Training needs will vary based upon what a person works with in the lab. Use the biosafety training guide to determine what training requirements apply and how to satisfy those requirements. Additionally, lab-specific biosafety training is needed for all new lab members. At this time, a biosafety training checklist/record is available and strongly recommended for all short term lab members (i.e., rotating graduate students, research for credit students, interns, visiting scientists, etc.). A similar checklist specifically for staff and longer term appointment positions is forthcoming, but the checklist posted here may be modified and used for those personnel as well.
If you have specific questions regarding biosafety training needs, please send an email to email@example.com and use “training inquiry” in the subject line. A OCRS Biosafety Team member will respond within 3 business days.
- Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices
- Principles & Practices of Biosafety - Course Schedule
- Bloodborne Pathogens Training
- Working Safely with Human-Derived Materials in the Lab
- Annual Biosafety Refresher - 2020 Training
- Animal Biosafety Principles for Researchers
- Basic Researchers Shipping Biological Substances
- Clinical Research Human Patient Samples Shipping Training - USDOT and IATA
- Dry Ice Shipping - USDOT and IATA Training
- Regulated Medical Waste Shipping Training for Lab Researchers - USDOT Training
Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices
Target Audience: All research personnel who will be working with biological materials and/or recombinant DNA molecules. It is also an essential informational primer for all Principal Investigators whose research involves the use of biological materials.
Class Description: Basic description of biological hazards and regulated biological materials; overview of biosafety levels, and standard microbiological practices including:
- biohazardous waste segregation, handling and disposal,
- hygiene practices to enhance lab safety and minimize potential cross-contamination,
- spill and exposure prevention practices.
Class Length: 45 minutes
Class Schedule/Location: Available online. To enroll, log into the Medical Center Learning Exchange or University's Oracle Learn and search for the course title. When you have completed the lesson, keep a copy of your training certificate or confirmation email for your own records. Then, forward a copy to your PI or supervisor for their records.
Biosafety Principles & Bloodborne Pathogens Control Topics (formerly Principles & Practices of Biosafety)
NOTE: Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices is a prerequisite for this course.
Going forward, we will no longer be offering this training in-person. Instead, the course will be delivered as an instructor-led virtual training course offered via Zoom. In addition, there is a required reading assignment which registrants must review in advance and have on hand during the presentation. Pre-registration is required and will be closed three business days before the scheduled course date.
In order to pre-register for this course, you must:
- Send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Biosafety training request” in the email subject line.
- Attach a copy of the training certificate (VUMC Learning Exchange) or a screenshot of the course transcript (VU Oracle Learn View Transcript page), to verify completion of Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices.
- Include your desired course date.
You will receive an email from a Biosafety team member confirming your registration. Attendees will receive a separate email with advanced reading materials and a Zoom meeting invite with instructions to complete registration from the course instructor.
Target Audience: Investigators and research staff members who handle biological materials that require BSL-2 containment. Such materials include:
- Agents infectious to humans, animals or plants
- Toxins of a biological origin
- Human or non-human primate derived materials including blood, body fluids, unfixed tissues and cells (including immortalized cell lines)
Class Description: This course builds on the information covered in the Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices course. This course includes and emphasizes the following topics:
- routes of exposure and lab-acquired infections
- personal protective equipment selection and use
- biological safety cabinet best practices
- sharps selection, handling and disposal considerations
- special equipment hazards
- exposure and spill response actions
Class Length: 2 hours (including bloodborne pathogens exposure control review)
Class Schedule/Location: See Course Schedule.
Required by: Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, OSHA 1910.1030
Frequency: Initial with annual retraining
Target Audience: Any staff/faculty exposed to human blood, body fluids, tissues or cells, or exposure to one of these viruses: HIV, HBV or HCV.
Class Description: Training covers the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, transmission for bloodborne pathogens, biohazard labeling requirements, personal protective equipment, available VUMC engineering controls and appropriate disposal of linens and waste.
- VUMC faculty & staff with exposure to human bloodborne pathogens in the hospitals or clinics receive this training online in VUMC Learning Exchange. School of Medicine (SOM) faculty receive this training online through the SOM Faculty Orientation and Training Office's learning management system.
