Introduction to Gene Technology Compliance at UNSW

The Gene Technology Act 2000 is a national scheme for the regulation of genetically modified organisms in Australia, in order to protect the health and safety of people and the environment by identifying risks posed by or as a result of gene technology, and by managing those risks by regulating certain dealings with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is set up within the Commonwealth Department of Health to support the Gene Technology Regulator. The OGTR has legislative power to enforce requirements where work involving certain dealings with gene technology is being undertaken.

UNSW Australia, as an accredited organisation, has established its own Gene Technology Research Committee which provides advice on risks related to the gene technology work within the University including assessment and review of all dealings involving GMOs at UNSW.

The UNSW Gene Technology Research Procedure defines responsibilities and requirements for staff and students dealing with GMOs.



Gene Technology Research Committee (GTRC)

  • assess and recommend to the DVC(R) for approval research projects involving gene technology. The assessment includes classficiation of dealings and their risks to the health and safety of people and the environment.
  • inspect and recommend physical containment facilities for certification by the OGTR. 
  • conduct annual inspection of all OGTR-certified PC2 and PC3 facilities.    

 Biosafety Coordinator 

  • ensures that University health and safety processes are recognised and followed as part of gene technology research and integrated with GTRC processes. 

Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS)

  • coordinates all activities for the Gene Technology Research Committee, liaises with the Regulator on behalf of the University, first contact point for all gene technology users’ enquiries.

Laboratory Managers

  • ensure the facility users receive appropriate training prior to working in the space.
  • ensure the facility's containment level is appropriate for the dealings proposed by users.
  • assist the GTRC with annual inspection of OGTR-certified PC2 facilities.
  • organise annual maintenance of critical equipment in the facility in accordance to the relevant standards and regulations.