Objectives of a manufacturing site inspection

The overall intent of a manufacturing site inspection is to assess the safety, performance, and quality of the Manufacturing site. The specific objectives are to assess compliance of the manufacturer’s quality management system (QMS) and manufacturing practices with international standards in order to:

  • Determine the effectiveness of the implemented QMS in meeting appropriate quality standards
  • Verify the data supporting the claims presented in the submitted product dossier (and also those in the pre-submission form)
  • Inspect the QMS according to the manufacturer’s own requirements.

The objective of the inspection influences the inspector’s planning, organization, method of work, and the format of the report that will be written after the inspection. Different types of inspections can be performed depending on the objective of the inspection.

Types of inspections identified in the WHO text include

  • Routine inspection
  • Concise inspection
  • Follow-up inspection
  • Special inspection
  • Quality systems review.

Routine inspection

A routine inspection is a full review of all aspects and components of GMP within a facility. The inspector should also be aware of the licensing provision. Routine inspections may be announced or unannounced, depending on the history of the company, previous inspections, and the policy of the country.

It is appropriate to perform a routine inspection under the following circumstances:

  • When there is an application for a new manufacturing license for a newly established manufacturer
  • When a manufacturing license is due for renewal.If there have been significant changes such as new products or new product lines,
  • Modification to manufacturing methods or processes, or changes in key personnel, premises, and or equipment.
  • If the company has a history of non-compliance with GMP.If an inspection has not been carried out within the past 3–5 years.

Routine inspection

A concise inspection is the evaluation of limited aspects relating to GMP compliance within a facility. A limited number of GMP requirements are selected by the inspector to serve as indicators of overall GMP compliance by the manufacturer. The inspector also has to identify and evaluate any significant changes that could have been introduced by the manufacturer since the last inspection. Collectively, the selected indicators and identified changes indicate the manufacturer’s attitude towards GMP. Depending on the national practice, a company would normally not be warned in advance about a concise inspection.

A concise inspection is applicable under the following circumstances:

  • Where a manufacturer has a consistent record of GMP compliance through routine inspections in the past.
  • Where a sample of aspects can be taken as a good indication of the overall level of GMP compliance.

if the concise inspection uncovers evidence that the level of GMP compliance has fallen, a more comprehensive or full GMP inspection should then be performed soon after the concise inspection.

Follow-up inspection

A follow-up inspection is also referred to as a re-inspection or a re-assessment of the manufacturer. A follow-up inspection is performed specifically to monitor the result of the corrective actions of the manufacturer following a previous inspection. The manufacturer would not necessarily know in advance about the follow-up inspection. Depending on the nature of the defects and the work required, the follow-up inspection could be carried out between 6 weeks and 6 months after the original inspection had taken place. The inspection is limited to specific GMP requirements that have not been observed or that have been inadequately implemented by the manufacturer.

Special inspection

There are a number of circumstances in which special visits or inspections may be necessary. A special inspection is undertaken to do spot checks. Spot checks could focus on one product, a group of related products, or specific operations e.g. mixing, or labeling.

The manufacturer may or may not be aware in advance of the inspection, depending on the reason for it.

If there have been complaints about a specific product that suggest there may be defects, then a special inspection could be performed to investigate the quality defects of the product. It is unlikely that the company would be warned in advance in this case.

  • If there has been a product recall, this can also trigger an inspection, as would adverse drug reactions.
  • The inspection would focus on the specific product or aspect of production that is suspect.
  • An application for marketing authorization or an export certificate may also trigger such an inspection.
  • A special inspection could also be performed to gather specific information or to investigate specific operations of the manufacturer.
  • Opportunity is used to advise the manufacturer on specific regulatory requirements.

Quality systems review.

The purpose of a quality systems review is to review the manufacturer’s quality system and to describe whether that has been shown to operate satisfactorily. The quality systems manual is a document describing the quality systems and the standards to be observed. It also includes the entire operational process, the quality management policy, and the quality assurance approach of the manufacturer. The manual reflects the process of implementation of the quality policy, keeping records, quality control, and other quality assurance activities. This type of review is similar to that which is carried out when a manufacturer is applying for accreditation, e.g. international standards (ISO 9000).

Frequency of Inspections

  • Depends on the type of inspection
  • Inspectorate resources (e.g. workload, number of inspectors)
  • New facilities – before licensed
  • All companies – regular schedule – ideally annual
  • large companies
  1. several visits over a period, e.g. 5 years
  2. validity of manufacturing license or GMP certificate 

Duration of Inspections

The length of an inspection is determined by a number of factors, including the type of inspection to be performed, the number of inspectors, the size of the company, and the purpose of the inspection or visit. An inspection can be performed over a period of a few days to several weeks. The time taken will also depend on the size of the inspection team. One or more inspectors can perform the inspection and the inspector(s) may request a specialist to accompany them during the inspection. Depending upon the area or specific aspects to be inspected, a specialist could provide specialist support to the inspection team.

