Biosafety Training

Required Biological Safety Training Courses

The links on this page will direct you to required training courses for safe handling of biological materials. It is important to complete all required safety training courses prior to working in the laboratory.

Training needs vary depending on what a person will work with in the lab. Use the training matrix below to determine what biosafety trainings you are required to complete.

If you… Training Course Name Renewal Frequency Training Format Access Link
…work with any biological materials Basic Introduction to Biosafety (CITI)


UWM Biosafety Training (Canvas)

every 3 years asynchronous online CITI


…work with any rDNA or synthetic NA materials NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines (CITI)


UWM Biosafety Training (Canvas)

every 3 years asynchronous online CITI


…work with biological materials and/or rDNA/synthetic NAs at BSL2 containment or higher UWM Biosafety Training every 3 years asynchronous online Canvas
…work with human/primate blood, tissues, cell cultures, or other potentially infectious material OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens every year asynchronous online (CITI) CITI
…ship biological materials or samples Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials every 2 years asynchronous online (CITI) CITI
…handle live animals challenged with infectious agents and/or handled at ABSL2 or higher Animal Biosafety every 3 years asynchronous online (CITI) CITI

Note that all relevant trainings in the matrix above are required. For example, if you work with human cell lines, you will need to complete UWM Biosafety Training and OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens training. If you are unsure which trainings are required, reach out to the biosafety office at

Course Descriptions
Basic Introduction to Biosafety (CITI)
This course provides a basic overview of biosafety, including discussion of laboratory-associated infections, biosafety levels, and basic work practices for biosafety in laboratory environments.

Intended audience:

  • Laboratory personnel working with biological materials at BSL1 only
  • Labs with short-term or minimal use of biological materials

Note for PIs: Note that this course does not address UWM campus-specific biosafety guidelines. PIs working at BSL1 should therefore strongly consider taking the UWM Biosafety Training course for initial training to ensure they are aware of any relevant campus requirements.


UWM Biosafety Training (Canvas)
This course provides an in-depth training in biosafety that includes:

  • Review of biosafety regulations and UWM Biosafety Program campus-specific guidelines
  • Discussion of biological risk assessment
  • Required and recommended containment practices & equipment for different BSLs
  • Standard operating procedures for PPE, biosafety cabinets, and other widely used equipment
  • Decontamination & disposal requirements
  • Occupational health & biosecurity considerations
  • Exposure and spill response procedures

Intended audience:

  • Laboratory personnel working with biological materials at BSL2 or higher
  • Labs with long-term and/or extensive use of biological materials, regardless of BSL
  • Principal Investigators, Lab Directors, Course Instructors, or other supervisory staff


NIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines (CITI)
This course provides necessary training in the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules and information on compliance and safety requirements for all individuals working with recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids.

Intended audience: Any individuals working with any recombinant/synthetic nucleic acids or transgenic organisms, including animals & plants


OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens (CITI)
This course provides necessary training for individuals who work with or may have contact with bloodborne pathogens in their laboratories. The training includes discussion of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard; an introduction to universal precautions; training in emergency response and use of engineering controls; and information on Hepatitis B vaccination.

Intended audience: Any individuals working with human or primate materials, including cell lines, blood, tissue, or other bodily fluids; or any individuals working with other potentially infectious materials


Shipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials (CITI)
This course provides an overview of the legal requirements for shipping of various biological materials, including infectious materials and genetically-modified organisms. The training covers information on classification of materials; requirements for packaging, labeling, and permitting; and emergency response during transit.

Intended audience: Any individuals who ship or receive regulated biological materials, OR any individuals who ship or receive ANY biological materials if unsure how to classify the materials


Animal Biosafety (CITI)
This course provides information on basic requirements for work at various Animal Biosafety Levels (ABSLs), with particular focus on specific hazards related to work with live animals such as allergen exposure, occupational health concerns, sharps usage, etc.

Intended audience: Any individuals who work with live animals in their research. Primarily focused on work with vertebrate mammals.


Access Instructions
CITI Courses
  1. Go to the CITI website.
  2. If you are already registered: log in to your existing account. If your registration is with a different institution, you can add an affiliation to UWM from the Main Menu.
  3. If you are not already registered: create an account. Click “Register” on the right side of the screen. In the Organization/Affiliation box, enter “University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee” and select it from the list.
  4. Select the Biosafety/Biosecurity (BSS) Group of courses and click “Next”
  5. Enroll in the relevant course(s) from the above training matrix.


Canvas Courses

Biosafety Training is offered as a Canvas Continuing Education Course. You may self-enroll, using your UWM ID and password.

To enroll follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the Biosafety Training Course Link.
  2. Click on “Enroll”.
  3. Use your UWM 1Login ID and password to access the course.
  4. After you’ve completed the course, you will have an automated certificate generated through Canvas for your records.

Additional Training & Education Opportunities

Other Required Trainings

Depending on the hazards worked with in your lab, you may be required to take additional safety training courses. Click the links below to be directed to other UWM safety programs that may be relevant to determine your required training needs:


Biosafety Program Orientation

This 10-minute video provides a brief orientation to the Biosafety Program at UWM. It is strongly recommended that new Principal Investigators and Course Instructors view this video to learn about the Biosafety Program and what requirements to expect as they set up their labs.


Custom Training Sessions

The Biosafety Program offers customized training sessions as requested for research groups, classes, or others on campus. These trainings can be conducted virtually or in-person, depending on the needs of the group. If you would like to request a training session, contact to discuss topics of interest and schedule a session!