Meet the Team – Q&A with Senior Associate Naomi Ervine 

Having worked within Quality Assurance (QA) in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 14 years, Naomi joined Tower Mains in 2021 as a Senior Associate. Here, she tells us what initially attracted her to QA, her career highlights, and what makes her tick outside of work. 

What initially attracted you to a career in QA? 

When I started working, I had no idea what QA was. Following university, I worked as a Forensic Biologist, and I was fortunate enough to be working with a laboratory that was preparing for and subsequently (successfully) underwent its first UKAS inspection against ISO 17025. It was my first exposure to quality, inspections, and the role of quality assurance, and I felt that many of the skills required to be a forensic scientist were directly transferrable to Quality Assurance – not only being observant, having a curious mind, and able to take accurate, detailed notes, but also being able to take a step back and assess how what I was finding could impact or drive the direction of further investigations. The advantage that QA had over forensic science, of course, was that you work with (clean!) paper and systems, and not discarded clothing, or other “interesting” items seized by the police from crime scenes.  

What has been your biggest career highlight so far? 

I’m not sure I have one highlight… what I enjoy about working within QA is variety. I initially started my QA career within a laboratory setting, making the move to early-stage clinical trials, before joining Tower Mains. I feel I have been very fortunate with each of these moves as I have been able to build on and expand my knowledge each time, and that is certainly something that is continuing with Tower Mains due to the vast range of experience across the team, and range projects with which there is an opportunity to be involved in. Whilst I work within a Quality Assurance role, something I particularly enjoy is ‘switching hats’ and acting as part of a team alongside operational roles. I enjoy forming and having collaborative, positive relations with others to achieve common goals during process improvement initiatives or even during regulatory inspections! I think that’s why I particularly enjoy being part of the Clinical and Quality Management Systems team at Tower Mains as I have an opportunity to work with many companies, fantastic people and the work is so varied. 

Do you have any tips for those wishing to progress in QA? 

I think sometimes QA can be presented as or is thought of, as a fairly dry subject, but don’t be fooled! Whilst regulation and guidance are not necessarily the most interesting reads, the role of QA is in fact extremely interesting, particularly in clinical (though I may be biased!), as you are continually challenged to interpret and apply regulations to a particular set of circumstances and that frequently involves thinking a little ‘outside of the box.’  

What makes you tick outside of Tower Mains? 

Being active and productive. I’ve never been one to sit down for too long or confine myself to one type of activity, however, these days I am kept busy with a boisterous and highly active young family, various pets, DIY projects, and exercise (a pre-young family love) when I can find the time.  

To find out more about what Naomi, and the Tower Mains team, can do for you, click here, or email us at info@towermains.com.