Biosafety Program

The University of Calgary’s Biosafety Program applies to all persons under the auspices of the University of Calgary directing or involved in the handling, storage, or disposal of biohazards for research and teaching purposes. Biohazards include, but are not limited to: infectious material (e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi, cell lines, blood, prions, animal pathogens, aquatic animal pathogens, vector-borne pathogens and plant pests, and microbial toxins (e.g. botulinum toxin, cholera toxin and diphtheria toxin)).

The Biosafety Program is designed to promote and monitor compliance with acts, regulations, directives, standards, and guidelines published by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), provincial regulators, and other parties with oversight over biosafety and biosecurity.

All questions and inquiries regarding Biosafety should be directed to

Environment Health and Safety offers Biosafety Training

The University of Calgary has developed a Biosafety Manual to provide direction through policies and procedures to minimize the risks when working with and disposing of biohazards. The Biosafety Manual applies to all persons performing controlled activities involving the handling or storage of biohazards for research and teaching purposes within facilities managed and controlled by the University of Calgary.

'File' is defined as: keep in printed format in the Laboratory Safety Manual under the tab - Emergency Response.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has classified biohazards into four Risk Groups (RG) - see Biosafety Manual.

Principal Investigators (PIs) responsible for a laboratory or a facility must obtain a Biosafety Permit from the Biosafety Committee prior to purchasing, handling, and/or storage of biohazards (RG1 excluded). PIs must keep their Biosafety Permit current as to biohazards and locations.

When applying for a Biosafety Permit for the first time, PIs must contact

Biosafety Permit application/modification/renewal and biohazard(s) inventory are all managed online through BioLogistix, a module of ChematixTM (see BioLogistix Instructions).

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) set the regulatory requirements that govern the import, export, receipt, and transfer of biohazards (RG1 excluded).

Revised 2021.05.10

Below is a non-exhaustive list of relevant legislations:

  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and Regulations
  • Health of Animals Act and Regulations
  • Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines
  • Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens
  • Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Plant Pests
  • Arthropod Containment Guidelines
  • Biosafety Directive for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

The Biosafety Committee is an advisory committee to the Vice-President Research, ensuring the effectiveness of the Biosafety Program. The committee meets quarterly and is responsible for developing standards or procedures to be followed when handling biohazards in accordance with the applicable acts, regulations, directives, standards and guidelines. See Biosafety Legislation.

  1. Terms of Reference

    Issued: 2021.08.31.

  2. Membership

    As of 2022.01.01. 

  3. University Biosafety Officer

    Eoin O’Grady