A standardised approach

Biobank Certification Program

Improving integration between research, diagnostics and clinical care.

The Biobank Certification Program aims to improve and harmonise biobanking standards through education and communication of best practices and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Led by NSW Health Pathology and part of a greater biobanking framework, these future-focused, voluntary education programs will help to ensure NSW biobanks have a world-class, sustainable approach to managing human biobanks and the important specimens they house.

About the program

The Biobank Certification Program is based on the highly regarded certification program designed and delivered in Canada by the Office of Biobank Education and Research (OBER) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Canadian Tissue Repository Network (CTRNet).

Developed by biobank experts for biobanks and adapted to meet our unique and specific national setting, the NSW Health Pathology program contains Australian-specific content regarding the laws, regulations and guidelines applicable to research and information about both private and public health care.

The goals of the program are to:

  • improve human biospecimen quality and availability for research in NSW and Australia
  • align human biobank standards in NSW with national and international standards and best practices
  • enable greater research participation in national and international collaborations and promote robust translation of knowledge to support precision medicine
  • uphold and promote public trust in researchers and organisations collecting biospecimens for research purposes in Australia through improved biobank governance and increased transparency around biobanking, and
  • encourage more people who reside in NSW and Australia to donate samples to biobanks for health research purposes.

Who is it for?

The Biobank Certification Program is applicable to all types of biobanks (including research studies with biobanking components) and pathology laboratories in NSW, who are engaged in biobanking activities.

Upon completion of the program, the certificates are endorsed by representatives from both the University of British Columbia and NSW Health Pathology.

Some users, such as members of a human research ethics committee, may wish to access the education modules without registering or certifying a biobank or pathology laboratory. This is possible by selecting ‘Education Only’ from the ‘Enrol’ tab.

Certified biobanks

Over 258 people have now completed Module 1 of the Biobank Certification Program (basics of biobanking) and 10 biobanks have achieved full certification.

Congratulations to:

  • Children's Hospital at Westmead Tumour Bank
  • Asbestos Disease Research Institute Biobank
  • Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank
  • CONCERT Biobank
  • Hunter Cancer Biobank
  • Neurodegenertive Disease Biobank
  • Newcastle HMRI/JHH Digestive Health Biobank
  • Sydney Sleep Biobank
  • NSW Health Statewide Biobank
  • Sydney Brain Bank
  • Charlie Teo Foundation Brain Tumour Bank
  • Kids Heart Bank
  • Macquarie University Cancer Biobank
  • Australian Arthritis and Autoimmune Biobank Collaborative (A3BC)

Program structure and pricing

The program is comprised of two linked phases: Registration and Certification.

This is the first phase of the program. The goal of this phase is to collect basic information about the biobank/pathology laboratory and complete an introductory education module that covers all the basic aspects of biobanking.

Registration is free for NSW biobanks, pathlabs and individuals.

This is the second phase of the program. The goals of this phase are to provide additional education modules based on the biobank/laboratory type and confirm that the biobank/laboratory has key documents to determine whether or not the biobank/laboratory has adapted to best practice standards.

Biobank certification is $300 for 3 years, and $150 for renewal (additional 3 years).

Certification  is also available to  individuals at a cost of $100.

The program structure and education modules are detailed on the NSW Biobank Certification Program website.

For more information, please contact us at the NSW Health Statewide Biobank.

"The NSW Biobank Certification program has provided the Sydney Sleep Biobank with a strong platform to create a world-class biobank with high quality collections (clinical/research data and samples) across all participating sites through education of best practices and Standard Operating Procedures. The entire process was straightforward to follow, and the support from the team was excellent."

Nina Sarkissian, Sydney Sleep Biobank

"Being part of a robust biobanking framework, complying with national and international biobanking standards and continued support from biobank experts, has provided strong credibility to our project."

Nina Sarkissian, Sydney Sleep Biobank

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