Cross-sectional surveys conducted by HSP partners at the BioRisk Association of the Philippines (BRAP2015) revealed that biosecurity implementation is a key biorisk management gap at high-risk laboratories in the Philippines. In addition, new international biorisk management standards (ISO 35001:2019) and the WHO Biosafety Manual 4th Edition require robust biosecurity risk assessments as part of implementation and compliance. Taken together, there is an urgent need to train biorisk professionals in how to conduct proper biosecurity risk assessments and develop mitigation measures for their institutions, as the first critical step to implementing biosecurity. In partnership with BRAP, HSP will deliver a series of biosecurity risk assessment and mitigation trainings and mentorship to a cohort of biorisk officers at high-risk laboratories.
Scope and Format: This workshop will train at least 12 biorisk officers from high-risk institutions. All participants will be alumni of the Philippines Advanced Biorisk Officers Training (PhABOT) and will be overseen by BRAP throughout the course, as to develop a new cohort of BRAP-certified trainers equipped with the knowledge and skills to propagate this training at their home institutions. Participants will complete a training that will be delivered in three key phases using a blended approach:
- 10 hours of virtual training for foundational knowledge of biosecurity risk assessment and mitigation;
- A three-day in-person train-the-trainers program; and
- Mentorship as participants return to their institutions, train others, and then conduct risk assessments and develop mitigation plans for their institutions;
- One participating laboratory will serve as a model laboratory during this phase. After conducting their step-down training, this lab will perform its risk assessment with in-person supervision and mentorship from lead trainer, Dr. Viji Vijayan. All trainers who completed Phases 1 and 2 will be invited to join this in-person engagement prior to returning to their home institutions to conduct risk assessments on their own with remote mentorship. A hybrid approach can also be taken if not all trainers are able to join in-person.
Following the training, HSP will support the cohort of trainers in taking the IFBA exam for certification in Risk Assessment. In addition, HSP will utilize the risk assessment and mitigation plans developed by the trainers to brief key government agencies on current vulnerabilities and biosecurity solutions at high-risk labs in the country.
Objectives: The primary objective of this project is to enable a cohort of trainers to implement best practices and enhance biosecurity risk assessment and mitigation at their home institutions
- Develop skills for biosecurity risk assessment and mitigation
- Equip cohort of trainers with the skills and knowledge to train colleagues at their home institutions
- Provide mentorship to cohort of trainers as they train others, conduct risk assessments, and develop mitigation plans
- Certify participants through IFBA’s certification in Biorisk Assessment
- Develop recommendations for bolstering biosecurity in the Philippines based on the risk assessment and mitigation plans developed by the BRAP trainers and share with key government agencies.
Impact: Through the train-the-trainer approach and continued mentorship to the cohort of trainers, this program will have a direct impact for securing laboratories in the Philippines. Additionally, IFBA certification and recommendations made to relevant government agencies will have a sustained impact on this sector.
Funding grant: This project is fully funded by the US Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program, administered by Health Securities Partners (HSP) and overseen by the BioRisk Association of the Philippines 2015, Inc.(BRAP2015).