BCNet Governance

Working Groups

Four Working Groups have been established by the BCNet Advisory Committee. They are:

  • Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)
  • Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI)
  • Quality Assurance
  • Education and Training

The following specific areas of focus were identified for the different Working Groups during an initial one-year period.


  • Conduct an inventory of available Open Source LIMS possibilities.
  • Identify two BCNet members that do not have a LIMS but do have sufficient bioinformatics support to participate in a LIMS transferability pilot project.
  • Plan and launch the pilot project, in which two BCNet members will be assisted with developing and implementing an Open Source LIMS (identified as suitable based on the inventory and an assessment of the needs of the two members that will participate in the pilot project).
  • Facilitate the use by BCNet members of the minimum data set that is being developed by IARC.
  • Actively stay informed about the most recent international developments of IT for harmonization of questionnaire data, phenotyping data, and methods for follow-up.


  • Develop a generic consent form emphasizing broad consent. This document needs to be adaptable to BCNet members (the P3G-IPAC [Public Population Project in Genomics and Society: International Policy Interoperability and Data Access Clearinghouse] template will be used as a model).
  • Develop a data access policy/agreement template adaptable to BCNet members (the P3G-IPAC templates will be used as models). These documents will help elucidate open versus controlled access as well as the various terms and conditions of such endeavours.

Quality Assurance

  • Conduct a situation analysis of BCNet facilities: What methods are being used? Are the institutions part of any quality assurance (QA) scheme? Are they accredited?
  • Prepare a document on proposed action for the future based on the results of the situation analysis.

Education and Training

  • Develop and conduct a survey via a questionnaire to assess needs.
  • The Working Group will continue to map out existing educational resources and training opportunities. Training must be tailored for each community and should be available in the local language. The Working Group should assess the need to include a consideration of training in areas upstream and downstream of the biobanking services (e.g. pathology services).
  • Explore and suggest options for educational support funding.
  • Plan for an international training workshop in biobanking sciences, to be held at IARC (not to be launched during the first year, only planned).
  • Prioritize education and training programmes and suggest programme activities.