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Current Training Programs

UC Irvine training methods focus on a core concept of risk assessment and management for all laboratory personnel, including research staff, operations and maintenance and emergency first responders. Several hundred people from across the nation and worldwide have been trained.

Most courses are also available to be delivered on-site at your institution for groups of 8 or more.  Please contact us for further information or to request a training proposal.

Operations and Maintenance Programs »

Introductory One-Day

O&M personnel and other non-research staff may need to enter BSL-3 facilities to perform maintenance or make repairs. The introductory course is a one-day training designed to certify personnel for safe entry into an operational BSL-3 laboratory. This course consists of a mixture of classroom and practical training that includes an introduction to microbiology, biosafety, risk assessment concept, BSL-3 lab characteristics, emergency management and personal protective equipment (PPE) use including procedures for donning and doffing PPE with N95 or various PAPR breathing devices. It is routinely offered at UC Irvine, but can be arranged on-site for 10 or more participants at your institution. The introductory course is also suitable as a refresher course for biosafety professionals, laboratory animal/ veterinary technicians, laboratory and facilities managers.

Intermediate One-Week

The Intermediate course offers a one-week intensive training program for operations staff as well as biosafety professionals and facility managers with BSL-3 management responsibilities.

Core topics covered include:

  • Microbiology and biosafety
  • Biocontainment laboratory architecture and design
  • Biosafety and biocontainment
  • Emerging issues in biosafety and biocontainment
  • Fundamentals of laboratory mechanics
  • Laboratory commissioning and certification
  • Laboratory sterilization and disinfection
  • Laboratory systems: Continuity of operations planning
  • Laboratory systems: Utilities and maintenance
  • Troubleshooting laboratory HVAC, filtration and utility systems
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) selection and use
  • Emergency management for BSL-3
  • BSL-3 biosecurity and the select agent program 
  • BSL-3 laboratory validation principles
  • ANSI Z9.14 BSL-3 Laboratory Validation Standard
  • BSL-3 Laboratory Decommissioning

O&M Intermediate is conducted at UC Irvine twice each year in conjunction with the Frontline Healthcare Workers Foundation and the National Biosafety & Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP).  International Associetion for Continued Education and Training (IACET) units are available.

Advanced Trade-Specific (under development)

The advanced program consists of a series of specialized courses for skilled trades staff with responsibilities inside and outside of biocontainment. Prerequisite will be satisfactory completion of the Intermediate one-week course. Advanced O&M courses are two- or three-day practical trainings and will focus on the unique job responsibilities for each of the following groups in a fully functional mock BSL3 laboratory:

  • HVAC mechanics: Effective PM planning and performance, diagnosing problems, decontamination issues for ducts, valves and HEPA filters, sensor and alarm issues, BAS programming and problems, redundancy and backups.
  • Plumbers: Maintenance of laboratory systems including sinks, drains, effluent decontamination systems, autoclaves, animal watering systems and utility penetrations.
  • Electricians, building systems and security: Maintenance and installation of electrical systems, timers, biosecurity systems including CCTV, biometrics readers, asset protection devices, electronic key safes, intrusion detection & alarms.
Researcher Program »

Researcher training is a five-day intensive training for laboratory staff working in high-containment. These courses are designed to prepare new staff for the basics of safely working in BSL-3 laboratories and includes a mixture of practical and classroom courses covering:

  • Review of biosafety principles and levels
  • Risk assessment and management
  • Waste management
  • Laboratory management
  • Safety procedures
  • Emergency management
  • Biosafety cabinet practices and procedures
  • Small and large spill decontamination
  • Donning and doffing PPE
  • Laboratory operations and preventative maintenance
  • Data and material management
  • Inventory and records management
  • Biosecurity and select agent program overview (if required)

Also available: One-day Annual Refresher Training for experienced laboratory staff.

These courses are scheduled as needed and are suitable for all BSL-3 research staff, facility managers and biosafety officers.

First Responder & Emergency Management Program »

University and city police and fire departments are tasked with responding to incidents at campus, public health and corporate laboratories. In biology and health sciences, the majority of these facilities are designated as Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) labs, which usually require no specific prior training to safely enter.

However, higher-level BSL-3 facilities do require specific training and knowledge for emergency first responders to enable safe entry, manage injured personnel and protect public health. BSL-3 labs are unique facilities with complex design, mechanical and engineering features to keep the facility under negative air pressure at all times. This requires complex HVAC systems to maintain directional airflow, anterooms (airlocks) and interlocking doors. 

The complexities of these special labs can present significant obstacles and challenges to police and fire personnel during an emergency incident response. Specific instruction explaining the nature of work being conducted, the agents and microorganisms in use, the unique design and engineering features of BSL-3 labs, as well as their biosecurity components will mitigate or eliminate these obstacles. In addition, planning appropriate drill exercises with laboratory and facilities management personnel provides dynamic, constructive interaction between all groups and ultimately facilitates improves response times, maintenance of personnel safety and preservation of public health.

The UC Irvine on-site training program is designed to prepare all emergency first responders, BSL-3 laboratory staff, and administration for safe and effective management of any type of incident that may directly or indirectly impact the BSL-3 facility.

Note:  Annual drills are a requirement under the Federal Select Agent Program.

Certified Trainer Program »

The Certified Trainer Program is designed to prepare individuals to serve as BSL-3 trainers at their institutions.  This comprehensive certificate program equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective trainers for all personnel groups associated with high-containment laboratories.  Individuals will be required to complete all of the following requisites to be certified as trainers.

  • Attend and pass the week-long laboratory training course
  • Attend the week-long intermediate O&M course
  • Attend and pass a week-long course at UCI which consists of ANSI Z9.14 Facility Verification Standard, emergency management, and risk assessment & management strategies as well as extensive practical demonstrations.  Training proficiency will be assessed as indivdiduals will "train and mentor" a group of instructors.  Completion of the week-long researcher and intermediate O&M courses are pre-requisites of this course.

For more information, please submit an interest form or contact us directly.

BSL-3 Testing & Validation »
This course is targeted to HVAC personnel, design and facility engineers, facility managers, and biosafety professionals, and focuses on the ANSI Z9.14 Standard.  The course includes both didactic and practical training.  The 2.5 day course prepares individuals to be able to understand and apply the ANSI BSL-3 Testing and Verification Standard for new and existing BSL-3 facilities.  Practical components of the course will demonstrate and diagnose common ventilation issues.  Teams will incorporate practical findings using a risk assessment strategy to determine facility compliance.
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