Getting Started: Training
All BSL-1, BSL-2, and BSL-3/ABSL-3 employees must complete specific training before working in one of the ascending biosafety containment levels. Employees should have a general understanding of biohazardous tasks, spill response handling, personal protective equipment, categories of pathogens, and handling emergencies. All training and continuing education must be documented. IBC protocol and administrative approvals are granted once all required training is completed. An average score of 80% is needed to pass all CITI courses.
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Required Training for Biosafety
CITI courses are accessed on the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website.
- CITI Training for Investigators, Staff, and Students Handling Biohazards is REQUIRED for BSL-1, BSL-2, and BSL-3 employees who may have potential occupational
exposure to biological hazards. The course is taken annually. CITI enrollees will
receive reminder emails before the course expiration date at 90, 60, and 30 days.
- CITI Training for Investigators, Staff, and Students Handling Shipping and Packaging Biological Materials is only required for employees who package or ship diagnostic and clinical human or animal specimens, human or animal pathogens, and other regulated biohazards. The course is designed to meet the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The course is taken every two years. CITI enrollees will receive reminder emails before the course expiration date at 90, 60, and 30 days. WHO Shipping Tool
Training must be linked to your IRBNet profile. For additional guidance on linking your CITI training, refer to our IRBNet Basics guide, How to link training in IRBNet
*Note: If you have existing CITI training from another institution, you may link the existing training to the University of South Alabama.
Required Training for the BSL-3 (Animals infected with BSL-3 agents)
Animal Biosafety for Investigators, Staff, and Students Working with Biohazards in Animals must view the ABSA's Working with Animal Biosafety. This video covers the three levels of biocontainment applicable to the employee’s research. Training does not expire. You can access the video here.
Please complete the Animal Biosafety Acknowledgement form and link to your IRBNet profile.
Respiratory Protection Program for Investigators, Staff, and Students is required for those working in a BSL-3 research facility when infectious agents are used. All individuals wearing respiratory protection, such as respirators rated at N-95 or greater (half-life piece) or powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR), must be fitted and approved by the Department of Safety Environmental Compliance. Respiratory Protection training is required annually. To schedule training and fitting for respirator use, please get in touch with Lisa Cobb by email or phone at (251) 460-6677.
Occupational Health Program (OHP) enrollment is ONLY required for individuals that will work in the BSL-3/ABSL-3 facility handling select agents and/or animals. Enrollment must be completed before the start of your work or contact with BSL-3 agents and/or animals. Enrollment in the OHP can be done here.
Additional Training & Information
Investigators, Staff, and Students working with Viral Vectors is required for those working with viral vectors. There are five online training modules and there are practice exercises available at the end of each module. Training does not expire. You can access the training here.
DURC is required for employees conducting studies that involve DURC. The course is taken annually. CITI enrollees will receive reminder emails are before the course expiration date at 90, 60, and 30 days.
BSL-3/Select Agent training for Investigators, Staff, and Students is required for those working with select agents and toxins. * Required Select Agent-specific training is administered by the Responsible Official (RO) and Select Agent Program Coordinator.
An exposure Control Plan (ECP) is required for laboratories registered with the IBC for the use and approval of biological hazards. Researchers must maintain a laboratory-specific Exposure Control Plan (ECP) along with an ECP training record. The ECP templates are provided below to assist investigators in creating an ECP for their laboratory (s).
All Investigators, Staff, and Students who produce, handle, treat, and dispose of biohazardous waste are responsible for properly training and managing infectious waste or biohazardous materials. By assuming these responsibilities, regulatory compliance can be assured, and the risk of exposure to employees is minimized.