History of PIC/S

PIC/S was founded in 1995 as an extension to PIC (Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention) which was founded in October 1970 by EFTA (European Free Trade Association) under the title of “The Convention for the Mutual Recognition of Inspections in Respect of the Manufacture of Pharmaceutical Products”. 

40th Anniversary, Geneva (Switzerland), 2011, the place where the PIC Convention was signed before entering into force in 1971.

The initial Members of PIC comprised the 10 Member countries of EFTA at that time, ie. Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Membership of PIC was subsequently expanded to include Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Germany, Italy, Belgium, France and Australia.

It was realised in the early 1990s that because of an incompatibility between the Convention and European law, it was not possible for new countries to be admitted as Members of PIC. Australia was the last country that was able to become a Member of PIC in January 1993. Consequently, the PIC Scheme was formed on 2 November 1995. PIC and the PIC Scheme, which operate together in parallel, are jointly referred to as PIC/S.

The original goals of PIC were:

  • Mutual recognition of inspections;
  • Harmonisation of GMP requirements;
  • Uniform inspection systems;
  • Training of Inspectors;
  • Exchange of information;
  • Mutual confidence.

These goals have also been adopted by the PIC Scheme and expanded to include additional goals. The PIC Convention, dated October 1970, is available below.

Information on the dates of accession of PIC/S Participating Authorities are available under "Members".

Related documents

Document Reference date
revised pic/s scheme PICS 1/95 (Rev 6) 2020
pic convention of 1970 PIC Convention 1970