November 18, 2014: The IAG Cargo/Exelsius Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Academy formally took off from Heathrow this week when the two organisations launched their initial joint training workshop.

Aimed at improving industry compliance to GDP standards for Healthcare and Life Science products, the two-day course was attended by 17 students from the UK, Eire, Europe and Russia and offered a unique combination of both classroom training and an airport 'airside' visit to the IAG Cargo Constant Climate Centre.

Participants came from forwarders, logistic service providers, pharmaceutical companies and airlines with students being awarded a certificate of completion to the required standard. Tony Wright, CEO of Exelsius commented "the course programme was designed to provide students with an understanding of the compliance needs of GDP from a truly end –to-end perspective and uses many interactive methods of teaching. Demand was high and we added two additional places to the course to meet that requirement".

One participant was Gavin Newman, Operations Director of Pinnacle International Freight who also recommended the course to the QA Manager and Compliance Officer at his client Bio Products Laboratory – ''the course was a great way to further enhance knowledge and experience of GDP compliance. I appreciated the method of training and open discussions that allowed questions to be explored. It provided an excellent foundation upon which to develop better processes and covered all aspects of GDP."

Both IAG Cargo and Exelsius expect to extend the GDP Academy with further courses planned for the UK, Europe and Asia. Alan Dorling, Global Head of Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences at IAG said "We were very pleased with the outcome of this first workshop and are looking to provide our customers in Europe, India and Singapore with the same high level of GDP education in this highly important sector."