Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) administers the University of Manitoba's Biosafety Program under the direction of the Biosafety Committee. All work and storage involving unfixed biological materials on UM property requires a UM biosafety permit.
What is an unfixed biological agent?
As defined by the biosafety policy and procedure:
"Biological Agents” shall refer to any live or unfixed Risk Group 1-4 agents which affect humans, animals, plants or insects and can include, viruses, bacteria, mycoplasmas, protozoa, helminths, prions, molds, fungi, biological toxins, allergens, algae, recombinant DNA molecules, cells, human and animal tissues, human and animal tissue cultures or any other biological material used or stored at the University of Manitoba.
The biosafety program has created resources and templates for UM labs and personnel working with biological materials.
These resources include:
- Manuals (biosafety and biosecurity)
- Training templates
- Standards and guiding documents for common lab procedures
- Lab postings
The SharePoint Intranet site is accessible to UM Faculty and staff only. Download/share these documents UM students as required, however, these documents should not be shared with non-UM entities.
Biosafety and the responsible conduct of research
Researchers using unfixed biological agents will need to indicate the use of these materials on the Funding Approval Application Form (FAAF).
Once awarded, projects will need biosafety program approval to release research funds. Biosafety permit-holders must amend their biosafety permits to include awarded projects under the “Adding Grants and Contracts” section.
The FAAF is considered a contract between the researcher and the UM and as noted on the form, “Submitting inaccurate or false information in these forms is a breach of the University of Manitoba Responsible Conduct of Research Policy”. If you are unsure if your research projects (both previously awarded and currently active) require biosafety program approval, please contact us.
The biosafety program undertakes Quality Assurance Reviews to help verify that documentation related to the use of unfixed biological materials at the University is current and correct. Read more about the Quality Assurance Review procedure
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
- Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA)
- Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulation (HPTR)
- Canadian Biosafety Standards 2nd Edition (CBS)
- Canadian Biosafety Guideline: Containment Level 1: Physical Design and Operational Practices
- Canadian Biosafety Guideline: Developing a Comprehensive Biosecurity Plan
- Canadian Biosafety Guideline: Veterinary Practices: Physical Design and Operational Practices for Diagnostic Activities
- Canadian Biosafety Handbook 2nd Edition
- Pathogen Safety Data Sheets (PSDS)
- HPTA Schedule 1 (regulated toxins)
- HPTA Schedule 2 (Risk Group 2 Human Pathogens)
- HPTA Schedule 3 (Risk Group 3 Human Pathogens)
- HPTA Schedule 4 (Risk Group 4 Human Pathogens) Not allowed at UM
- HPTA Schedule 5 (Prohibited Human Pathogens and Toxins)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Manuals, standard operating procedures and more
Refer to Biosafety and Biosecurity SharePoint site for these resources
Personnel working with biological materials at the University of Manitoba will need to complete generic biosafety training (GBS). This online training covers how the biosafety program is implemented at UM and is designed to meet the regulatory requirements.
Site-specific training to go through the biological hazards specific to your research is also required. Site-specific training must be completed with your supervisor
Who needs to complete the training?
Any personnel who is new to the university or has out of date training will need to complete the current version of GBS to be compliant.
Biosafety emergency response training is also available as separate training for workers who completed GBS before 2020. The current version of GBS includes Biosafety Emergency Response as module 4.
All personnel working with biological materials must be listed on a biosafety permit.
Who is exempt from completing the training?
Personnel who are only working on permits that have been classified as “Clinical” do not need to complete GBS.
How do I complete the training?
Training is provided through UM Learn. You will need to log in with your UMNetID credentials and self-register for the "EHS UManitoba Biosafety Training" course.
How do I provide site-specific training for my area?
Supervisors are required to provide training about the biological hazards being used in the lab. You may use the site-specific training template on SharePoint to draft your training.
How do I see my final grade/obtain my certificate of completion?
To review your final grade:
- In the biosafety course top menu, click Assessments > Grades and User Progress.
- Scroll to the Quizzes section and you can view your overall score. This final score will be recorded in our database within a week of completion.
To obtain your completion of training certificate:
- In the biosafety course top menu, click on Assessments > Awards.
- Click the "bio-spider". The summary window has an option to generate a PDF of the certificate that can be saved or printed.
The University of Manitoba holds a Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA) license with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). This license covers all approved biosafety permits at UM.
Transfers of Risk Group (RG) 2 and other regulated materials are permitted under the UM’s HPTA license and are required to be communicated to the biosafety officer. The biosafety officer will also provide proof that researchers can receive these materials from external facilities.
There are some materials that are exempt from PHAC licensure requirements however, they may be subject to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations.
All unfixed biological materials require an approved UM biosafety permit.
How do I know if my material is regulated?
The Public Health Agency of Canada classifies the risk group of biological materials. These classifications can be found using the ePathogen database or by contacting the biosafety officer.
What does this include?
- Human and terrestrial animal pathogens (Schedules 2-4)
- Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA)
If you are ordering a Security Sensitive Biological Agent, contact the biosafety officer prior to ordering so we can ensure the order complies with our license conditions. Failure to do so may cause the university to violate its license conditions and The Act.
What is exempt?
- Pathogens or toxins that are found in their natural environment (for example human blood and tissue samples, soil samples etc.).
- Cell lines that do not contain an intact pathogen.
Cell lines that have a part of an animal pathogen as part of their promoter (eg SV 40) may be subject to CFIA import requirements.
Transporting Dangerous Goods (TDG)
When shipping any biological materials, Transport Canada regulations for TDG (PDF) must be followed.
If importing the materials listed below from outside Canada, please email the biosafety officer. These materials are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and require a different import permit.
- Foreign animal diseases
- Aquatic animal pathogens
- Bee pathogens
- Animal blood, body fluids, tissues and by-products
- Pathogenic plants/plant pathogens or plant-propagating agents
Download the Biohazardous Agent Transfer Request form (PDF).
Summary of import requirements
|RG1 materials, plasmids, pathogens in their natural environments (excludes animal pathogens)||
Approved biosafety permit for materials
Human/Terrestrial Animal Pathogens (RG2)
Foreign Animal Diseases, cell lines with animal pathogen promoters, aquatic/bee/plant pathogens, animal by-products
These are CFIA regulated agents and require:
Risk Group 3 + Security Sensitive Biological Agents (RG3 + SSBAs)
Contact the Biosafety Office first!
You may also be looking for
Biosafety Program General
P310 Pathology Building
770 Bannatyne Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3 Canada