Certain work with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) must only be undertaken in facilities that are certified by the Regulator. The legislation allows the Regulator to certify physical containment (PC) facilities to ensure that appropriate standards are met for containment of GMOs and that trained and competent staff are carrying out procedures and practices. Under the legislation, the Regulator has issued guidelines specifying the requirements for certification of each type of facility (laboratory, plant and animal, etc) to physical containment levels 1, 2, 3 or 4, which must be met before a facility can be certified. All certified facilities must be inspected before certification and annually thereafter (except those certified as a PC1 facility).

PC facilities are classified according to levels of stringency of measures for containing GMOs. The classifications related to the structural integrity of buildings and equipment uses as well as to the handling practices employed by those working in the facility. PC level 1 (PC1) facilities are used to contain organisms posing the lowest risk to human health and the environment. PC level 4 (PC4) facilities provide the most secure and stringent containment conditions.

Content within this section