Title: Procedure for the Certification of Research Projects Involving Biohazards
This document is intended for: The entire Polytechnique community
Person in charge: Director of the BRCDT
This Procedure follows the Politique sur l’administration des fonds de recherche (policy regarding the administration of research funding) and is a detailed description of the principles and practices for research involving biohazards.
The Procedure was adopted following Polytechnique Montréal’s adherence to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards, written by the three federal research councils (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR), and signed by Polytechnique on June 20, 2002, and again on April 14, 2008.
The three federal research councils (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) require that all research activities involving the use of biohazards be approved by the Institutional Biosafety Officer (BSO) before funding is released and before the work begins. Polytechnique is subject to relevant federal and provincial guidelines, laws and regulations, including but not limited to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, the Health of Animals Act, the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR), and the guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).
Technical guidance for working with biohazardous materials in laboratories is provided by the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines1 (Public Health Agency of Canada) and Containment Standards for Veterinary Facilities (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).
For ALL research activities involving the use of biohazardous materials, researchers must obtain a compliance certificate from Polytechnique confirming that containment measures meet the necessary safety standards for their research project or program.
Researcher: Anyone who carries out research activities
Agencies: All organizations that directly or indirectly fund research activities (through a grant, contract or other type of funding), i.e., federal and provincial granting agencies, private companies, industrial partners, foundations, government departments, universities, or any other individual or institution
Institutional Biosafety Officer (BSO): The person in charge of ensuring that research activities follow the safety procedures set out in the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines published by thePublic Health Agency of Canada. At Polytechnique, the BSO is the senior health and safety advisor. For projects conducted in the J.-Armand-Bombardier and André-Aisenstadt buildings, the person in charge is the Université de Montréal’s biosafety specialist.
This Procedure applies to all research projects that involve the use of biohazardous materials requiring containment:
Note: We do not publish a risk group list of human pathogens. This list is available at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Pathogen Regulation Directorate and may be consulted on the Directorate website4. Publishing a static list in hard copy does not allow for a dynamic and ongoing assessment of risk or for the timely addition of new and emerging pathogens. As new risk factors are first identified and explored and more information becomes available, the selection of appropriate containment levels for work with potentially infectious materials is subject to change.
Polytechnique has put in place procedures to oversee research requiring the use of biohazardous materials. Polytechnique is committed to:
i) contravenes the PHAC’s Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines;
i) A free-form document indicating:
The BSO reviews the project and ensures it adheres to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines, in accordance with theNew Substances Notification Regulations [NSNR (Organisms)]. Generally, the BSO calls a meeting with the lead investigator and, before the work begins, provides appropriate training to all individuals whose research activities involve biohazards, in accordance with the established rules.
When the BSO is satisfied that the project can be carried out in complete safety, he or she issues a biohazard containment certificate to the researcher and advises the Dean of Research and Innovation, who then issues a compliance certificate for the research project involving biohazards. The compliance certificate is sent to the researcher and a copy to the Office of Research / Centre for Technological Development (BRCDT).
If a project involving the use of biohazardous materials is to be carried out over several years or in several stages, and the work involving biohazards is not to be undertaken immediately, there can be a two-stage approval process. In this case, part of the funds may be released on a pro-rated basis, following an “in principle” approval of the research protocol (through a letter of agreement), up to the projected date of the work involving biohazards. In all cases, a compliance certificate must be obtained by the researcher for any research project involving biohazards before the research begins.
In cases of non-compliance with this Procedure, or any law, regulation, standard, policy or guideline applicable to research involving biohazards, including the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines, Polytechnique can impose whatever sanctions are deemed necessary.
Polytechnique can immediately suspend payments of research funds associated with the project or can take any other required measure, depending on the seriousness of the breach. If the project is funded by a granting agency, the latter will be informed without delay.
The Dean of Research and Innovation is responsible for amending this Procedure.
The Director of the BRCDT is in charge of applying this Procedure. The BRCDT, in close collaboration with the BSO, disseminates up-to-date information to Polytechnique professors and students, explaining the issues and responsibilities associated with conducting research involving biohazards.
1 For more information, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/lbg-ldmbl-04/index-eng.php).
2 The Policy on the Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects could apply.
3 A substance is considered new if it is listed on Environment Canada’s Domestic Substances List(DSL). To determine whether a substance is new according to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the researcher may refer to the following website:
par Webmestre-SG. Mis à jour : 2008-10-22