Packaging and Shipping Infectious Materials

(based on 3893 customer ratings)

Author: Barbara Cebulski, MS, MLS(ASCP)
Reviewers: Joshua J. Cannon, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM and Daniel J. Scungio, MLS(ASCP), SLS, CQA(ASQ)

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 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).

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.

Course Outline

  • Course Introduction
      • Packaging and Shipping Infectious Substances
      • Organizations Responsible for Regulating Transport of Hazardous Materials
      • Organizations Responsible for Regulating Transport of Hazardous Materials, continued
  • 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
      • Classifications of Hazardous Materials, continued
      • Definitions
    • Category A
      • Category A: Definition and Examples
      • Category A: UN Identification Numbers and Proper Shipping Names
    • Category B
      • Category B: Definition
      • Category B: UN Identification Numbers and Proper Shipping Names
    • DOT Classification
      • 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
      • IATA Classification Decision Tree
      • IATA and US Postal Service Exempt Specimens
    • Classification Scenarios
      • Classification Scenario 1
      • Classification Scenario 2
      • Classification Scenario 3
      • Suppose 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 Fe...
      • Classification Scenario 4
      • Match each of the following definitions to the term that it defines.
  • 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)
      • Match each of these cross sections of packages containing infectious substances to the classification of package that they represent.
  • 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: FedEx Ship Manager 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 a commercial ground carrier to a reference laboratory. T...
      • Scenario #3A specimen that is classified as a category A substance affecting humans is being transported by aircraft at ambient temperature (does not ...
      • Scenario #4What 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 Awareness, continued
      • Security Training Resource
  • References
      • References

Additional Information

Level of Instruction: 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) has over 40 years of experience in the medical laboratory profession as a technologist, section supervisor, and laboratory manager. She was an Inspection and Technical Specialist for nine years with the College of American Pathologists in the Laboratory Accreditation Program and, until her retirement in 2015, was Program Director for MediaLab, Inc. Barbara holds a Masters in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University.
Reviewer Information:
Joshua J. Cannon, MS, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. He holds Medical Laboratory Scientist and Specialist in Hematology certifications through the ASCP Board of Certification. He was a professor at Thomas Jefferson University for seven years before transitioning into his current role as Education Developer at MediaLab. His areas of expertise and professional passions include clinical hematology and interprofessional education.
Daniel J. Scungio, MLS(ASCP), SLS, CQA(ASQ) has over 25 years of experience as a certified Medical Technologist. He has a bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst and Buffalo, New York. Dan worked as a laboratory generalist in hospitals ranging in size from 75 to 800 beds before becoming a laboratory manager. After 10 years of lab management, he became the Laboratory Safety Officer for a system of more than 10 hospitals and over 20 laboratories and draw sites in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

This course is part of:
Biohazard symbol
scenario dry ice label
category A_IATA edits
Tube in Biohazard bag
air waybills UPS and Fed Ex
Overpack cat A demo