Laboratories are a fundamental source of scientific evidence critical for clinical research and decision making in clinical diagnostics and patient care. High quality laboratory results derived from the analysis of samples collected from clinical trial participants are a key part of the clinical trial process. They provide critical data that is used for evidence-based decision making about an investigational medicinal product’s safety, efficacy and mechanism of action, and to improve standard care. This data is also required to protect the health and safety of the clinical trial participants. Because of this, it is essential that laboratories meet quality and management standards so that the results they produce are unbiased, accurate and complete.

Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) is a set of standards that provide guidance on implementing Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) principles to the analysis of samples from a clinical trial. GLP is a quality system that covers the organisational process and the conditions under which non-clinical laboratory studies are planned, performed, monitored, recorded, archived and reported (OECD 1998). This with the aim of promoting the generation of valid, high quality test data. On the other hand, GCP is an international ethical and scientific quality standard for designing, conducting, performing, monitoring, auditing, recording, analysing and reporting clinical trials that involve the participation of human subjects. Compliance with this standard provides assurance that the data and reported results are credible and accurate, and that the rights, safety and confidentiality of trial subjects are protected (ICH 1996 GCP Guideline).

By combining the GLP and GCP sets of guidelines, GCLP ensures the quality and reliability of the clinical trial data generated by laboratories. Consequently, GCLP is critical for clinical trial laboratory operations and it is expected that compliance with the GCLP standards, monitored annually by external audits, will help laboratories to maintain clinical trial data integrity, provide safety to the study participants and produce effective results that are consistent, auditable and repeatable. 

GCLP provides a bridge between GCP and GLP. It is also a framework in which organisations can base to develop facilities, systems and procedures that guarantee the laboratory work and results fulfil the GLP and GCP expectations.

GCLP encompass all aspects of clinical trial laboratory operations, namely: organisation and personnel; facilities; equipment, materials and reagents; standard operating procedures; planning of the work; sub-contracting; trial materials; conduct of work; reporting results; quality control & quality audits; storage and retention of study records and reports; and confidentiality. 

There are many benefits to laboratories that are GCLP compliant, the main benefits include:

  • Laboratory results (research or diagnostic) that are reliable, reproducible and auditable
  • The incidences of false negatives and false positives are reduced
  • Results are assured to be of the highest quality
  • Results are comparable to those obtained in other compliant laboratories around the world
  • Building the confidence of staff, sponsors and clients
  • Resources are efficiently managed therefore minimising waste
  • Uniformity and standardisation of systems

If you want to learn more about GCLP and the different aspects it involves or would like to get access to GCLP training materials, here you can find a set of Power Point presentations about this topic, kindly shared by the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust (Kilifi, Kenya). To download the presentations simply click on the links in the list below:

You can freely use, edit and distribute these GCLP training presentations for non-commercial purposes; please reference Global Health Laboratories and The Global Health Network when you do. 

To read about the history of GCLP click here.



  • cngetsa CAROLINE NGETSA July 10, 2015

    GCLP training is a very resourceful course

  • edymute Muteesasira Edrisa Aug. 14, 2016

    Its really good

  • asigaibra ASIGACI ABRAHAM Feb. 20, 2017

    It is comprehensive.

  • alekpanin201 Alex May 26, 2017

    You’ve managed to provide quite a clear explanation on what GCLP are. As they promote quality, safety, reliability and integrity of chemicals during non-clinical and laboratory testing, their implementation has turned into a very significant task. Good laboratory practices are also related to medical devices, food packaging, colour additives and other non-pharmaceutical products or ingredients. And, of course, if the staff of a given organization has a proper <a href="">GLP training</a> , things would be much better in terms of safety and control at the workplace. And, of course, this would inevitably lead to a positive impact on patients’ health as the risk of cross-contamination during the drug manufacture process would be avoided.

  • ochomyork OCOM YOKOYADA July 9, 2017

    Through gclp i have learnt a lot, Am Ocom From Uganda

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