Accountability for materials

The content of this biosecurity pillar of good practice focuses on gaining insight into procedures and control measures concerning high-risk material[1]. Inventory, registration and active management of high-risk material are essential for controlled and secure storage. This requires procedures and control measures within an organization, which specify how storage, use and destruction of high-risk material are safeguarded.

A consideration regarding dual-use aspects of high-risk material, and which additional biosecurity control measures are adequate, is appropriate as well. This part of the vulnerability scan focuses on such procedures and control measures, and to a limited extent on control measures to protect or limit the accessibility of high-risk material. The latter is discussed in biosecurity pillar of good practice ‘physical security’.

In this biosecurity pillar of good practice, you will gain insight into:

  • Aspects of registration and management of high-risk materials in storage and during use.
  • The assignment of responsibilities for registration and management of high-risk materials.
  • Awareness of the difference between biosafety (working safely with high-risk materials) and biosecurity (securing high-risk materials), specifically with respect to localisation and identification.


[1] In the Netherlands, human and animal high-risk pathogens are categorised as Biosafety level 3 or 4, and plant pathogens listed as Quarantine organisms. By high-risk materials we refer to materials in which high-risk pathogens are present, for example: plant, animal or human tissues, or samples of environmental matrices (air, water and soil). Scientific articles, protocols, data, data carriers, or other materials containing information on high-risk pathogens, with a possible dual-use application, are referred to as sensitive material.