Biosafety Training

Required Training Courses

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.

View the Access Instructions here for links and instructions on how to enroll in and complete the required training courses.

If you...Training Course Name (platform)Renewal Frequency with any biological materialsIntroduction to Biosafety [CITI]


UWM Biosafety Training [Canvas]
every 3 years with any rDNA or synthetic NA materialsNIH Recombinant DNA Guidelines [CITI]


UWM Biosafety Training [Canvas]
every 3 years with biological materials and/or rDNA/synthetic NAs at BSL2 containment or higherUWM Biosafety Training [Canvas]every 3 years with human/primate blood, tissues, cell cultures, or other potentially infectious materialsOSHA Bloodborne Pathogens [CITI]every year
...ship biological materials or samplesShipping and Transport of Regulated Biological Materials [CITI]every 2 years
...handle live animals at ABSL-2 or higherInitial Training: Initial ABSL-2 Training [Canvas & in-person]

Refresher Training: Animal Biosafety [CITI]
Initial ABSL-2 Training: one-time

Refresher Training: every 3 years

If you are unsure which trainings are required, reach out to the biosafety office at

Course Descriptions
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:
    1. Log in to your existing account. If your registration is with a different institution, you can add an affiliation to UWM from the main My Courses page by clicking “Add Institutional Affiliation”
    2. Under the Institutional Courses header, click the “View Courses” button next to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    3. If you are enrolling in a new course, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Add a Course”.
    4. Select the “Biosafety/Biosecurity (BSS)” group option, then click “Next”. Select the course or courses needed based on the above training matrix, then click “Next”
    5. Find the relevant course on your UWM Courses page and click the blue button to enter and complete the course
  3. If you are not already registered:
    1. Create an account by clicking “Register” on the right side of the screen. In the Organization/Affiliation box, enter “University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee” and select it from the list.
    2. Select the “Biosafety/Biosecurity (BSS)” group option, then click “Next”. Select the course or courses needed based on the above training matrix, then click “Next”
    3. Find the relevant course on your UWM Courses page and click the blue button to enter and complete the course


Canvas Courses

Some biosafety training courses are offered as Canvas Continuing Education Courses. You may self-enroll, using your UWM ID and password. To enroll follow these instructions:

  1. Click the appropriate Canvas course link in the training matrix at the top of this page
  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.

If you do not have a UWM email address, following the instructions below to enroll in the course:

  1. Click the appropriate Canvas course link in the training matrix at the top of this page
  2. Click the login type “UW Continuing Education Student”
  3. Select the link at the top right corner of the login box (“Need a Canvas Account? Click Here, It’s Free!”) to set up a Canvas account
  4. On the next screen, select “I’m A Student”
  5. Enter all of the required student sign-up information and use the appropriate Join Code for the course you need to complete:
    1. UWM Biosafety Training: C9XAXJ
    2. Initial ABSL-2 Training: JY4AA6
  6. Click “Start Learning”. You should now have a Canvas account which will be enrolled in the UWM Biosafety Course.

Recommended Training Courses

Autoclave Safety & Use Training

Autoclaves are sterilization equipment frequently used in biological laboratories to sterilize experimental materials and decontaminate waste. This course is designed to introduce new autoclave users to the hazards associated with autoclaves, best practices for use of autoclaves, and Wisconsin state requirements for testing and recordkeeping.

Audience: lab & research staff who work with autoclaves
Format: self-paced online
Duration: 20-30 minutes

Enroll in Autoclave Safety & Use Training [Canvas]

Additional Training & Education Opportunities

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!


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: