Biological Safety Officers Platform
A Dutch Association
The Association BVF Platform was founded in the Netherlands in 1999 and has now about 220 ordinary members, i.e., biological safety officers approved by the Ministry of IenM (Infrastructure and the Environment). Inspectors and regulators can not be members. Membership fee is € 50 per year.
The objective of the Association which is managed by a Council of at least five members on a voluntary basis is to promote biosafety in all its aspects. To this end, the Association fosters the mutual support of its membership in the exercise of their duties under the terms of the Dutch statutory regulations with regard to the work with genetically modified organisms. The Association is often asked by the authorities to comment on regulatory proposals with respect to biosafety issues. In 2007 the Association advised the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in a Code of Conduct for Biosecurity.
The Council of the Association is advised by four standing committees on the following subjects: Legislation, Education, Disinfection and Communication. The frequencies of their meetings are determined by the specific activities’ needs. These committees report about their activities at the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Association stimulates the transfer of knowledge on biosafety issues by the dissemination of information, and the organization of workshops. On top of that and in conjunction with its AGM, the Association organizes a symposium each year on an important biosafety subject. This symposium is also open to non-member biosafety officers and legislators/inspectors, since this activity is subsidised by the Ministry of IenM. The latter also provided the funds for a standard to prepare an institutional biosafety handbook, guidelines for the transport of infectious and non-infectious substances, setting up a database for validated decontaminants, updating the website, designing a new logo, a biosafety instruction movie and the accompanying flyer which all have been produced by members of the Association.
The Association hosts a public website (www.bvfplatform.nl) and a discussion list with restricted access (open to members only). In addition, an e-mail newsletter is distributed among the membership at least twice a year.