What is GLP?

GLP stands for Good Laboratory Practice. It is a quality control system used in research laboratories to:

  • ensure data integrity (i.e. data is generated under high quality and reproducible conditions)
  • avoid unnecessary repetition of studies
  • establish a common standard (in both laboratory practice and procedures)
  • enable mutual acceptance of data between countries

GLP guidelines were introduced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of America in the '70s after it was found that non-clinical safety data submitted to the FDA was invalid and in some cases, even fraudulent. The OECD quickly adopted GLP principles, which enable different OECD countries to share GLP-compliant data and avoid duplicative testing.


The biggest difference between GLP and non-GLP work is the type and amount of documentation. A GLP inspector should be able to look at the documentation at any point in the future and easily identify who was involved in the study, how the experiments were carried out, what procedures were used and, if any problems occurred, how they were dealt with.