Biological Agents & Genetic Modification


The University is committed to ensuring that the highest standards are achieved for all deliberate laboratory-based work with Genetically Modified (GM) Organisms and other biological material e.g. micro-organisms, cell cultures, parasites, human or animal tissue (including blood, urine and other body products) or plant material which give rise to a risk of infection, allergy or toxicity or are potentially hazardous to health. This is to safeguard the health and safety of staff and all persons that might be affected by those activities, and to protect the environment.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (CoSHH) and the University of Sheffield’s Biosafety Policy require all individuals working with certain higher risk biological agents - Hazard Group 2 - 4 and GMO Classes 2 - 4, are kept under health surveillance. This will mainly consist of a paper health screening form completed prior to starting work.

All individuals who work with certain higher risk biological agents - Hazard Group 2 - 4 and GMO Classes 2 - 4 are required to complete the HM11: Biological Agents & Genetic Modification questionnaire which can be downloaded via the downloads section on the right hand side of this page.

  • The Project Supervisor must complete Section A of the form and then forward it to the individual proposed to work with working biological agents and GMO Classes
  • The individual will then complete Section B, sign and date the form and forward to it to
  • HML clinical team will review the questionnaire and a 'FIT' certificate will be sent to so that the employees details can be added to the Biosafety database. A paper copy of the 'FIT' certificate will also be sent to the individual at their home address and the relevant Departmental Safety Officer.

If Hepatitis B immunity is required:

If the clinical team has highlighted that a review of Hep B immunity is required, then we will send the individual a HM303: Medical History form.

  • The individual completes the form and returns it to
  • The form is forwarded to HML for a full clinical assessment
  • HML carry out the assessment and produce a 2nd Fit Certificate, detailing the exact immunisation requirements, and forward this to
  • The Fit Certificate is forwarded to the University Health Service who will contact the individual to arrange an appointment

The costs for all vaccinations are charged to the individual's department.