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Packaging and Shipping Infectious Materials (revised July 2013) (Online Course)

(based on 2078 customer ratings)

Author: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM
Reviewer: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, SM (ASCP), HCLD (ABB)

Fulfill IATA and Division 6.2 training requirements for packaging and shipping hazardous materials with this comprehensive online course.

Not only is it important to know how to protect yourself and others from the dangers associated with exposure to infectious materials, but regulatory agencies require certified training for anyone who is involved in packaging and shipping highly infectious materials. This Packaging and Shipping Infectious Materials course will provide you with the certified training that you need to perform these tasks safely. Learn to classify infectious materials so that they are packaged and shipped properly, practice packaging various substances through interactive participation in real-life scenarios, and finally, demonstrate your understanding of packaging and shipping infectious materials and receive a certificate of training.

This course is updated and current for 2014.

This course meets International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) training requirements for packaging and shipping Category A and Category B infectious substances.

This course also meets College of American Pathologists' and other organizations' training requirements for packaging and shipping Division 6.2 hazards (infectious materials).

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Continuing Education Credits


  • Identify who must receive training in packaging and shipping infectious materials, what must be included in the training, and what records must be maintained.
  • Identify the classifications of hazardous materials and define Division 6.2 infectious materials.
  • Identify specimens that are classified as Category A or Category B infectious substances and specimens that are exempt substances.
  • Determine the type of packaging that is necessary based on the type of specimen, the classification of the specimen, the size of the specimen, the temperature at which the specimen must be maintained during shipment, the specimen components, and the mode of transportation.
  • Determine the labels and markings that are required for packages containing category A or category B substances.
  • Discuss the importance of security awareness when packaging and shipping hazardous materials.

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Course Outline

Click on a link in the outline to view a sample page from this course.

  • Course Introduction
      • Packaging and Shipping Infectious Substances
      • Organizations Responsible for Regulating Transport of Hazardous Materials
  • Training and Record Retention
      • Who Must Receive Training?
      • Training Requirements for Packaging and Shipping Category A Substances and Dry Ice
      • Training Records and Frequency of Repeat Training
  • Categories of Division 6.2 Hazardous Materials
      • Classifications of Hazardous Materials
      • Definitions
      • Category A Definition and Examples
      • Category A UN Identification Numbers and Proper Shipping Names
      • Category B Definition, Shipping Name, and Identification Number
      • Department of Transportation (DOT) Classification Decision Tree
      • DOT Classification Decision Tree, continued
      • DOT Classification Decision Tree, continued
      • DOT Classification Decision Tree, continued
      • Other Packaging and Labeling Requirements that May Apply to DOT Nonregulated Specimens
      • DOT Classification Decision Tree, continued
      • IATA Classification Decision Tree
      • IATA and US Postal Service Exempt Specimens
      • Classification Scenario 1
      • Classification Scenario 2
      • Classification Scenario 3
      • If the blood sample in Scenario 3 that was collected for routine cholesterol screening is being sent by air on an IATA member airline (such as Fed Ex)...
      • Classification Scenario 4
  • Packaging Infectious Materials
      • Packaging Considerations
      • Selecting the Shipping Container
      • Packaging for Category A Specimens
      • Restrictions Applying to Category A Substances Transported By Air
      • Packaging for Category B Substances
      • Additional Packaging Requirements for Category A and Category B Substances
      • Materials of Trade
      • Exceptions for Category B Substances When Transported by Motor Vehicle as Materials of Trade (MOTs)
  • Labels and Documents
      • General Labeling Requirements
      • Labeling and Marking a Package Containing a Category A Substance
      • Labeling and Marking a Package Containing a Category B Substance
      • Dry Ice
      • Overpack
      • Category A Packages: Shipper's Declaration For Dangerous Goods
      • Preparing the Shippers Declaration For Dangerous Goods: Compliance Checking Software
      • Completed Shipper's Declaration For Dangerous Goods Form
      • Air Waybills and Shipping Labels
      • Transporting Category A Infectious Substances by Motor Vehicle
  • Packaging and Labeling Scenarios
      • Four scenarios will now be presented to evaluate your understanding of the material that has been presented on classifying, packaging, and labeling la...
      • Scenario 2A sputum specimen from a patient suspected of having tuberculosis is being sent by commercial ground carrier to a reference laboratory. The ...
      • A specimen that is classified as a category A substance affecting humans is being transported by aircraft at ambient temperature (does not require ref...
      • What additional markings/labels would be added if the specimen needed to be kept cold, and dry ice is used as a refrigerant?
  • Security Awareness
      • Security Awareness
      • Security Training Resource
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Course level: Basic

Intended Audience: This course is designed for health care personnel who package, ship, and transport Division 6.2 hazardous materials such as patient specimens and cultures. 

Author information: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)CM is a Program Director for MediaLab, Inc. She has over 30 years experience in the medical laboratory profession as a technologist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. She also was employed for nine years by the College of American Pathologists in the Laboratory Accreditation Program. Barbara holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University.

Reviewer information: Garland E. Pendergraph, PhD, JD, SM (ASCP), HCLD (ABB) is the satellite laboratory director and privacy officer for Doctor's Laboratory located in Valdosta, GA. Dr. Pendergraph received his PhD in medical parasitology and mycology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and his law degree with a concentration in health law from Concord Law School, Kaplan University. He is the author of a textbook in phlebotomy, a number of scientific articles, plus internet training programs. He is Chairman of the MLT Advisory Committee for Valdosta Technical College and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the MT program at Thomas University. Dr. Pendergraph is licensed as a laboratory director in the States of Georgia and Florida.

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