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The Biosecurity Office is the national information centre and is located at RIVM. Biosecurity concerns the safety of laboratories where high-risk pathogens are used in order to prevent malicious use. This is in addition to biosafety that concerns the prevention of accidental spread of high-risk pathogens from laboratories to protect people and the environment.

Eight pillars of good practice

Biosecurity has eight elements: personnel reliability, transport security, information security, accountability for materials, response, management and physical measures. These pillars provide a sound foundation for biosecurity.

Biosecurity - 8 pillars 


Biosecurity Office

The Biosecurity Office was set up in 2013 and fulfils a bridge function between the national government and all organisations in the country involved with high-risk biological agents and pathogens. The office has a staff of nine RIVM experts in different disciplines (infectious disease control, environment and safety), who provide added value in dealing with questions, developing knowledge and in the operation for the office.

Preparatory  phase

During the preparatory phase (2013-2014), the office set up communications, information tools and developed knowledge products. Biosecurity Workshop days were organised, a website, an information film and biosecurity toolkit were developed, and preparation made on information and education.

Workshop days

The national workshop days in October and November responded a great need. The workshops had a dual purpose as a national network event and increasing biosecurity awareness. The participants represented a wide range of functions from biological safety officers, policy advisers and clinical microbiologists to security personnel.