Plan and Vision

Strategic Plan – Future Objectives

CABS-ACSB strives to support and achieve the following benefits for its members:

  • To supports its members and to develop its role in the national and international community CABS/ACSB makes available a variety of opportunities and resources to facilitate the sharing of expertise.
  • To develop a Biosafety Professional Registered Designation program in Canada.
  • To build and support the Biosafety Professional Certified Designation with its collaborating partners.
  • To maintain and build relationships with other international partners.
  • To provide consultation on emerging legislation and standards to influence the outcome of such regulations and to ensure that emerging standards are not only scientifically supportable but also represent best practices.
  • To support in the development of training materials and activities and review them to ensure CABS-ACSB members are aware and informed of new issues and areas of research, to support the principle of continuous professional development for its members.
  • To consider and advise on appropriate targeting, content and delivery models for training.
  • To facilitate the continued operations and maintenance of sustainable, self-sufficient long-term national biosafety training programs.

Working Groups and Committees

The face of the biosafety officer is changing in Canada as outlined in the newly released Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations (HPTR), which mandates lisence holders under these regulations must designate a biosafety officer and outline the minimum qualifications, roles, and responsibilities.

CABS-ACSB understands the importance of communication, networking opportunities, and engagement with other biosafety professionals during this vital year of changes in biosafety. The new website offers biosafety professionals to network and share ideas within the forum and file-sharing opportunities. CABS-ACSB members can share articles, checklists, posters, templates, and other resources with their peers.

As CABS-ACSB is a non-profit based organization, we are only as strong as our membership. We are looking for volunteers to help with the following working groups:

  • Membership engagement (Help plan activities, professional development, communications, forum topics, that will facilitate member recruitment, member retention, and volunteer recognition).
  • Communications (Help with the development of a quarterly CABS-ACSB newsletter, help write articles, help to edit submissions).
  • Registered Biosafety Professional Program (help with the development of the biosafety professional registration).
  • Education and training (Identify and outline opportunities for education and development, help accumulate reference materials, scientific, and practical knowledge on biosafety).

If you can spare a few moments and are passionate about enriching the experiences of you and your CABS-ACSB peers, our executive encourages you to join us. Please contact the executive by emailing us.

Our Goals

  • To encourage research in the area of biological safety and security.
  • To provide a forum for both public awareness and professional development within the discipline of biological safety and security.
  • To establish CABS-ACSB as the principal professional organization with respect to biological safety and biosecurity, within Canada.
  • To ensure and maintain the participation of CABS/ACSB on the national and international stage by participating in governmental, industrial and international consultations processes, and providing expertise to stakeholder communities;
  • To influence and guide the development of the regulatory requirements within Canada and elsewhere in terms of risk analysis, impact and sustainability of imposed requirements; and
  • To ensure and maintain the viability of the CABS-ACSB as an association of professionals.


  • To have a robust Association that has a strong and active membership that represent all professions and environments where the practices, the principles, and the ethics associated with biological agents are used.
  • To promote the safe use, containment, and security measures associated with, but not limited to human, animal, zoonotic, plant pathogens, aquatic animal pathogens, and those materials that may be found to have potentially infectious properties (ie, prions, recombinant DNA, toxins, etc.).
  • To be recognized by regulatory bodies and the Canadian biosafety community, as the principal national association representing Biosafety Professionals and their diverse user community; and engage at the consultation of regulatory aspects, including their implementation, and monitoring these activities.

Historical Perspective

About 40 years ago, the field of biosafety had been in its infancy in Canada. The Canadian health and safety community had concerns of unsafe work practices with individuals conducting research with infectious agents, which could lead to laboratory acquired infections. This group identified the need and the potential for a national association which would help foster the development of biosafety as a discipline. Although small in numbers, they recognized the need for the engagement of multiple sectors; research, government, medical, and private.

In the 1990s, this informal association started to facilitate annual meetings, establish mechanisms to share expertise, and the decision was made to become an affiliate with the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) – ABSA Canada was formed.

During this time and in response to evolving issues with biological agents that had both global health and economic implications, the Canadian government commenced implementing stronger regulatory requirements and recognized the critical role that biosafety professionals would play. In 2008, the membership of ABSA Canada adopted the bilingual name of the Canadian Association for Biological Safety (CABS)/Association Candienne Sécurité Biologique (ACSB) to ensure that all parties would recognize a stronger Canadian identity.