Containment Guidance and Tools

Global Containment Strategy and Action Plan

The Strategy for Global Poliovirus Containment defines high-level containment principles that must be carried forward by all containment stakeholders. It is intended to elaborate the polio containment principles outlined in the Polio Eradication Strategy 2022–2026.

To support GPEI partners and Member States with commitments to achieve poliovirus containment, the Global Poliovirus Containment Action Plan 2022–2024 presents distinct goals and objectives for poliovirus containment as outlined in the Strategy for Global Poliovirus Containment.

WHO Global Action Plan and Containment Certification Scheme

The WHO Global Action Plan (GAPIV, formerly GAPIII) is the chief guidance document for poliovirus containment. GAPIII was endorsed by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) in October 2014 and through World Health Assembly resolution WHA68.3 in May 2015. The GAPIII Containment Certification Scheme (CCS), to support implementation of the plan, was endorsed by SAGE in October 2016.

On recommendation from the WHO Containment Advisory Group (CAG) – the present oversight body for global poliovirus containment – and through wide engagement of stakeholders, GAPIII has been revised. Revisions to the guidance were made based on CAG recommendations, review of relevant biorisk management documents to determine alignment, scientific evidence and solicited stakeholder comments on various sections.

All countries holding poliovirus stocks are urged to follow guidance in GAPIV to ensure risk associated with continued handling and storage of poliovirus is minimized. Countries that have implemented requirements included in GAPIII will have until 1 July 2025 to transition to meeting requirements contained in GAPIV. Sensitization sessions on the new guidance for containment stakeholders are expected to commence August 2022. For queries, please email:

GAPIII عربي 中文 English Français Русский Español
CCS عربي 中文 English Français Русский Español
CCS, 1-pager English

The following Containment Certification Scheme forms and templates are available to support National Authorities for Containment in the roll-out and implementation of the certification process. All submissions to the Global Certification Commission for the Eradication of Poliomyelitis (GCC) must be made in English.

Application Form – Interim Certificate of Containment – September 2021 Audit Findings and Corrective Action Plan (CAP) -September 2021
Cost (man-day) calculation guidance Document request form
Application form for Certificate of Participation (CP) Sample audit plan – September 2021
Audit findings and corrective action plan (CAP) Audit attendance sheet
Auditor monitoring report – September 2021 Audit report template – September 2021
Auditor application form – September 2021 CCS feedback form
Register of GAPIII auditors, technical experts and trainers  All CCS forms
Auditor log

Guidance to minimize risks for facilities collecting, handling or storing materials potentially infectious for polioviruses (PIM Guidance) – 2nd edition

This guidance aims to facilitate the identification of materials potentially infectious for polioviruses within laboratories that handle human stool specimens, respiratory samples or environmental sewage. Depending on the place and time of collection, these materials may contain infectious polioviruses that are eradicated (WPV2 and WPV3), nearly eradicated (WPV1) or originating from oral polio vaccines. Identifying, eliminating the risk through destruction, or mitigating the risk of handling such materials is essential, not only to maintain the safety of laboratory workers and their communities, but also for the success of the global polio eradication effort.

Facilities are encouraged to use Web Annex A to assess the risk of sample collections potentially infectious for poliovirus, and Web Annex B to complete the form available as Web Annex C. Web Annex D helps national focal points complete the progress reporting form describing preparations for poliovirus containment.

Here is the newly launched Potentially Infectious Materials, Poliovirus (PIM) Identification Tool.

  • PIM Guidance 2nd edition
  • Web Annex A: Country- and area-specific poliovirus data
  • Web Annex B: SOP for the identification, destruction or preparation for containment of poliovirus infectious or potentially infectious materials
  • Web Annex C: Form 1 – Facility reporting form
  • Web Annex D: Form 2 – Progress reporting form on preparations for poliovirus containment and completion of Phase I of GAPIII

Public Health Management of Facility Related Exposure to Live Polioviruses

WHO has published guidance for managing human exposure to live polioviruses in laboratory facilities. Countries where polioviruses are kept require this guidance.

The document is primarily aimed at workers handling and storing polioviruses in designated poliovirus-essential facilities and outlines public health measures to be taken in the event of a spill or containment breach.