About the Program

Biosafety Theory plus Practicum Courses I - V

The LBTP offers training in biosafety for all laboratorians that are actively working, or have accepted employment in a laboratory for Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2), Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4). the program establishes a solid base of laboratory skills and application of biosafety principals. The LBTP courses are designed to provide initial training for laboratorians entering BSL2 through BSL4, or for experienced BSL2 through BSL4 users that would like to be refreshed in proper technique specific for their appropriate Biosafety level. The training is comprised of an initial assessment of biosafety theory and practical application of laboratory bench skills. Once completed, the assessment will provide the training template. After both phases of training, theory and practicum, have been completed a final theory and practicum assessment is conducted. The trainee will receive a certificate of training and will be ready to begin mentorship with their respective institutions. The information pertains to BSL2, BSL3 or BSL4 facilities and practices.

The assessment phase:

A written test will be administered to the trainee focusing on the proper use of a biological safety cabinet (BSC), personal protective equipment (PPE) and related safety topics. A hands-on evaluation will follow in which the trainee is asked to perform related protocols based on their research using appropriate biosafety conditions. The trainer will not intervene during this process and will take notes on both safety and scientific techniques employed. This will allow the determination of experience and what level of training will be required. At the end of the assessment the trainer will review the assessment results with the trainee and identify the specific areas of training that the trainee needs to improve on.

The training phase:

This phase is comprised of a theoretical class and practicum. The theory portion of the training will emphasize on the Biosafety levels, Personal Protective Equipment, proper use of Biosafety cabinets, aerosol procedures, emergency procedure, and, decontamination and waste management. This training will be specific to the Biosafety level requested. The practicum will compliment and reinforce the theory course, as it will allow the trainee to experience different scenarios in a safe environment. It will allow the trainer to observe, advise and correct the trainees techniques in the lab in regards to safety and in some cases scientific issues (e.g. contamination of cultures). The practicum will be specific to the Biosafety level and the agent to be used (e.g. bacteria, parasite, viruses). Precourse communication with the Principal Investigator will allow the use of specific protocols or facility specific practices if needed.

The final assessment:

A final assessment, identical to the initial assessment will be conducted and recommendations made to the Principal Investigator and trainee. Recommendations will include work that the trainee can perform safely and immediately, and areas that might need attention.

Return to the institution and mentorship:

Following a successful completion of the training program, the trainee will receive appropriate biosafety level certification. Once agent specific training has been provided, the trainee can and should begin supervised mentorship with their Principal Investigator within three months of completing the course. The mentorship program is an important part of the training process for new laboratorians. Protocol and site specific facility training should be included in the supervised mentorship. During mentorship the trainee must be supervised at all times by an experienced laboratorian. The duration of the mentorship phase will be based on each institutions requirements and will take into consideration the ability of the trainee to adapt to the environment. The mentor, Principal Investigator, and when appropriate, the laboratory director need to be confident with having this new person working with infectious material.