREE!

Click here if you want to know more about My Green Lab and its initiatives

2022 membership for microbiologists and those working alongside them

It’s now time for Pharmig to look forward into 2022 and update our event portfolio; we plan on running a mixture of both virtual and face-to-face meetings across the year.

Pharmig’s virtual events, since March 2020, have been very successful in facilitating attendance from a new audience as both member and non-member sites have taken the opportunity to enable more employees to be trained online due to substantial cost reductions in terms of travel and accommodation.

It would therefore be prudent to renew your site membership for next year or, if you are considering taking out a new membership for the first time, you can explore the benefits of joining on this section of our website –


These benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Enhanced company and individual networking and career opportunities
  • Attending meetings, training courses, webinars and conferences and speaking with leading industry experts and fellow delegates
  • Purchasing exclusive publications
  • Becoming involved in ‘live’ Action Groups (see Action Group section)
  • Receiving relevant news and updates via the Pharmig website
  • Enjoying and benefitting from links to a wide range of web resources
  • The ability to place recruitments adverts on our website
  • Exhibiting at Pharmig meetings (additional sponsorship packages also available)



Receiving a quarterly on-line technical newsletter

Access to the members section on the Pharmig website that includes:

  • A secure forum for exchange of information.
  • Current newsletters.
  • Technical articles.
  • Photos and images.
  • An extensive archive.
  • Commercial supplier members can also submit at least one free technical article per year for either the website or newsletter.


Pharmig is proud of the rich culture of interaction that has grown through its membership because this leads to the development of microbiology. We can only do this by building on that membership enabling us to produce publications and guides that enrich our knowledge and facilitate best practice. Our members have come together in the past to form action groups such as the disinfectant action group who put together a guide on disinfectant use in the pharmaceutical microbiology industry. As a member you can build relationships and form your own action group that could lead to a technical paper, presentation or publication for our membership. Membership is a chance to be part of a professional organisation that works to progress microbiology.


So, if you have a large number of relevant colleagues who would benefit from being a member of Pharmig, whether that be

  • attending meetings both physical and virtual,
  • purchasing the publications,
  • joining an action group
  • having a voice at the AGM
  • attending the 30th Annual Conference – which will be the biggest and best to date…

then don’t hesitate to get in touch today –


Join today >>


Annual November Conference 2021

Annual November Conference 2021

As you know, we had high hopes we could meet face-to-face, but sadly it’s not meant to be. However, fear not, the conference is still going ahead and will be a virtual event. There’s still so much to look forward to and we can’t wait for the 29th annual November conference to start.


What will be included:

From hot topics in microbiology to transformative technologies via online meetings, presentations, and Q&A sessions, setting up a perfect itinerary tailored, through research with our members, to meet your needs. Pharmig always considers our members, so our conference has them at its heart. There are several options to delegates such as: attending the main Conference on the 17th and 18th plus free attendance to the sponsored technical meetings on the 16th and 19th (if you have booked onto the conference).

Highlights from the agenda include:

  • Annex 1 latest updates, GMP findings and regulatory expectations
  • Microbiological recalls – an overview
  • EN17141 – what to make of the new Biocontamination Control Standard?
  • Virucidal efficacy testing – “pushing the envelope”
  • Megalab experience – testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA: an update
  • What do I need to know to control Burkholderia cepacia?
  • Continuous microbial quality monitoring of pharmaceutical water systems
  • The use of enzymatic indicators in conjunction with biological indicators for validating a sterile fill isolator
  • Transformational technologies: artificial intelligence for quality control in practice


How the conference helps microbiology practices

This conference is a chance for individuals in the profession to interact in ways they perhaps wouldn’t usually. It’s about fostering relationships, building new partnerships, and evolving practice. Because the conference is interactive, there are plenty of opportunities in our Q&A sessions to expand on the topics under discussion. This allows our microbiologists to evolve and develop their working practices.


Further benefits

This interaction paves the way for ideas on additional training, publications, and action groups. The relationships that are formed and topics that are discussed form the building blocks of how we move both the membership and the industry forward. Pharmig’s focus is to facilitate co-operation and collaboration globally with other bodies that have similar interests. We strongly believe that this interaction with other like-minded societies fosters and encourages friendly interaction, not just between members but with other related industries. It’s this continuous desire to evolve that allows us to identify where our members need new information and ensures we continue to provide the greatest value for money.


Some of the testimonials from last year’s event

“Thank you for all the work in preparing the presentations and presenting over the last two days. It has been valuable learning and the feedback is very positive” – HPRA

“Keep up the good work” – Sartorius

“Excellent presentations and organisation – really enjoyed it” – MML

“Very clear, great to see the slides on the screen, it was enjoyable, informative and well planned” – NHS Trust

“This was one of the most engaging virtual events I have attended so far. Loved the variety of topics” – AstraZeneca

We continue to hope that all our members, colleagues, and family stay healthy and unaffected by the virus and recommend that everyone continues to remain familiar with the guidance issued by governments on preventing the spread of the infection.

We look forward to you joining us on 17th and 18th November 2021 for the two half-day meetings via Zoom.

Download the full conference agenda and booking form here.

Why do we have microbiology action groups?

Why do we have microbiology action groups?

