ISTR has established standards of competency for the UK biosafety community. ISTR approves the registration of Biosafety Practitioners at Level 1 (Foundation) and at Level 2 (Professional), assesses portfolios submitted and holds the register of accredited applicants. In addition, ISTR accredits the providers and content of Level 1 courses.
Benefits of the scheme
The scheme supports career development for those that seek to progress in the field of biological safety.
Level 1 Biosafety Practitioner is based on an ISTR accredited training course that is comprehensive and structured to meet a range of competency requirements. Those that complete and pass the course and have 2 years relevant experience in biosafety are eligible to be registered Biosafety Practitioners.
Level 2 Biosafety Professional provides the platform for the professional recognition of those who work full time in the field. Candidates must prepare a portfolio that covers their work in biosafety over a five year period and submit this to ISTR for assessment. CPD is an integral part of the scheme. Biosafety Professionals can use the letters BSP. Accredited Biosafety Professionals are expected to enrole on the Continuous Professional Development Scheme (CPD) in order to maintain their accreditation.
Background information ISTR participated in the CEN workshop that resulted in the CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) 16335 Biosafety Professional Competence, published in 2011. The agreement was adopted by several European and World nations, including the UK. It describes the role, background qualifications and competencies of the biosafety professional. The agreement focuses on competencies required but not how they are assessed.
ISTR is committed to supporting and developing its biosafety competence scheme, including the accreditation of training providers and the assessment and registration of both Biosafety Practitioners and Biosafety Professionals. ISTR, through the UK Biosafety Steering Group, will ensure its scheme is in line with the CWA Biosafety Professional Competence Agreement.