The duration of Inspections Depends on

  • The type of inspection
  • Inspectorate resources (e.g. workload, the number of inspectors)
  • Size of the company
  • Purpose of the visit
  • Days to weeks
  • Number of inspectors including specialist support

Documents required for CD Submission to WHO

S.No. Documents Name
1 Application for grant of COPPs
2 Name of the applicant with address
3 Copy of Manufacturing License
4 List of approved products for COPPs
5 List of products applied for issuance of COPPs & their composition
6 Site master file
7 Stability study evaluation
8 Process validation Report
9 Analytical method validation
10 List of technical staff, their qualification, experience and approval status
11 List of equipment and instrument
12 List of SOPs and STPs
13 Manufacturing Plant layout
14 Schematic diagram of the water system
15 Schematic diagram of HVAC system
16 Product summary sheet
17 List of Reference standards
18 Certificates of Analysis for three batches of each product


1 Site Master File  
2 Quality Manual  
3 Quality Policy  
4 Validation Master Plan  
6 Process Simulation Study  
7 Approved Vendor List (RM)  
8 Approved Vendor List (PM)  
9 Medical Examination Records All employee
10 Appointment letters of key personnel All key personnel
11 Manufacturing presentation  
12 Outside testing agreement  
13 Equipment preventive  maintenance schedule/report  
14 SOPs Warehouse  
15 SOPs Engineering  
16 SOPs HR  
17 Internal Audit Report Report -I

Report -II

18 Training records
19 Quality Assurance Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

20 Quality Control Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

21 Microbiology lab Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

22 Production (Injection) Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

23 Production (Dry Syrup & Capsule) Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

24 Warehouse Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

25 Engineering Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

26 HR Calendar –

Training Log –

Training Records

27 Organization Chart of Plant
28 Organogram of Quality Assurance
29 Organogram of Quality Control
30 Organogram of Microbiology lab
31 Organogram of Production (Injection)
32 Organogram of Production (Dry Syrup & Capsule)
33 Organogram of Warehouse
34 Organogram of Engineering
35 Organogram of HR
36 Vendor Qualification
37 Annual product quality review For all the products that will be applied for WHO
38 Process validation protocol / report
39 Hold time study
40 Stability data record
41 Cleaning validation
42 Master formula record
43 Product development record
44 Analytical method validation
45 Bulk product specification
46 Semi-finished product specification
47 Finished product specification


1. Room Data sheet
2. General Plant layout
3. Pressure zoning layout (Floor wise)
4. Equipment Placing Layout
5. Man Movement layout (Floor wise)
6. Material Movements Layout (Floor wise)
7. Environment Monitoring plate location Layout
8. Area Layout with drain Point
9. AHU GA Drawing
10 AHU Ducting layout


SNo. Equipment’s
1. Dispensing Booth
2. Vial Washing Machine -I
3. Tunnel
4. Filling Machine
5. Sealing Machine
6. Bung Processor
7. Optical Inspection Machine
8. Vial Washing Machine – II
9. Labelling Machine
10 Mobile LAF
11. LAF
12 Pass Box
13. Garment Cubicle
14 Filter Integrity Tester


SNo. Equipment’s
1. Dispensing Booth
2. Bottle Washing Machine
3. Vibro Sifter
4. Multi- Mill
5. Filling & Capping Machine
6. Induction Sealing Machine
7. Labeling Machine
8. Fluidized Bed Drier
9. Blender
10 Capsule filling  Machine
11. Capsule Sorting Machine
12 Blister Packing Machine
13. Optical Inspection Machine


SNo. Equipment’s
1. Water System Validation (Two Phase complete – third phase ongoing)
2. WFI Validation- all three Phase (Two Phase complete – third phase ongoing)
3. Pure Stem Qualification
4. Compressed air Qualification
5. Nitrogen Plant validation
6. AHU Qualification
7. Temperature Mapping of Storage area
8. Passivation Report of water System
9. Slop Certificate of pipework
10 Certificate of MOC


1 Pest Control records
2 Contract Agreement of Pest Control
3 Contract Agreement of Waste material Disposal
4 Fire Fighting Training Record
5 Pre-filter and return filter washing and cleaning records of AHU
6 AHU – Operation, Cleaning, and Maintenance log
7 Preventive Maintenance program
8 Calibration program
9 Cleaning records of the area
10 Cleaning records of Equipment
11 Job Responsibility of Key Personnel