Jump to Content


Biosafety covers the proper use of biologically hazardous material. Biological hazards include any biological or pathogenic agent, substance or material (living or non-living) that may pose a threat to the health and safety of the researcher, participants, community or environment, or needs special precautions to be taken in their use or storage.

  • You are required to consider biosafety, health and safety issues related to your teaching or research and comply with the legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • If your work involves pathogenic substances in Risk Group 3 or 4 (AS/NZS2243.3) you must apply for approval. Access AS/NZS2243.3 via the SAI Global online public database via the UniSA Library

You must gain approval from the UniSA Institutional Biosafety Committee prior to commencing teaching or research involving the use of biological hazardous material.

Virtual Accident - Online Biosafety Training

Online training modules

Policies and Guidelines

Refer to University policy RES 4.3 and the University of South Australia Biosafety Manual. The manual summarises the operation of the University's biosafety management system and provides links to other relevant resources. It includes useful information on working with biohazardous materials and genetically modified organisms, the approvals and physical containment facilities required for different types of dealings and the role of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in overseeing research and teaching activities.

Risk Assessment and Application Process

Completing a Biohazard Risk Assessment Checklist will help to evaluate if a biological substance is hazardous and if an IBC approval application is required.

Application Form

Completed application forms including all relevant signatures
must be submitted to: biosafety@unisa.edu.au


Once you submit your application, feedback (which might include the requirement that your application be considered by a full Institutional Biosafety Committee meeting) will take a maximum of 10 working days. Please contact the IBC Executive Officer if you have not had a response within this timeframe.


The University recognises its responsibility to make available appropriate immunisation to employees potentially at risk of exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases. The Communicable Diseases and Immunisation Guidelines [PDF] provide important information on current recommended vaccinations.


Internationally imported biological products must have an import permit. In addition, if the product is being transferred from another institution a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) may need to be in place before importation occurs.

Imported biological products must have a Biosecurity in Australia (formerly known as AQIS) import permit for importation and also approval for transfer to another institution (see website information re MTAs).

Each School, Unit or Research Group is responsible for obtaining its own permits. Copies of the relevant permit(s) must accompany any applications to the IBC.

Security Sensitive Biological Agents

Important Note: There are no facilities within South Australia currently available to undertake research using SSBAs.

For Biological Hazards applications involving the use of Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBA), please check the SSBA website (Department of Health and Ageing), and SSBA newsletters (published monthly).

Useful links