Industry Expert Q&A with David Barrett

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-04-02-2015, Volume 39, Issue 4

David Barrett, chief operating officer at cut-e, discusses The Behavioral Positioning System.

Pharma has experienced many quality issues tied to manufacturing errors. Companies are spending millions of dollars each year to train, retrain, and assess their operators’ and technicians’ knowledge of cGMPs. The Behavioral Positioning System, developed by cut-e, a specialist in online testing, and online training developer GetReSkilled, aims to help life-sciences manufacturers see which behaviors and traits are most conducive to developing a quality culture and ensuring compliance.

PharmTech: Which individual personality traits and behavioral characteristics have you found to be more important to advancing a quality culture and regulatory compliance in the life sciences?

Barrett: We have found that the high performing pharma operators and technicians tend to be systematic, analytical, and focused on immediate tasks and results. They tend to be marked lower on traits such as wanting to act autonomously, setting overly demanding goals around achievement, or having very high levels of social confidence. This systematic behavior around quality and analyzing information, and focusing on tasks, suggests that these are good things to focus on in training and hiring for pharma.

At cut-e, we assess 14 million people a year in 31 countries across a number of different industries, not just pharma and life sciences, so it gives us some basis for comparison. The origins of our work in pharma come from years of experience in industries such as aeronautics, where safety is paramount, so we have a lot of research assessing airline pilots and engineers. 


More recently, in our work with GetReSkilled, we’ve done research on life sciences, on models that seem to be indicators of safe behaviors, and the attributes that tend to separate people who operate well in life sciences from those who operate in an ‘at risk’ mode.

PharmTech: Tell us a bit more about the platform.

Barrett: The reporting and metrics can be used to target and identify training for manufacturing teams. With a less than optimum set of behavior metrics, BPS online video learning is used to strengthen positive behavior in the workforce.

It can also be used for high-volume screening of manufacturing personnel as they apply for jobs, or on making specific reports that aid selection, which you can pull and use when interviewing specific job candidates. Individuals, whether existing employees or job applicants, complete two short questionnaires. Results are then run through our benchmarks and algorithms and models based on large populations examining safe or unsafe behavior of workers in that industry. Using analytical tools in our system, one can determine whether or not an applicant is well matched to the job or whether an existing employee may need intervention to strengthen the necessary behavior for working in a GMP environment.