Critical thinking and Leadership Skills: undervalued skills to become a successful regulatory professional

By: Leen Jacobs, Business Consultant

The increasing complexity of products, company structures and the regulatory environment requires highly skilled regulatory professionals. The role of regulatory professionals has grown in importance over the years and now they have a key strategic role in organizations.

A scientific, legal and/or technical background is very useful for the versatility of the profession, but the reliance on more general skills gains more priority the higher you go in an organization. Critical thinking and leadership skills become more important to be successful today. These skills are not taught during education, but must be learned and practiced during someone’s career.

Among other things, critical thinking is the ability to:

  • Recognize and solve problems
  • Interpret data
  • Collect and sort relevant information
  • Comprehend and communicate with the necessary accuracy, clarity and discrimination

Critical thinking is the essence of the role of a regulatory professional and can be summarized as questioning, interpreting and communicating.

Question everything; don’t take information for granted. Investigate all questions and ensure a correct interpretation of data. Connect pieces of information and determine an accurate conclusion, while also clearly communicating the conclusion to various stakeholders.

Leadership skills are important in every part of an organisation, as well as for a regulatory leader. A good leader is an influencer who is able to build plans to reach the company’s vision. Effective leaders know what is going on in the company and the industry. They connect people in the organisation and ensure their team is aware of what is going on outside of just regulatory.


Modis Life Sciences has experienced Project Managers and Business Consultants with Regulatory Affairs experience. Our people are trained to think critically, ensure a correct interpretation of data, communicate efficiently by using different visualisation tools and keep an holistic view on projects.

– Leen Jacobs, Business Consultant


Source: RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society)