3 Takeaways from IOPP’s Fundamentals of Medical Device Packaging Course


This year at MD&M West, I had the privilege of participating in the Institute of Packaging Professional’s (IOPP) Fundamentals of Medical Device Packaging Course. Developed by the IOPP’s Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee (MDPTC), this course was designed for newcomers to the medical device packaging space.

Over the course of three half-day sessions, the instructors covered a wide range of topics, catering to both individuals who come from a technical background and those who, like me, do not. While I didn’t know quite what to expect when embarking on this course, I left feeling enlightened and empowered by my experience. 

Deep Dive into Sterile Barrier Packaging 

The biggest takeaway, for me, from the course was the content. I could spend hours talking through what I learned over those three days and all the ideas that the discussions spurred. But, instead, I’ll stick to the highlights. We covered a wide array of content over a short period of time: material structures, regulations and testing standards, the future of sustainability, risk assessments and CAPAs … trust me, I will be referencing the slide decks and my notes for months and maybe years to come. 

The course was broken up between lecture-style instruction, discussions, demonstrations at participating exhibitor booths, and hands-on education. As someone who spends most of my time on the computer and not in a lab, the hands-on education was extremely interesting and informative. Performing dye penetration testing and designing a sterile barrier system (SBS) were some of my favorite activities from the course (and, might I say, I think our team nailed designing an SBS for an intraocular lens and its implantation device).  

A Diverse and Supportive Community 

What surprised and excited me the most was the diverse mix of professionals this course attracted. Throughout the three days, everyone I met came from a different background and had their own perspectives from industry. From sales representatives and product managers to procurement professionals and packaging engineers, everyone was engaged and willing to share insights from their personal careers. The facilitators also did a fantastic job fostering a welcoming and supportive environment.  

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What It’s All About 

Beyond the technical discussions and networking opportunities, this course does a terrific job of tying everything back to the ultimate goal: protecting patient lives. Every aspect of packaging design and regulatory compliance is underscored by its impact on patient safety. Interactions with instructors and peers reinforce the significance of our collective efforts in ensuring the safety of medical devices. It's a powerful motivation to continually strive for excellence every day. 


The Fundamentals of Medical Device Packaging Course offered by the IOPP is more than just a learning opportunity; it’s a gateway to a community dedicated to making a difference. As I reflect on my experience, I'm grateful for the knowledge gained and the connections made. It’s a reminder that in the realm of medical device packaging, our work is not just about packaging—it’s about safeguarding lives and making a meaningful impact. 

To learn more about participating in this course in the future, check out the IOPP’s website. 

IOPP's Website
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