- VU and VUMC personnel who work with human materials in a laboratory setting, should complete the online lesson by searching for "Working Safely with Human-Derived Materials in the Lab" in the Medical Center Learning Exchange or University's Oracle Learn.
- VU faculty and staff who need Bloodborne Pathogens training and are not working in a laboratory setting, should contact OCRS Biosafety at 2-0927.
Working Safely with Human-Derived Materials in the Lab
Required by: Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, OSHA 1910.1030
Frequency: Initial with annual retraining
NOTE: New personnel should complete this training via an instructor led course if at all possible.
Target Audience: Any staff/faculty exposed to human blood, body fluids, tissues or cells, or exposure to one of these viruses: HIV, HBV or HCV in a laboratory setting.
Class Length: Self-paced if completed online; 30 minutes if completed as part of an instructor-led training session.
Class Schedule/Location: Available online in the Medical Center Learning Exchange or University's Oracle Learn. This training is also provided in an instructor-led session in conjunction with the Principles & Practices of Biosafety training.
- VU and VUMC staff receive this training online in the Learning Exchange. It is available as a self-assigned course. It is also assigned by administrators to certain groups, such as those working in medical research laboratories.
- VUMC School of Medicine faculty receive this training based on responses to the VUMC SOM Faculty Compliance Training Profile.
Annual Biosafety Refresher
Animal Biosafety Principles for Researchers
Investigators and research staff members who will be carrying out animal studies that require animal biosafety level 2 (ABSL-2) containment. (These studies typically involve the administration of an agent infectious to humans in an animal model.)
Class Description: This training course provides an overview of animal biosafety levels and general containment practices applicable to the lab animal research setting. The training focus is adhering to ABSL-2 principles while conducting common procedures including challenge, sample collection, cage change and terminal procedures. This class is only open to personnel who have been added to an ABSL-2 IACUC protocol or who are in the process of being added to such a protocol.
Class Length: 1.5 hours
Class Schedule/Location: Training requests must be submitted by the PI or their research contact to OCRS Biosafety by email or phone (322-0927). Requests should include the trainee’s name and the applicable animal protocol number, and date they were added to the protocol.
Basic Researchers Shipping Biological Substances
Basic researchers who need to ship biological materials but are not currently certified to ship these in accordance with hazardous materials/dangerous goods regulations should contact Richard DiTullio at email@example.com for assistance.
Clinical Research Human Patient Samples Shipping Training - USDOT and IATA
Clinical researchers who need to ship human patient samples and Dry Ice as part of clinical research activities can access an online training course in the VUMC Learning Exchange. This course will only provide training for individuals who need to ship samples as UN3373 Biological Substance, Category B.
Target Audience: This training is for VUMC employees whose job requires them to ship human clinical specimens for IRB research protocols.
Required by: U.S. Department of Transportation 49 CFR 172.700 - 172.704, and International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations
Frequency: Initial with refresher at least every two years; Refresher training is required more frequently when there are significant regulatory changes.
Class Schedule/Location: Online. To enroll, log in the VUMC Learning Exchange, and search for "Clinical Research Human Patient Samples Shipping Training".
Regulated Medical Waste Shipping Training for Lab Researchers - USDOT Training
Required by: U.S. Department of Transportation 49 CFR 172.700 - 172.704
Frequency: Initial with refresher at least every three years; Refresher training is required more frequently when there are significant regulatory changes.
Target Audience: This training is for Vanderbilt University employees whose lab-related job tasks require them to prepare Regulated Medical Waste shipments or sign for Regulated Medical Waste pick-ups from VU labs serviced by Stericycle or BioWaste, LLC.
Class Description: Topics include the general requirements of the Hazardous Materials regulations, and the regulations specific to regulated medical waste; To receive certification, participants must successfully demonstrate understanding of these elements through testing.
Length: 30 minutes plus test completion time.
Prerequisite Course: Biosafety 101: Standard Microbiological Practices
Class Schedule/Location: Online. To enroll in this course, log into the University's LMS Oracle Learn. Once you have completed this course, send a copy of the Learning Exchange certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org. A certificate with required USDOT information will be sent to you in return.