Biobanking Resources

Education for VCHRI researchers on biobanking

Training, education and support of researchers and biobankers are priorities for VCHRI.  In collaboration with the Biobank Resource Centre, we provide researchers across VCH with free access to an online biobanking education program, which includes nine online modules designed to enhance research quality through adoption of best practice standards. The program was developed by Canadian biobanking professionals and modified with country-specific content with input from international biobanking experts.

The focus of each education module are:

  • Basics of Biobanking — This module provides an introductory overview of biobanking including key issues in establishing, maintaining and accessing a biobank.
  • Governance — The overall objective of this module is to introduce you to the concept of biobank governance and its importance to the everyday operations of a biobank
  • Ethics, Privacy and Security — This module discusses the importance of ensuring that biospecimens and personal health-related information are used ethically and optimally for research that enhances health and increases knowledge.
  • Facility Design and Safety — This module provides you with information on the fundamental physical components of a biobank facility. It also covers the importance of biobank facility design and security in maintaining a safe environment.
  • Quality Management and Process Improvement — This module provides general information on the importance of quality management and process improvement for biobanks.
  • Informed Consent — The purpose of this module is to identify and describe processes related to informed consent in the biobank setting.
  • Biospecimen Collection and Processing — This module provides an overview of the types of biospecimens commonly collected and stored in a biobank and the procedures involved in biospecimen collection and processing.
  • Biospecimen Storage and Distribution — This module provides an overview of proper biospecimen storage, retrieval and sample distribution procedures for a biobank.
  • Data Systems and Records Management — This module provides an overview of the types of data systems and records management systems used for storing biospecimen data.

To access the above resources, you will need a VCHRI code during the registration process on the BRC website.

Need help? Contact VCHRI Research Education & Internal Awards team at


What is a biobank?

A biobank is defined as a collection of human biospecimens (blood, tissue, fluids) and the associated data. Using this definition a biobank can be a very small collection of biospecimens, a project that enrols, collects, processes and uses the biospecimens for its own research, or a biobank that supports many researchers and their research projects.

What services and tools does the Biobank Resource Centre (BRC) provide?
A spectrum of support services and resources are available for biobanks. These are designed to assist new biobanks and existing biobanks, and include advice on planning, setup, protocols, database services and tools to enhance operations.

The BRC offers a range of services to assist researchers in the set up and operation of biobanks including:

  • Ethics and regulatory application preparation
  • Budget proposals and business planning
  • Biospecimen processing, management, storage and retrieval infrastructure
  • Facilities design and management advice

Visit the Biobank Resource Centre website for more information.