Identifying challenges in Test Guidelines development

Last year NanoHarmony successfully conducted its survey. The survey aimed to identify difficulties arising during the development process for OECD Test Guidelines (TGs) and Guidance Documents (GDs). Questions tried to identify barriers and challenges that may result in delays in the process towards approved TGs/GDs. The OECD TG/GD development process comprises different stages and activities. Each of these may pose different challenges in the development of TGs and GDs (Figure 1, left panel).

Other questions in the survey focussed more on collecting information on the impact of identified challenges on the time schedule and costs. Which additional efforts are needed in the development of approved TGs/GDs?

A total of 73 responses were gathered, reasonably distributed among the different stakeholder groups. These include regulators, developers and users. The responses are currently being evaluated in detail. In general, OECD TGs/GDs are perceived as a very useful tool by the participants. Specific needs for updating or new developments of TGs/GDs applicable for nanomaterials were identified (Figure 1, right panel). Many of these suggested topics are already taken up in the workplan of the OECD Test Guidelines Programme.

In the next step, personal interviews will follow to gain more in-depth views from a selection of the respondents. NanoHarmony will use the results of the survey and the interviews to map the challenges encountered in the TG/GD development process. To overcome challenges, respondents provided useful suggestions and recommendations. NanoHarmony will incorporate these in its attempts to further streamline and possibly speed up the development processes.

Figure 1: A few highlights from the survey results