How are protocols, procedures, rules, roles and responsibilities of employees documented in your organisation? Are all parts of the organisation aware of the importance of biosecurity management?

In the Netherlands, a biosecurity programme is not legally mandated at present, but it can be a valuable means to implement biosecurity measures in your organisation and to enhance its safety culture. It is important to document and communicate such measures, so everyone within the organisation knows which security aspects must be complied with.

Management plays an important role in preparing and implementing policy on biosecurity. If senior management is cognisant of the advantages of effective biosecurity policy, this can facilitate the implementation and monitoring of biosecurity measures. This involves the formulation of procedures and regulations and the allocation of roles and responsibilities to employees with respect to biosecurity. (also refer to: ISO 35001: 2019 , laboratory biorisk management).

It is crucial that tasks and responsibilities concerning biosecurity are clearly defined and allocated. Officers appointed with these tasks supervise biosecurity/biosafety aspects, ensure compliance and act as designated contact-persons for related issues. In this way, biosecurity can be safeguarded. A biosecurity manager or biorisk professional can be tasked with assessing biological risks and managing risks.

To increase awareness of biosecurity management, the Biosecurity Office, together with a group of experts, has developed the Biosecurity Toolkit, which provides both a quick scan and a comprehensive vulnerability analysis. These tools can help your organisation identify vulnerabilities and priorities and use this information to enhance biosecurity.