Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS)

BSS offers courses that cover the principles of biosafety and biosecurity, including the safe use and containment of biohazardous agents.

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About these Courses

BSS courses cover a variety of biosafety and biosecurity topics that address multiple regulations, standards, and guidelines. They are intended to complement the hands-on training and experience that those handling biohazards obtain from their principal investigators, laboratory managers, and fellow researchers.

These courses were written and peer-reviewed by experts.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Anyone Working in Laboratories Handling Biohazards, Individuals Serving in Biosafety Offices, Persons Serving on Biosafety Committees

Basic Courses

Biosafety Officer Training – Basic

biosafety officer working with Petri dishes under a fume hood
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Basic Introduction to Biosafety

sign with biohazard symbol
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Initial Biosafety Training

medical waste container for biohazards
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Biosafety Retraining

medical waste container for biohazards
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Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials

shipping label for transport of biological materials
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OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens

centrifuge for blood samples
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Animal Biosafety

biosafety worker
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Select Agents, Biosecurity, and Bioterrorism

microscope view of Ebola virus
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Emergency and Incident Response to Biohazard Spills and Releases

Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS)
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NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines

futuristic recombinant DNA strand
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Personal Protective Equipment

hands putting on disposable gloves for protection
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Human Gene Transfer

people standing in shape of dna strands
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metallic nanoparticles
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Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

microscope view of bacteria
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Institutional Biosafety Committee Member Training

Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS)
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USDA Permits

soil samples for research
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Hazard Communication

label with hazard symbols
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Does the shipping course satisfy International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements?

Yes, the Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials course addresses training information for IATA and DOT. IATA requires training every two years and DOT requires training every three years.

It is important to note that the Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials course prepares learners to ship moderate (Category B infectious substances) to lower risk (Exempt specimens) materials. It also reviews the requirements for shipping high-risk biological materials (Category A infectious substances). However, this course does not provide the details and competency-based assurance to meet DOT/IATA training requirements for high-risk Category A shipments. Individuals shipping Category A infectious substances (high consequence human and animal pathogens) should contact their organization's safety office for any site-specific instructions prior to shipment.

Is biosafety training required by entities such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF)?

The NIH and NSF require researchers to be trained on this subject.

Do BSS courses fulfill all biosafety training requirements?

BSS courses are meant to be a starting point for biosafety training. Individuals handling biohazards should receive additional training from their principal investigators, managers, or supervisors in the safe work practices in the field and receive site-specific information from their safety representatives at their host institution.

Who should take BSS courses?

BSS courses are suitable for a broad range of audiences ranging from researchers working in laboratories that handle biohazards to persons who serve in biosafety offices or on an organization’s biosafety committee.

Do BSS courses identify the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for different hazards?

Yes, information is provided for what PPE is required for standard biocontainment levels where Risk Group 1 to 3 agents are utilized. Additional site-specific and hands-on training is required for those working with higher risk agents.

Can organizations include organization-specific biosafety information?

Yes, custom content can be included via organization-specific modules for an additional fee. For more information on customization options, contact us now or call 888.529.5929 (U.S.) or +1 305.907.3100 (outside U.S.) Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm, U.S. eastern time zone.

How long does it take to complete BSS?

The time varies based on the number of courses and modules that need to be completed. Time could range from three hours for the full initial biosafety training to 20+ hours to complete all modules. Modules are self-paced, so training can be done over a period of time.

What is the best way to use the “Biosafety Course Overview” module?

The “Biosafety Course Overview” module is an introduction to the CITI Program’s Biosafety and Biosecurity (BSS) modules and introduces BSS topics, providing a high-level overview. It is recommended as required for many of the BSS courses including Biosafety Officer Training – Basic, Basic Introduction to Biosafety (for researchers), and Initial Biosafety Training.

Does the Bloodborne Pathogens module cover the required training elements for state and federal requirements in the U.S.?

Yes if site-specific information is provided for the institution’s learners. The educational module covers the 14 elements that must be provided by the host institution for training, but it asks the learner to do two things at the start of the module.  Identify who the Biosafety or Safety Officer for the institution is, or the person who has been given responsibility by that institution to answer questions related to the implementation of the standard at their institution.  Once they have that person’s name and phone number, they will be able to call if they have any questions while they complete the module.  They must also identify where they would go in the event of an emergency, such as an exposure to human blood, tissues or body fluids and write that information down.