Here we look at how companies can improve pharmaceutical training with simulations. It’s important to note that simulation-based training can be more than manual skills development using AR / VR hardware. Computer-based solutions are also hugely powerful in areas such as:

  • Understanding pharmaceutical manufacturing processes
  • Risk analysis
  • Modelling drug interactions
  • Software onboarding and getting to grips with complex systems
  • Soft skills development for sales and communication training.

Simulation Training and e-Learning

Using simulations for training within the pharmaceutical industry is a strategic approach to enhance the skills and knowledge of employees, from research and development (R&D) staff to sales and regulatory affairs teams. Simulations offer a practical, risk-free environment for learning, allowing employees to understand complex processes, improve decision-making skills, and stay updated with the latest industry standards and regulations.

Here’s a guide to implementing simulation-based training in the pharmaceutical sector:


1. Identify Training Needs

  • Assess Skill Gaps: Determine the areas where employees need improvement or new skills are required, such as regulatory compliance, laboratory techniques, or sales strategies.
  • Align with Objectives: Ensure that the training simulations align with your company’s objectives, such as accelerating drug development, enhancing quality control, or improving market reach.


2. Choose the Right Type of Simulation

  • Process Simulations: These are ideal for understanding complex pharmaceutical manufacturing processes or laboratory procedures, enabling hands-on practice without the risk of actual production.
  • Computer-Based Simulations: These can be used for a wide range of training, from pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics modelling to understanding drug interactions and effects.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): Use VR and AR for immersive training experiences, especially useful for intricate tasks like operating machinery or performing delicate laboratory experiments.
  • Role-Playing Simulations: These are particularly effective for sales and communication training, helping staff practice negotiation and presentation skills in a controlled environment.


3. Develop Customised Content

  • Collaborate with Experts: Work with subject matter experts to develop simulation scenarios that accurately reflect real-world challenges and situations employees might face.
  • Incorporate Interactive Elements: Ensure the simulations are interactive, allowing learners to make decisions and see the consequences of their actions, enhancing the learning experience.
  • Include Feedback Mechanisms: Provide immediate feedback within the simulations to help learners understand what they did right or wrong and how to improve.


4. Integrate Simulations into Training Programmes

  • Blend with Other Training Methods: Combine simulations with traditional training methods, such as workshops and e-learning, to create a comprehensive training program.
  • Schedule Regular Training Sessions: Regularly scheduled simulation training ensures continuous learning and skill enhancement.


5. Evaluate and Update Simulations

  • Gather Feedback: After training sessions, collect feedback from participants and trainers to identify areas for improvement.
  • Monitor Performance: Use performance metrics to assess the effectiveness of the training simulations in achieving learning objectives.
  • Update Regularly: Keep the simulations updated with the latest industry trends, regulations, and technologies to ensure they remain relevant and effective.


6. Ensure Compliance and Security

  • Data Protection: Ensure that the simulations comply with data protection regulations, especially when handling sensitive information.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Verify that the training simulations meet all relevant pharmaceutical regulations and standards to ensure compliance.


7. Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning

  • Promote Engagement: Encourage employees to actively engage with simulation training by highlighting its benefits and relevance to their roles.
  • Incentivise Participation: Consider incentives for successful completion of training programs, such as certification, rewards, or recognition.


Top Pharmaceutical Simulation Providers

These simulation-based e-learning providers are based in, or have a strong presence in the UK, as well as extensive experience in delivering pharmaceutical training solutions simulations.


Day One Technologies

Based near Leeds in West Yorkshire, Day One is one of the UK’s leading providers of simulation-based training solutions.

Immersive simulation training from Day One

For over 25 years, this company has provided bespoke elearning and custom simulation training solutions to some of the world’s biggest brands. Their impressive client list within pharma includes the likes of Roche, Croda, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, DOC and Linde Healthcare.

Learning By Doing is Day One’s mantra when it comes to e-learning, and they seek to deliver training that leads to long-term knowledge retention and practical skills development.

Read more about Day One’s pharmaceutical e-learning solutions over on their website.



German company Attensi have delivered simulation and games-based learning solutions to cients across the globe, including the UK.

Pharmaceutical training solutions from Attensi

Attensi offers cutting-edge, flexible simulations accessible on mobile, desktop, or VR platforms, giving companies a cost-effective way to unlock their workforce’s complete capabilities. They develop secure, authentic virtual environments where employees can practise new behaviours, learn from mistakes, and gain proficiency in skills critical to their roles.

This encompasses mastering challenging dialogues, becoming familiar with new software and IT systems, and refining tactics for intricate decision-making scenarios. Their goal extends beyond merely providing employees with the means to improve their skills. They also aim to encourage personal development and make the learning experience enjoyable.

Attensi’s pharma clients include the likes of Pfizer, Tillots Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, and AstraZeneca.

Read more about pharma training from Attensi on their website.



Simulation-based training in the pharmaceutical industry offers a dynamic and effective approach to enhancing the competencies of employees across various functions. By carefully planning, customising content, and continuously updating training simulations, companies can ensure their workforce is well-prepared to meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving pharmaceutical landscape.