Safe Transport of Infectious Substances by Air Course (Shippers Training Course)

If either you or your staff pack, or supervise an individual who packs, dangerous goods for transport by air (including enclosing the goods in packaging, marking or labelling the consignment or preparing a shipper’s declaration) then you are required by both the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to ensure that both you and your staff receive dangerous goods training on an approved course.
This training has been compulsory from 1st July 2004 and must be revalidated every two (2) years thereafter.

Classes of Dangerous Goods you will be approved to ship include
  • Class 2.2 (e.g. liquid nitrogen);
  • Class 3 (e.g. methanol, ethanol or formaldehyde solutions);
  • Class 6.2 (e.g. infectious substances, biological substances, patient specimens); and
  • Class 9 (e.g. dry ice, genetically modified micro-organisms).
Please note: Dangerous goods in Class 2.2 and Class 3 are limited to only those items used as associated storage and transport media for Class 6.2. This training is conducted via correspondence (on-line) or a one (1) day tutorial course – see below for further details. For dangerous goods outside of these categories e.g. chemicals or radioactive material, a Dangerous Goods Acceptance and Shippers Course (3 Day Tutorial) must be completed. Please contact our office if you wish to discuss this further.

Those Who Should Complete this Course

The current government legislation requires that all those who pack, mark, label or complete the paperwork associated with the shipping of these items (i.e. dangerous goods) must be trained (classified as a Group F Employee). Therefore, for example, anyone who places a sample of the above in packaging, uses dry ice (or liquid nitrogen) as a refrigerant for any shipment (regardless of the content) or a flammable liquid must be approved by successfully completing this training.

This would include researchers, clinical trials staff, laboratory managers, laboratory technicians, stores personnel, nursing staff, medical practitioners, veterinary industry personnel and some administrative and stores staff to name but a few i.e. anyone who has anything to do with the process from the point of the sample (dangerous goods) being placed in packaging for shipping, the completion of the packing process, the marking and labelling of that package and the completion of the documentation must be trained. Some courier companies are now requiring proof of certification prior to the pickup of your item for shipping. We expect that this will continue to grow as part of normal procedures into the future.  Contact us here if you need further details or order here.

It is also a common belief that those shipping biological substances need not be trained – this is also incorrect as biological substances (referred to as ‘Biological Substances, Category B’ but also previously called ‘Diagnostic Specimens’ or ‘Clinical Specimens’) are classified as a Class 6.2 dangerous good and as such can only be shipped by an approved person (i.e. a person who has completed the approved training course).

Common items shipped that would require this training include animal specimens, plant materials, tissues samples, dry ice in order to refrigerate a sample, bloods, ethanol solutions, human or animal samples etc. One of the common misconceptions at this time is that most of these items can be hand carried (i.e. in your checked in baggage or hand luggage on a flight) which is in actual fact illegal. In order to ship such items by air throughout Australia and overseas you must be a trained shipper and ship these items as per the requirements of the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations rand the requirements of the countries of origin, transit and destination.

Where other discrepancies arise is the supervision of this process. If the supervisor is actively involved in the shipping process they must be trained. Regardless of this, the person being supervised must also hold the approval – the supervisor alone does not meet the requirements of the legislation. All those associated with the shipping process must be approved.

It is also important and highly recommended  to train those who receive packages in order that they are aware of the correct packaging and can identify one that may perhaps have been incorrectly packaged and hence deal with it appropriately. Many organisations effectively conduct this training for their stores/receiving staff as part of their risk mitigation program.

Some organisations may also use Australia Post for the shipping of some samples – they still must be trained regardless of whether a courier or Australia Post is used – the courier for example is similar in the transport process to Australia Post in that they act as the transport agent.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to
  • Define and describe Federal and International Regulations as they apply to the packaging and shipping of dangerous goods.
  • Describe their legal responsibilities in accordance with Federal and International Regulations.
  • Determine the limitations for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air in accordance with the ICAO requirements and IATA Regulations.
  • Recognise articles and substances which have dangerous properties and be aware of the procedures for their classification.
  • Use the IATA Dangerous Goods List to identify requirements for different dangerous goods.
  • Identify and classify the material to be shipped.
  • Describe the proper techniques for packaging, marking, labelling, documenting and shipping dangerous goods.
  • Select the correct packaging by applying the correct Packing Instructions and General Packing Requirements in accordance with ICAO requirements and IATA Regulations.
  • Accurately apply the correct marking and labelling to packaging in accordance with ICAO requirements and IATA Regulations.
  • Correctly apply State and Operator Variations when applicable.
  • Complete and check transport documentation in accordance with ICAO requirements and IATA Regulations.
  • Offer correctly prepared dangerous goods for consignments by air in accordance with current ICAO requirements and IATA Regulations.
  • Be aware of procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency associated with dangerous goods.

Correspondence Courses (On-line Training)

Courses are issued in a variety of formats. Your organisation can elect to either standardise the format for all employees or simply list the format required when placing your order. Formats available:

  • Via E-mail – Includes a workbook in PDF format and review questions in word format.
  • Hard copy full colour bound workbook (approx. 100 page and the review questions (course assessment).

The workbook will guide you to answer a series of questions at the end of each section. The review questions are open book and you are prompted to complete the sections of your assessment as you read through the workbook. It takes approximately 6-7 hours to complete the correspondence course. Whilst doing the course, if you have any queries, you can contact us by email or phone and your Facilitator will guide you through your query.

The correspondence course includes:

  • The full colour Course Workbook and set of Review Questions;
  • Facilitator assistance whilst completing the course;
  • Certificate of Approval upon completion of the course plus a Feedback Sheet on the answers to the Review Questions;
  • Updates and changes made to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations during your 2 year currency; and
  • Notification for renewal starting approx. 3 months prior to the expiry of the certificate.

Costs:           Initial Issue Correspondence (AUD) 

                        Email                           $140.00
                        Hard Copy                  $170.00 incl. postage and handling

Correspondence (CAAA Renewals Only)

                        Email                           $115.00

Please note: Organisations may receive a bulk purchase discount for orders of 10 or more at the one time – please contact Andy on
(08) 61807939 or to discuss further.

Company Specific Course Details

 Duration        1 day (0900 to 1600)

Company Specific

  • 1 to 15 participants     POA
  • 16 to 25 participants   POA

This includes:

  • All course material including a comprehensive full colour workbook;
  • Course facilitation (including their accommodation and travel expenses as applicable);
  • Note paper, pens etc on the day of training;
  • Morning tea, afternoon tea and lunch are provided as part of the day;
  • Certificate of approval upon completion of the course;
  • Updates and changes made to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations during your 2 year currency; and
  • Notification for renewal approx. 3 months prior to the expiry of the certificate.

Review questions are completed during the course and assessed by the Facilitator with approvals issued on the same day as is appropriate.

Contact us now for further information and to discuss your specific needs.