Member Action Groups

As part of our drive to achieve excellence in microbiology, some of our members (on a voluntary basis) get involved in more specific areas of interest by forming Action Groups. This allows them to concentrate on a particular niche that is of importance to them and, potentially, industry at large.


How does it work?

A member will flag up an area of interest and then Pharmig (via the Committee) will canvas its membership to see if there are other members willing to volunteer and support this topic. The objective of this is to create a forum to initially share ideas and formulate a possible plan.  The decision is then made, if there is enough scope, to produce a technical paper, presentation, survey, publication or webinar etc. that would benefit the whole membership. Goals, objectives and timelines will be set and agreed upon in each active Group. This is a space where microbiologists can interact and intellectually engage with each other to progress or develop an area of practice that they are interested in.

These Groups are constantly evolving and continually accept new members as and when required.


Action Groups we have set up include:

  • Disinfectant (active)
  • Non-Sterile (active)
  • Cleanroom
  • Rapid Methods
  • LAL (Endotoxin)


Outcomes of Action Groups

The word action suggests that these are not passive groups. There is a goal behind them forming and an expectation that anyone who volunteers to join them is willing to support the group in any way they can. There have been many positive outcomes from Action Groups over the years. From publications, surveys, meetings, through to the development of fact sheets, to further pharmaceutical microbiology best practice. There is always the underlying goal when you are part of a Pharmig microbiology Action Group that has positive aims on moving the discipline forward. This can influence behaviour, develop individuals as microbiologists or flag up parts of current practice that can be developed or enhanced in Industry.


Moving forward

We are proud that our Action Groups have (for example)  resulted in publications that benefit our membership such as the Guide to Disinfectants and their use in the Pharmaceutical industry­ which is now on its 3rd revision and will be published very shortly.

The guide has been completely revised and re-written to provide you with a roadmap to regulatory compliance for cleaning & disinfection. The new text will walk you through the steps needed to design, validate, and implement an effective cleaning and disinfection programme. Including:

  • Identifying and assessing risks associated with cleaning and disinfection
  • User requirements for cleaning agents and disinfectants
  • Supplier qualification
  • Disinfectant efficacy testing and validation
  • Controls for routine use – including application methods, in-coming QC testing, and periodic review of the programme

This is just one example of what Action Groups can achieve when we have all our wonderful microbiologist heads together; resources that benefit our members and progress pharmaceutical microbiology.

We are also considering setting up an Action Group on Environmental Monitoring to produce a survey around environmental monitoring programs at different facilities.

And – we are also looking to fire up the Non-Sterile Action Group to review / provide feedback on the recent Microbiological Quality Considerations in Non-sterile Drug Manufacturing: Guidance for Industry

If either of these are of interest to you as a Pharmig Member or, you  would like to put forward a new Action Group for the Committee to consider please contact the Pharmig office on Tel: +44 (0) 1920 871 999 or email:

What are the values of professional microbiologists - LBGWhat are the values of professional microbiologists - LBG

What are the values of professional microbiologists

It is essential that every organisation has a clear set of objectives, vision and mission that sit at the core of who they are. This isn’t simply the product or service that an organisation is offering, but the values at the heart of the organisation that explains their motivation. At Pharmig we have been asking ourselves: What motivates us? What gives us energy to keep progressing? What are the central values that we absolutely will not compromise on in our work? We have spent evaluating what we stand for and who we serve. Here are our core aims:

  • Disseminate topical information and views on microbiology related topics through events and publications
  • Advance the science of microbiology and its practical application
  • Influence the development of regulations and guidelines surrounding microbiology
  • Act as a confidential forum for the dissemination of information concerning all aspects of microbiology


To fulfil those objectives, we have to have a strong skill set within our organisation and our people to bring the very best for our members. We meet these objectives through the following activities:



Our website is a space that we use to communicate microbiological best practice in industries such pharmaceutical, healthcare and other related industries.It is a hub for technical publications, newsletters, regulatory updates and the online training module and virtual events. There are also  opportunities for our members to interact via our social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. By providing different resources and sources of information for our members, we ensure our communication is varied and meaningful.


Global connectivity

Though Pharmig is a UK based organisation, we strongly encourage international membership and interaction. We are proud of our global presence as well as our networking at events which foster strong relationships. These events are streamed virtually and enjoy international guests that enrich our global community.


Always evolving

Our focus is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration globally with other bodies that have similar interests. We strongly believe that this interaction with other like-minded societies fosters and encourages friendly cooperation not just between members but that extends to other related industries. It’s this continuous desire to evolve that allows us to identify where all members need new information and ensures we continue to provide value.


Not for profit

One of the central tenets of our values is our foundation as a society that operates on a not-for-profit basis. We are able to continue to provide valuable courses, webinars and training through funds raised from membership fees and the sale of technical publications as well as events. When there are surplus funds we make sure these are reinvested in the interest of our membership. Because we are a not for profit organisation, it means that our focus is on our members solely and the service we provide.


Influencing key stakeholders

We believe it’s important not just to foster relationships with like-minded bodies, but to ensure we reach out to other stakeholders. such as regulatory agencies, health organisations, and governmental departments. We take steps to cultivate and maintain relationships with these organisations, to be the “voice” of our members and ensure that our collaborative enterprise is fruitful and valuable.