PHE’s Novel and Dangerous Pathogens (NADP) training team, with support from Simon Parks of the Biosafety team at Porton Down, delivered a 2-week Biosafety Cabinet Field Certifier course to 3 biomedical engineers from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and 3 senior laboratory scientists from and the University of Zambia.

Trainees completed a week of intensive training followed by another week of independent assessment and accreditation by the US Biosafety Standards organisation National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International. The programme was delivered at the NADP Training lab at Porton Down, the only NSF recognised site providing this training in Europe.

All trainees passed both the theoretical and the 7 practical examinations, the highest pass rate in the NSF programme’s 3-year history. The training produced 6 new NSF accredited Biosafety Cabinet field certifiers, enabling them to use their internationally accepted accreditation to test biosafety cabinets for up to 5 years before refreshing their training.

Christopher Logue, Senior Biosafety Expert at PHE said: 

“The 100% pass rate of this demanding two week training course speaks volumes of the trainees' commitment to and hard work on improving the biosafety culture of labs throughout Zambia and Nigeria and further afield. 

"This accreditation will allow them to test, service and certify biosafety cabinets to an internationally recognised standard, the enthusiasm and determination they have already shown will help them in this task ahead.”​

The course is part of PHE’s International Health Regulations (IHR) Strengthening Project, aiming to enhance global health security by encouraging compliance with the IHR.