Harmonization of Biobank Education for Biobank Technicians

The quality of biospecimens stored in a biobank depends tremendously on the technical personnel responsible for the processing, storage, and release of biospecimens. Adequate training of these biobank employees would allow harmonization of correct sample handling and thus ensure a high and comparable quality of samples across biobank locations. However, in Germany, there are no specific training opportunities for technical biobank staff.

Flow chart of the process of the development of learning objectives.

To understand the educational needs of the technical personnel a web-based survey was sent to all national biobanks via established e-mail registers. In total, 79 biobank employees completed the survey, including 43 technicians. The majority of the participating technical personnel stated that they had worked in a biobank for less than three years and had never participated in advanced training. Three-quarters of the technicians indicated that they were not able to understand English content instantly.

Based on these results and the results of a workshop with 16 biobank technicians, 41 learning objectives were formulated. These learning objectives can be used as a basis for advanced training programs for technical personnel in biobanks. Setting up courses based on the identified learning objectives for this group of biobank staff could contribute to the harmonization and sustainability of biospecimen quality.

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