Job descriptions and industry overviews

Regulatory affairs officer: job description

19 Jul 2023, 09:04

Regulatory affairs officers (or regulatory affairs managers or consultants) act as a link between companies and regulatory authorities, ensuring that products are manufactured, tested and distributed in compliance with appropriate legislation.

Drinks cans on a production inspection line.

Regulatory affairs officer : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Regulatory affairs officers ensure that products such as foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicines – and the steps involved in developing, testing and marketing them – meet legislative requirements.

Typical duties include:

  • studying scientific and legal documents to check they meet legal requirements.
  • gathering, evaluating, organising, managing and collating information in a variety of formats.
  • submitting information and responding to queries from bodies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
  • maintaining familiarity with company product ranges.
  • planning, undertaking and overseeing product trials and regulatory inspections.
  • keeping up to date with changes in regulatory legislation and guidelines.
  • offering advice about regulations, company policies, practices and systems.
  • obtaining marketing permission.
  • outlining requirements for labelling, storage and packaging, and approving information leaflets and labels.
  • liaising and negotiating with regulatory authorities.

Graduate salaries

Salary survey websites suggest that earnings for regulatory affairs officers tend to start at around £20,000. However, this increases with experience: average salaries in this field are around £40,000.

Typical employers of regulatory affairs officers

  • Chemicals manufacturers.
  • Pharmaceuticals manufacturers.
  • Herbal treatments manufacturers.
  • Pesticides manufacturers.
  • Medical devices manufacturers.
  • Veterinary treatment manufacturers.
  • Homeopathic medicine manufacturers.
  • Research organisations.

As an alternative to working in-house, you could also work for an agency specialising in providing regulatory affairs advice to companies in particular sectors. With experience, you could also work as a freelance regulatory affairs consultant.

Vacancies for graduate jobs are advertised on targetjobs , and by careers services and university departments. Scientific publications’ jobs sites also include details of vacancies. You will also find vacancies advertised by specialist recruitment agencies.

Qualifications and training required

You can only become a regulatory affairs officer if you have a relevant degree in a subject such as chemistry, physics, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, biomedical science, life or applied science. A relevant postgraduate qualification (PhD or research-based MSc) may be advantageous. Read our article on scientific postgraduate study to explore your different options.

Postdoctoral research, practical research or laboratory work experience is also beneficial. Regulatory affairs experience is particularly sought after.

Some employers offer level 7 apprenticeships in regulatory affairs, for which you usually need at least a 2.2 degree or above in a science or law degree to be eligible. On completion, you can apply for membership with The Organisation for Professionals in Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA), or apply for professional registration as a registered scientist through TOPRA or the Science Council.

Key skills for regulatory affairs officers

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This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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