RBP Registration Criteria
Biological Safety Professional
A Registered Biological Safety Professional (RBP) is an individual with documented university education or specialized training in relevant biological safety disciplines. A RBP has an understanding of infectious diseases, their transmission, and the application of methods to safely control infectious materials in research, clinical, production, testing, educational, developmental, and other work environments. RBPs understand the need for and application of biological safety principles and practices. They have detailed knowledge of regulatory guidelines and standards impacting work with infectious agents and materials. A RBP has understanding of safe methods for manipulating, studying, producing, and containing infectious microorganisms and biological hazards. She/he maintains a level of professional knowledge current with new developments in biological safety. RBPs understand sufficient cell biology, pathogenic microbiology, molecular genetics, immune responses of hosts, and concepts of infectious transmission to enable them to apply safeguards to work with biohazardous materials, including recombinant DNA manipulation.
A RBP has "hands on" experience in biological safety program implementation and management and in the drafting, auditing, presentation, training and enforcement of biological safety practices. RBPs are dedicated to the prevention of occupational exposure to infectious diseases and recommend good faith compliance of their employers with all pertinent published laws and standards impacting biological safety in the work place. Registered biological safety professionals never condone work practices that place any employee or individual in imminent or predictable danger of infection.
- Graduation from an accredited college or university1,2 with a Baccalaureate degree in a physical or biological science discipline, plus
- Five years or more of professional biological safety experience acceptable to the Credentialing Evaluation Board.
- Fellowship Programs such as NBBTP, UTMB, GLRCE, MRCE, etc. will be considered at a rate of 10% of the total time spent in the program
In order to qualify as acceptable biosafety experience, the applicant's principal responsibility must be to manage and/or direct a comprehensive biosafety program. Although biosafety program management does not need to be the applicant's only responsibility, the applicant must demonstrate they've obtained the required number of years of hands on experience managing and implementing a comprehensive biosafety program. Typical biosafety program management responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, biorisk assessment and management (including hazard identification and risk assessment, management and communication), creating and conducting biosafety related training, establishing written biosafety programs policies, and procedures, developing and maintaining site biosafety manuals and exposure control plans, establishing and leading biosafety committees, reviewing project proposals and providing advice on biosafety issues, providing technical support to medical surveillance program managers, developing and supporting implementation of infectious waste management programs, developing and recommending biosafety practices and plans for biological emergencies, providing technical advice on shipping, importing and exporting biological materials and agents, auditing biosafety and/or biosecurity programs, establishing and managing programs for regulated agents and materials (e.g. HHS/USDA Select Agents and Toxins, Deemed Export, Commerce Control List) and developing site biosecurity programs and plans and conducting biosecurity risk assessments.
In addition, professional biological safety experience may be supplemented with laboratory experience gained through working with biohazards in a microbiology laboratory at a rate of 10% of the total time spent in the laboratory. For example, if an individual has worked for 5 years in a microbiology laboratory using biohazardous materials safely, 6 months of that time may be counted towards professional biological safety experience. Note: Only experience gained through using or working with biological agents and materials may be counted.
Substitutions or Modifications of the General Criteria
- An earned Doctoral degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited college or university may be recognized in lieu of up to three years of the applicant's required professional biological safety experience.
- A Master's degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited college or university may be recognized in lieu of two years of the applicant's required professional biological safety experience.
- Professional certification, licensing, or registration that required qualifications commensurate with those in the General Criteria, may be recognized in lieu of two years of the applicant's required professional biological safety experience.
(Only one of the professional experience equivalents will be credited. If more than one professional experience equivalent is acceptable, the Examining Board will apply the one that provides the most credit.)
An applicant not meeting the academic requirements may, at the discretion of the Examining Board, be permitted to substitute approved biological safety experience for each academic year deficient, per the guideline below.
Substitution of biological safety experience for degree requirement:
Biological safety experience may be substituted for the basic academic requisite at the rate of two years (24 months) directly related biosafety experience for each of the four years of the required academic degree. If an individual does not have the requisite baccalaureate degree, he/she may substitute 96 months of professional biosafety experience in lieu of the baccalaureate degree requirement.
Note: Experience used in meeting the basic academic requisite cannot be applied to the professional biological safety experience requisite. This means an individual not meeting the requisite degree requirement noted above would need to demonstrate thirteen years of professional biological safety experience (eight years for degree equivalency and five years of additional experience) to meet the general criteria for registration.
Request for Reconsideration for Good Cause: Requests for reconsideration following rejection of Registration must be submitted in writing to the Credential Evaluation Board along with additional information requested by the Board. The Board shall review the applicant's credentials, updated information, and the reasons for rejection. Results of the reconsideration will be issued in writing to the applicant by the Credential Evaluation Board.Appeals Process:
Any denial of credentials may be appealable by the applicant one time per application to the, as follows:
- If an applicant receives a denial of his or her application from the CEB, he or she may submit written notice to the CEB for reconsideration. If the applicant is not satisfied with the response, he or she may submit written notice to the ABSA President no later than 14 days after the denial is issued and request an appeal if the appeal is based on a factual and or procedural issue with regard to the review and denial. No other issues or matters shall be so appealable.
- The President shall refer the matter to the Council. They will be provided with the necessary information to conduct an appeal review. The review will take place during a Council meeting with a quorum of Council members present. The Council shall only consider the factual and or procedural issues stated with particularity in the written notice and no other issue or issues.
- If the Council confirms the denial, the decision is final and no other appeal process shall be available to the applicant. If the denial is not confirmed, the Council shall remit the matter to the CEB with recommendations on addressing any factual or procedural issues, along with instructions to conduct a re-review. If the CEB again denies the applicant, the decision is final and no further appeal is available.
Additional information and application forms can be obtained by writing to:
Credential Evaluation Board
American Biological Safety Association
1200 Allanson Road
Mundelein, IL 60060
1. Accredited college or university means accredited by one of the following: Western Association of Schools and Colleges; Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; New England Association of Schools and Colleges; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges; or, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
2. For an applicant providing transcripts from a college or university outside the U.S. and Canada, course-by-course verification of the degree program will be required. Any evaluation company accepted by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (http://www.naces.org/) is acceptable to evaluate academic credentials.