IFBA: International Federation of Biosafety Associations

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ABSANZ (Association of Biosafety for Australia & New Zealand)

ABSANZ was formed in 2010 to bring together biocontainment specialists to be a peak body for biosafety and biosecurity for Australia and New Zealand. Now in its 7th year, our membership continues to grow with over 300 members by late in 2016. Membership is a mixture of architects, designers, engineers, biosafety people and regulators from the 2 countries. The mix of delegates makes for interesting discussions at our annual conferences. Our core activities are to promote the fields of biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management in Australia & New Zealand, promote the harmonisation of regulations for biosecurity and biorisk management through meetings, discussions and workshops with regulators, and facilitate and provide training and professional development in biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management.

We have established a number of standing committees for professional development, finance, and regulatory liaison as well as conference planning since establishment in 2010.
The Regulatory Liaison and Communication Standing Committee has made two major submissions in 2016, one on the new Biosecurity Legislation for the import of material to Australia which replaced an Act of Parliament that stood from 1907, and the other on a revision of the Australian and New Zealand Standard 2243.3: Safety in Laboratories Part 3: Microbiological safety and containment.

The Professional Development Standing Committee (PDSC) has put much energy into developing training modules for the IFBA exam in Biorisk Management and Biological Waste management to assist people with understanding the body of knowledge required. These are currently available via the ABSANZ web site for a small fee at http://www.absanz.org.au/education-training/ifba-training-examinations/ 
ABSANZ’s PDSC is also currently preparing training for the following certifications:
• Professional Certification in Biocontainment Facility Design, Operations & Maintenance
• Professional Certification in Biosafety Cabinet Selection, Installation and Safe Use
• Professional Certification in Biosecurity. The PDSC are hoping to have this training ready so that ABSANZ can offer the training prior to the planned face-to-face examinations at the 7th Annual ABSANZ Biosafety and Biocontainment Conference to be held at Sea World Resort and Conference Centre, Gold Coast, QLD from Monday 30 October – Friday 3 November 2017. In addition to hosting the IFBA examinations there will be a symposium program, oral and poster presentations, professional development workshops and tours of nearby biocontainment facilities. The conference committee has placed a draft program for the 2017conference on the ABSANZ website with most sessions already filled. Early bird registration has just commenced. The annual conference provides an opportunity for members to meet and discuss issues and areas of concern with their peers which is not otherwise easy during the rest of the year with members scattered throughout Australia and New Zealand. It also provides an opportunity to informally raise matters with regulators.

Dr. J Helen Leonard, President & 2017 Conference Convenor















ABSANZ 6th Biosafety Conference, 2016

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