Best practices for CEIV Pharma recertification

Now that IATA’s CEIV Pharma certification program has been around for more than three years, an increasing number of airports and stakeholders are starting to embark upon the recertification process, which occurs every three years. Brussels Airport became the first airport to renew its commitment to CEIV Pharma last year, and most recently PACTL, a handler at Shanghai Pudong redid its audit. Although the re-certification is less involved than the initial certification process, companies have found the process to be just as thorough and, in some cases, more time-consuming than anticipated.     

Three years after being granted a certificate in Pharma excellence by IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics certified companies must pass another audit to maintain their certificate.  The process is designed to ensure continuity of standards in operations. Even though recertification requires just a two-day onsite audit, IATA recommends entities begin the recertification process at least 6 months prior to the expiration of a certificate. Companies that have completed the process, meanwhile, urge others to plan accordingly. “If I could offer any advice for others going through the re-certification process, it would be to create a task-forced team and do it together,” said Paul Crombach, cool chain program manager, Air France KLM Cargo.  

In addition, Crombach outlined a few tips for seamless recertification:  

  • Install back-up processes 
  • Schedule the audit well in advance of certificate expiration 
  • Prepare documentation in advance 
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders involved 

Entities that fail the recertification audit have until the original certification expiration date to address any issues at comply. 

While cool chain facilities and infrastructure often remain in good standing compared to the initial certification process, sources familiar with the audit process told Cargo Airport News that employee turnover has posed challenges to keeping employees trained. Each entity in every location is required to have 2 qualified personnel  certified in each of two different courses.  The certificate on Audit, Quality and Risk Management for Temperature Controlled Cargo takes 5 days to obtain while a separate certificate for Temperature Controlled Cargo Operations requires a three day course.  

Other airports that have recently attained CEIV Pharma certification, including Maastricht Aachen (MST) and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), have some time before they will have to consider recertification.