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ISTR is a relatively small but active organisation. Founded in 1981 as the Institute of University Safety Officers, membership widened beyond the University sector and in 1992 it was re-named the Institute of Safety in Technology and Research (ISTR). Today ISTR serves and supports the individual interests of safety professional in their specialist area of research and high technology.ISTR organises for its members symposia and skills workshops, publishes a handbook and has an e-mail discussion forum. There is also an ISTR award and a sponsorship scheme. Being relatively small the Institute is friendly and lends itself easily to networking opportunities.
ISTR is well respected by external bodies and makes representation to, and is consulted by, other professional bodies and regulators in the UK and abroad.
ISTR has set up and now accredits the Biosafety Accreditation Scheme which gives professional recognition to the competence of Biosafety practitioners.
There are four categories of ISTR membership: Fellow, Member, Associate and Retired. All categories of membership are open to those who work outside of the UK provided the appropriate standards of qualification and experience are met.
The affairs of the Institute are managed by the ISTR Executive.