Accreditation enables the Regulator to assess whether an organisation can effectively oversee work with GMOs through having appropriate:
- governance arrangements
- internal processes.
Accredited organisations must comply with the conditions of accreditation.
Accreditation does not allow an organisation to conduct dealings with GMOs. The organisation must still obtain the correct approval or assessment before commencing.
Before the Regulator can accredit an organisation, it must have access to an appropriately constituted Institutional Biosafety Committee.
Who needs accreditation
The Gene Technology Regulator requires organisations undertaking certain dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be accredited.
The Regulator also strongly encourages all organisations conducting dealings with GMOs to obtain accreditation.
This helps manage any risks of dealing with GMOs.
Institutional Biosafety Committees
Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) play an integral role in assisting compliance with Australia’s national gene technology regulatory scheme laws.
IBCs evaluate low-risk contained dealings that do not require case-by-case consideration by the Regulator.
They also provide a quality assurance mechanism by reviewing the information applicants submit to the Regulator.
IBCs are not responsible for the conduct of organisations that they assist. They help with identifying and managing risks with GMOs without attracting liability for damages.
Accredited organisations may have multiple IBCs specialising in different fields of expertise. Organisations may also seek advice from IBCs established by another organisation.