Biosafety programmes in Singapore – Preparing for the worst


Singapore, like any other country, has to be prepared for anything, including pandemics like H5N1 and Ebola. These horrific diseases have brought about a standardized biosafety training programme. This programme will help improve Singapore’s ability to tackle if any such crisis occurs. This programme is targeted to and setup for biomedical and life science industries. Consisting of three tiers, the Biosafety Training Structure will map out skills gaps and progression pathways for the industry, which had previously been carrying out disparate biosafety training programmes.

  • Under the basic programme, biomedical or healthcare workers will go through an orientation course on the safe handling of bio-hazardous materials in laboratories.
  • The second level, the Biosafety Professional Programme, addresses the skill requirements for workers looking to move up the ranks as biosafety coordinators and biosafety officers. Both level 1 and 2 are tied to the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System (WSQ).
  • The third level of the training programme caters to experienced workers, who will attend professional workshops and conferences.

An industry-recognised certification for workers who have completed a WSQ module on biosafety practices at work, called Biosafety Passport, was also launched recently. Such initiatives would assure that the workers have a basic level of training to face pandemics.

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.