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Programme des formations

Curriculum Biosafety - An initiative of the FOEN, the FOPH, the SUVA and the SECB

Courses 2023
  • BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1) 6 july 2023
  • BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2a) 29 - 31 march 2023
  • BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2b) 4 - 6 september 2023
  • BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) 15 - 17 may 2023
  • Advanced subject-specific training Liquid waste 2 november 2023
  • Advanced subject-specific training Risk_Vectors 28 - 29 september 2023

Courses 2024
  • BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1) 10 october 2024
  • BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2a) 20 - 22 march 2024
  • BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2b) 11 – 13 september 2024  
  • BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) 6 - 8 may 2024
  • Advanced subject-specific training Waste 4 july 2024
  • Advanced subject-specific training Biosecurity 7 november 2024

In comparison to other safety sectors such as radiation or chemical safety, the options for continuing education in biological safety are somewhat limited. Since 1999, the Ordinance on the Contained Use of Organisms (Containment Ordinance, CO) and the ordinance on occupational safety in biotechnology (SAMV) have stipulated that any activity involving genetically modified or pathogenic organisms be supervised by a person responsible for all aspects of biological safety, the biosafety officer (BSO).

The tasks of a BSO can be difficult: He / she serves as information agent for all biosafety questions from colleagues or the management as well as from external authorities. The ideal BSO has therefore a higher professional education, if possible with a university degree, extensive laboratory experience, knowledge of all aspects of biosafety, negotiating skills and authoritiy.

Over a decade the Curriculum Biosafety established many attractive biosafety courses. The success of the courses is due to a big extent to the high competence of the involved biosafety experts / lecturers. In a joined project, the FOEN and FOPH have now formalised the organisation of the Curriculum Biosafety (together with the input of the FCEB and the Suva).

Swiss Biosafety Links 


Lecturers of the Curriculum Biosafety:

BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1)

  • Bernadette Guenot (Federal Office for the Environment, Bern)
  • Markus Obrist (AWEL, Kanton Zürich)
  • Urs Pauli (b-safe Ltd., Bern)

BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2)
  • Sebastian Brückner (ETH, Zürich)
  • Felix Gmünder (Biosafety expert, Teufen)
  • Monika Gsell-Albert (Institute for Infectious Diseases, Bern)
  • Bernadette Guenot (Federal Office for the Environment, Bern)
  • Ursula Jenal (Jenal & Partners, Rheinfelden)
  • Urs Pauli (b-safe Ltd., Bern)
  • Kathrin Summermatter (Institute for Infectious Diseases, Bern)
  • Katja Zerbe (AWEL, Kanton Zürich)

BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3)
  • Felix Gmünder (Biosafety expert, Teufen)
  • Monika Gsell-Albert (Institute for Infectious Diseases, Bern)
  • Dirk Hamburger (Kantonslabor, Basel-Stadt)
  • Ruth Knorr (Institute of Virology and Immunology, Mittelhäusern)
  • Danny Kümin (Lonza AG, Visp)
  • Eleonora Simeoni (EPFL, Lausanne)
  • Kathrin Summermatter (Institute for Infectious Diseases, Bern)
  • Benjamin Weber (Laboratory Spiez)

Advanced subject-specific training  Autoklaven & Abfallentsorgung (Waste)
  • Rolf Dittli (Systec Schweiz Ltd, Cham)
  • Urs Pauli (b-safe Ltd., Bern)

Advanced subject-specific training  Biosicherheit (Biosecurity)
  • Cédric Invernizzi (Laboratory Spiez)
  • Benjamin Weber (Laboratory Spiez)

Advanced subject-specific training  Risk_Vectors
  • Ursula Jenal (Jenal & Partners, Rheinfelden)

Advanced subject-specific training  Liquid Waste
  • Monika Gsell-Albert (Institute for Infectious Diseases, Bern)
  • Katja Zerbe (AWEL, Kanton Zürich) 

Course: BSO Biosafety level 1 BSL1
The players in the Swiss biosafety law and their responsibilities - Resources for information - Goals of biosafety - Transmission pathways - Laboratory acquired infections (LAI) / aerosols - (Background on) Risk groups with examples - Risk assessment - Safety levels - Case studies - Safe working, hand hygiene - Personal protective equipment (PPE) - Laboratory instruments - Biosafety cabinets - Inactivation procedures - Chemical disinfection - Transport - Safety concept – Spill

Course: BSO Biosafety level 2 BSL2
Basics in biosafety - Waste Management - Safe working with biorisks - Biological hazards and LAI, Containment principles - Laboratory design and technical equipment - Laboratory- and safety equipment - Personal protective equipment - Risk assessment and risk management - Packing, sending, transport, import and export of biological agents - Hygiene, disinfection, decontamination, sterilisation - Biosafety training - Discussion, Questions, Evaluation

