Science & Research

CDRH's Experiential Learning Program


The 2017 Experiential Learning Program is now underway. The ELP anticipates collecting proposals up to 4 times per training year taking place on a quarterly basis. Information regarding submission periods is listed at the bottom of the page.

Important information about the ELP and the Site visit application process is provided below. Please review all information on this page for details on the program and instructions on how to submit a proposal. Please refer to RELATED RESOURCES at bottom of page for the most current submission status and details.

CDRH offers an innovative learning opportunity for new and experienced review staff. The Experiential Learning Program (ELP) is a collaborative approach to closing the knowledge gap between emerging and innovative technology and the pre-market review of the resulting medical devices.  Because technology continuously evolves, it is essential that CDRH review staff members are aware of and understands how medical devices are developed, clinically tested, manufactured, and used.


CDRH is responsible for helping to ensure the safety and effectiveness of medical devices marketed in the United States.  Furthermore, CDRH assures that patients and providers have timely and continued access to high-quality, safe, and effective medical devices. CDRH has identified Partnering with Patients and Promoting a Culture of Quality and Organizational Excellence as strategic priorities, specifically having the perspective of our stakeholders and understanding implementation of these within their institutions would provide great insight to FDA review staff.  The center encourages applicants to consider including opportunities to discuss patient perspective and meeting the challenges of quality systems design and management as they contribute to the success of the device development lifecycle.

CDRH is committed to advancing regulatory science, providing industry with predictable, consistent, transparent, and efficient regulatory pathways, and helping to ensure consumer confidence in medical devices marketed in the United States and throughout the world. The ELP is intended to provide CDRH staff with an opportunity to understand the policies, laboratory and manufacturing practices, and the challenges addressing patient perspective/input, quality system management, and other challenges that impact the device development life cycle.  This component is a collaborative effort to enhance communication and facilitate the premarket review process.  The Center is committed to understanding current industry practices, innovative technologies, regulatory impacts and needs, and how patient perspective and quality systems management advances the development and evaluation of innovative devices, and monitor the performance of marketed devices.

These formal training visits are not intended for FDA to inspect, assess, judge, or perform a regulatory function (e.g., compliance inspection), but rather, they are an opportunity to provide CDRH review staff a better understanding of the products they review, how they are developed, the voice of the patient, challenges related to quality systems development and management in the product life cycle, and how medical devices fit into the larger healthcare system.  CDRH encourages participation from companies, academia, and clinical facilities, medical device incubators and accelerators, health insurers, health technology assessment groups, and others, including those that have previously participated in the ELP or other FDA site visit programs. 

CDRH encourages applicants to consider including opportunities to discuss how Patient Perspective and Effective Quality Systems Management contribute to the success of the device development lifecycle.  Applicants can find more information on specific Areas of Interest, sample site visit requests, and a sample site visit agenda below. 

Areas of Interest

In this training program, groups of CDRH staff will observe operations in the areas of research, device development, in making coverage decisions and assessments, incorporating patient information and reimbursement, manufacturing, academia, and health care facilities.  The areas of interest for visits include various topics identified by managers at CDRH.  These areas of interest will be listed in this website and are intended to be updated quarterly.  Any site interested in ELP participation is encouraged to preview the identified Areas of Interest by viewing the list in Related Resources below.  Once you have determined an Area of Interest to address in your ELP proposal, please utilize the Sample Site Visit Request and the Sample Site Visit Agenda templates also located in Related Resources at the bottom of this page.  Please be sure you have read and understand the submission instructions as listed in the 2017 FR notice.

Application Process Summary

  • Review the table of Training Needs displaying our identified Areas of Interest in the table below.
  • Determine which Area of Interest your site would like to provide training for during a visit to your location.
  • View the Submission Period for proposal submission dates as well as the current Submission Period Status. If Submission Period Status is OPEN, you may submit a proposal to the program.
  • You may either submit a proposal by mail to the address specified in the FR, or electronically by visiting the FR Notice in the dockets submission location link below.
  • If placing a proposal electronically, visit the Proposal Submission Location in the link below, and submit your proposal by selecting “Comment Now” in the upper right hand corner.
  • Please ensure your proposal(s) are submitted according to the requirements as listed in the corresponding FR notice by utilizing the submission templates in the links below.

Related Resources

Current Submission Period Status: CLOSED
Submission Period: 3rd Quarter – DATES PENDING
Proposal Submission Location Link: PENDING FOR NEXT SUBMISSION PERIOD

Page Last Updated: 05/01/2017
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