The safety and wellbeing of our staff, members and wider community is our utmost priority as together we face the challenge of containing the spread of COVID-19.

In line with HSE guidance we encourage the practice of social distancing, along with working from Home as much as possible and limiting all but essential travel. We support this as the most effective action we can take to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.  We must come together to stay apart and protect our most vulnerable loved ones.  We are the soldiers on the front line and unless we limit the spread of the virus our healthcare system will be overwhelmed and we will lose loved ones unnecessarily.  It will be a tragedy to look back at some point in the near future and know we could have done more to save them.

Therefore, following HSE guidance and in line with NSAI recommendations all training and education events have been suspended for the foreseeable future. This includes standards training workshops, regional cleanroom forum half days events, CTCB-I training and education seminars. This policy will remain in place until HSE guidance changes and NSAI resume events. The ICS administration will continue to operate, but on a virtual basis. 

The focus of the ICS for training and education has always been around organising focussed events including workshops and in-person meetings. We are dealing with professionals and do not operate as a school. We are exploring how best to deliver training and education progressing by technological means, including video conferencing, online chat rooms, and podcasts. We are working closely with NSAI to seek creative and innovative ways of working together as a remote team and remaining engaged with our members as we navigate this new normal. 

Our immediate focus is on our standards training events (EN ISO 14644-3 and -16 as well as EN 17141); as these involve subject matter experts from ISO and CEN working groups in other countries. We hope to carry on these standards training events through some form of video links at NSAI.  Please visit our website for the latest and most up to date information.  We will also email our members with updates as they arise.

Now, more than ever, it is vital that we keep open the lines of communication and support one another in solidarity. The constant barrage of worrying news can leave us feeling overwhelmed and anxious, but there is good news too, and cause for hope.

In this time of national crisis we are open and available to support any programme the HSE is engaged in, as a community of professionals and experts in contamination and infection control. Our members are already actively engaged in this area.

Stay Safe,

Conor Murray