Conducting a biosecurity risk assessment


This guideline describes best practices for conducting a biosecurity risk assessment in an organization where human or animal pathogens, toxins, or other regulated infectious material are handled or stored. The biosecurity risks associated with the handling and storing of pathogens and toxins can be minimized through the application of appropriate mitigation measures identified through the risk assessment process.

Who this guide is for

  • Pathogen and Toxin Licence holders
  • Biological Safety Officers
  • Personnel in regulated facilities

In this guide


Abbreviations and acronyms

CHAPTER 1 - Introduction

CHAPTER 2 - Preparation

CHAPTER 3 - Asset inventory

CHAPTER 4 - Likelihood

CHAPTER 5 - Consequence

CHAPTER 6 - . Determining risk level and creating the risk register

CHAPTER 7 - Risk tolerance

CHAPTER 8 - Mitigation and review

CHAPTER 9 - Report findings

CHAPTER 10 - Glossary

CHAPTER 11 - References

Appendix A - Resources

Appendix B - Biosecurity assets

Appendix C - Biosecurity events

Appendix D - Adversaries

Appendix E - Biosecurity mitigation measures

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Details and history

  • Published: July 2018

For assistance

Contact the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) if you need assistance:
By phone: 1-613-957-1779
By email:

The PHAC’s service hours are Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm (eastern time). They are closed on statutory holidays.

Contact us by mail:
100 Colonnade Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Service standards: We respond to mail and email within two business days. If we can’t answer your question right away, we will send you an estimated date.

From Public Health Agency of Canada

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