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Key Aspects of an Inspection Ready TMF

Having a complete Trial Master File (TMF) is the highest priority for sponsors in terms of providing an accurate picture of the affiliated clinical trial.   This article speaks about key aspects and techniques to implement in order to have an inspection-ready TMF.

Key Aspects of an inspection ready Trial Master File

   Important aspects of having an inspection-ready TMF is to:

      ✓ Include documentation which is able to ‘tell the story’ of the trial.

      ✓ Contain a detailed time period, coexistent in time of facts and observation.

      ✓ Have an electronic source which documents are clearly stated.

     ✓ Update regularly and  implement proper Quality Check (QC) techniques.

QC techniques

Five QC techniques to implement to ensure an inspection-ready TMF are to:

  1. Look through the auditors eyes – Reviews are made from the source of information provided. Research requirements and expectations of health authorities in order to properly look at the data from an auditor’s perspective.
  2. Collect Information-All documentation from Core and Country levels such as the Protocols, Investigational Plans, Informed Consents, etc. should be thoroughly reviewed as the foundation QC’ing data from local site documentation.
  3. Site Sampling – Site Sampling is being able to look into all records based on a sample taken from a number of high enrollers, noncompliant and terminated sites.
  4. Review and Cross Check – Reviews are taken on bother paper and electronic Trial Master File. Each has different mode by which it is reviewed:

            For Paper files, review and cross check:

  •      Original hardcopies– all original documents must be properly checked if they are correct and signed accurately.
  •      Filing & Organization – ensure that there are no missing or misfiled files that can cause delays during an audit or inspection.

          For an electronic TMF, review and cross check:

  •       eTMF Study Access – review current project team list to verify correct access to study files
  •       eTMF Filing & Organization – Check for duplicates and errors in Indexing (or naming) and uploads
  1. Follow up to Resolution –  It is imperative to follow up all issues to resolution which means having an effective the root cause and all other corrective and preventive actions in place, including steps on how any investigation should be taken, and who should be involved and the process.

Overall, it is critical to be knowledgeable about key aspects of industry standards and regulations.  An inspection ready TMF takes proper planning, as noted in our article Planning for TMF Success, and effective QC measures as discussed in the following Trial Master File training sessions:

The “Audit-Ready” TMF: Concepts & Strategies (basic)
The “Audit-Ready” TMF: Tools &Techniques to effective QC Reviews (intermediate)- COMING SOON
The TMF Challenge: Part of the IRS (Inspection Readiness Survival) Series (advanced)-COMING SOON