Course: BSO Biosafety level 3 BSL3
Definition of RG 3 - Risk groups 2, 3** and 3 - Safety levels - Risk assessment - Animal biosafety issues: Hazards associated with animal work - Housing and caging systems - PPE: Basics - Differences to level 2 - Respiratory protection - Hand protection - Body protection - Mask fit test - PPE exercise - Safety equipment: Biosafety cabinets - Centrifuges - Other safety relevant equipment - Test and validation of biosafety cabinet - Barrier principles: Primary barrier- Secondary barrier- Tertiary barrier - Architecture – Facility design – Maintenance and repair: Building - HVAC - Air locks, showers - Material and personal flow - Waste water treatment systems - Design of a level 3 lab - Biorisk management – Training – Internal audits – Safety culture - Inspections – Ordinance on major accidents - Decontamination, inactivation and waste management: Chemical, physical methods - Fumigation systems for laboratories and BSC - Validation of inactivation - Waste disposal systems - Emergency procedures – Contingency planning - Emergencey Exercise - Biosecurity - Evaluation

Advanced subject-specific training Biosecurity
The history of biological weapons and the inherent dual use problem in the life sciences – Practical exercise and examples of dual use research and ‘dual use research of concern ‘ (DURC), how various countries address the dual use problem, and practical approaches to adequately address the dual use problem – Approaches to laboratory biosecurity with practical examples – The potential role of biosafety officers in terms of biosecurity - Questions and discussion

Advanced subject-specific training  Autoclaves and waste disposal
Legal basis on waste (waste directive of the FOEN, directives of the SECB) - Sterilisation / disinfection (basics, requirements, possibilities and limitation, tests, MSDS, personal protective equipment) - Function of autoclaves (gravitation / vakuum, solid and liquid waste, exhaust air filters) - Testing (chemical, biological, electronic) - Installation and maintenance - Questions and discussion

Advanced subject-specific training  Risk_Vectors
Day 1: Risk assessment of bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, plants and animals and risk groups of organisms - Risk assessment of genetic modifications and classification of activities - Discussion of case studies with actual examples that were handed in to the federal authorities including how the authorities deal with these - Influence of the risk assessment to risk management. 

Day 2: General overview of viral vectors and criteria for risk assessment - AAV- and adenoviral vectors - Lentiviral vectors - Rabies and pseudorabies vectors as well as questions of the participants of vectors that have not been discussed.

These vectors were chosen according to the frequency they are used in Swiss research laboratories.

Advanced subject-specific training Inactivation of liquids
Legal base - Advantages / disadvantages in comparison to autoclaving - Chemical substances: approval, host range, environmental impact, worker safety - Definitions (D-value, inactivation, disinfection etc.) -  Development of a new chemical disinfaction process - Shelf life of a disinfectant - Variation of parameters such as duration of exposure, concentration of disinfectant etc. - Inactivation in "worst case“ scenarios - Evaluation of the process - Chemical, physical indicators and / or biological indicators - Testing of efficacy, necessary controls - Questions and discussion

BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1)
6 july 2023 / Registration by latest until 15 june 2023
10 october 2024 / Registration by latest until 19 september 2024

  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 550.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2)
29 – 31 march 2023 / Registration by latest until 8 march 2023
4 - 6 September 2023 / Registration by latest until 14 august 2023
20 - 22 March 2024 / Registration by latest until 27 February 2024
11 -13 September 2024 / Registration by latest until 21 August 2024 
  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 1600.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3)
15 - 17 may 2023 / Registration by latest until 24 april 2023 
6 - 8 may 2024 / Registration by latest until 14 april 2024
  • Place: Mittelhäusern, Spiez, sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 2400.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch
  • Course is limited to 9 participants!

Advanced subject-specific training  Liquid Waste
2 november 2023 (0.5 day) / Registration by latest until 12 october 2023
  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 350.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

Advanced subject-specific training  Risk_Vectors
28 - 29 september 2023 (1.5 days) / Registration by latest until 7 september 2023
  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 750.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

Advanced subject-specific training  Biosecurity
7 november 2024 (0.5 day) / Registration by latest until 17 october 2024
  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 350.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

Advanced subject-specific training  Waste
4 july 2024 (0.5 day) / Registration by latest until 13 june 2024
  • Place: sitem insel AG (Insel area), Bern
  • Costs: CHF 350.- / Participant
  • Language: Englisch

BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1) 6 july 2023
BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2a) 29 - 31 march 2023
BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2b) 4 - 6 september 2023
BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) 15 - 17 may 2023
Advanced subject-specific training Liquid waste 2 november 2023
Advanced subject-specific training Risk_Vectors 28 - 29 september 2023
BSO Biosafety level 1 (BSL1) 10 october 2024
BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2a) 20 - 22 march 2024
BSO Biosafety level 2 (BSL2b) 11 – 13 september 2024
BSO Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) 6 - 8 may 2024
Advanced subject-specific training Waste 4 july 2024
Advanced subject-specific training Biosecurity 7 november 2024
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