Introduction to Biorisk Management

Introduction to Biorisk Management

Course Description

Biological agents pose a significant challenge to public health across the world. The emergence of pathogens which have developed resistance to antibiotics and their potential use in bioterrorism has prompted governments to manage the threats posed by these agents by adopting stringent bio risk management practices. This course has been designed and developed to introduce you to diverse biological agents, their classification into risk groups and the practices and procedures recommended by global organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Biological risk management commences with risk assessment, followed by risk mitigation and finally performance assessment. This course will discuss each of these aspects of bio risk management over a duration of five weeks. Participants will engage in a global collaborative online environment to lean and develop competencies for managing bio risks.

About the Instructor

Associate Professor Dr. Kenneth Francis Rodrigues is a molecular biologist who is a Researcher at the Biotechnology Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. He is a certified trainer in the area of biological risk management and a member of the Malaysian Biosafety and Biosecurity Association (MBBA). During his career, he has conducted training for employees of national agencies involved in public health as well as university lecturers and students. He is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) which administers the implementation of the biosafety policy at the university. He was also a member of the team involved in the diagnosis and detection of Covid19 in Sabah, Malaysia.

Course Contents

Week 1

Participants will understand

  • Basic concepts of biorisk management
  • Biorisk management system
  • Biological agents
  • Laboratory biosafety manuals

Week 2

Participants will investigate and assess

  • Hazards and risks
  • Risk assessment
  • Application of risk assessment to a specific case

Week 3

Participants will learn about the

  • Hierarchy of controls
  • Application of controls
  • Engineering controls and facility design
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Administrative controls and standard operating procedures
  • Special procedures for the decontamination of biological waste

Week 4

Participants will develop skills on

  • Performance assessment
  • The roles and responsibilities of the biosafety officer
  • Special procedures: diagnosis of clinical samples from Covid19 patients.

Week 5

Examination: Case study submission by participants.

Target audience

This course is designed for anyone interested to learn about biorisk management. Especially, the course is offered at an introductory level to create awareness about the importance of managing biorisks. People with basic knowledge of life sciences will benefit more from the course. However, the specific target audience of the course are bio-safety staff in hospitals, public and public organisations with large number of staff, and sanitation officials in the municipal/ local governments.

Outcomes of this Course

After completion of this course you are expected to be able to:
•    Describe biological agents and assign them to their risk groups.
•    Perform a risk assessment.
•    Develop a strategy for mitigation of the risk posed by biological agents by the application of pertinent controls.
•    Design and develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for a specific process.
•    Assess the performance of the controls by conducting a review of the process.


Two levels of certification are available based on your level of participation and completion of tasks/activities:

Certificate of Completion: requires viewing of all the video lectures (100%), participation in all the discussion forums, completion of all the weekly quizzes with a score of 80% and above, and successful completion of the case study. 

Certificate of Participation: requires viewing of all the video lectures (100%), participation in all the discussion forums, completion of all the weekly quizzes with a score of 80% and above.