What has been your career path?
After graduating from the ENSIACET (chemistry and process engineering school) in Toulouse, I began my career in the pharmaceuticals industry. Then I joined a subsidiary of the Arkema Group, MLPC International, where I spent a year working as a Product Regulatory Compliance Engineer. After that, I joined the sustainable development department for two years as a product regulatory compliance manager. For the last few months, I have been the HSEQ coordinator for one of the business units.
What is the role of a product regulatory compliance manager?
The role of the job is to ensure that Arkema's products are in compliance with the applicable hygiene, safety, and environmental regulations concerning chemicals.
Can you describe your main responsibilities?
Estimating costs, scheduling and coordinating the compiling of registration files for chemical substances, following up studies into their physicochemical properties, and assessing the health and environmental risks they pose. The goal of the work is to write recommendations for those who are going to use or handle these substances. The product regulatory compliance manager also serves as the point of contact with the competent authorities and represents the company before technical committees. Lastly, the product regulatory compliance manager provides the business with regulatory expertise in the context of new projects (a new product, selling in a new country, a new use of an existing product, etc.)
What is a typical working day like for a product regulatory compliance engineer?
The product regulatory compliance engineer spends a lot of time communicating about and coordinating projects with a range of parties inside and outside the company. You also have to spend some time on the technical HSE part of the job. Lastly, you sometimes have to go to the production sites, to consortium meetings, or to represent the company before the competent authorities.
What kind of training is needed?
Training as a chemical engineer with a specialization in HSE, rounded out with an initial experience working with the regulations concerning chemicals.
What skills does your job require?
Obviously, you have to be very familiar with the regulatory issues associated with chemicals, and to understand the HSE (health, safety, and environmental) aspects of chemicals. But you also have to know how to work on several projects at the same time. That means you need to be organized and thorough and, above all, able to identify the critical and priority points to address. From a personal point of view, I think you need good interpersonal skills to be able to adapt your approach according to the issues at stake and the constraints on the all the different parties involved in compiling the files. Lastly, a good level of written and spoken English is necessary because of the international nature of the files.
What is it that makes the job interesting?
The richness and variety of the discussions with different people working in very different jobs with a broad variety of regulatory issues.
What do you like about the company?
Across the three major divisions that encompass its subsidiaries, the Arkema Group offers a broad range of products. What is interesting for me is that those products can be found in many different areas of our day-to-day lives, such as cars, cosmetics, adhesives, even ski boots!
Is there a particular recollection that you would like to share?
I really enjoyed the induction seminar that is organized for the group's new recruits. It gave me the chance to talk to people that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet—in the context of my work, at least—and it also let me get to know the Arkema Group better.