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RBDM – Communiqué 8


We are very pleased to announce that the Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework for Blood Safety is now online.  The Framework has been transformed into a user-friendly, interactive online tool that guides the user through the step-by-step decision-making process. It also provides guidance on risk management policy foundations and principles that are core to good decision-making. A suite of worksheets, charts, diagrams, reference material, and examples complete the toolkit.

The Framework can be found on the Alliance of Blood Operators (ABO) website at

(Important note: It is recommended that Internet Explorer users upgrade above IE 7 to optimise the functionality of the tool.)  We encourage you to become familiar with the site; you will find that it is constructed in a simple, logical manner and using it is quite intuitive.  We would be very happy to get your feedback and answer any questions you may have as well.  You can contact us by email at

Thanks and Sincere Appreciation

We would like to thank the many contributors who have devoted significant effort over the past three years to see the framework come to life.  Sincere thanks go out to the project team who worked diligently and tirelessly, the many stakeholders who provided valuable insight and suggestions that improved the framework, partner organisations that supported the need to change the decision-making paradigm, and the design team who translated an unwieldy document into an engaging interactive tool.

Next Steps

Over the next few months, ABO will be scheduling orientation webinars to walk users through the risk-based decision-making process, provide guidance and answer questions.  The schedule of webinars will be posted on the ABO website, currently targeted for November.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact ABO if you have questions.

Refresher – What is the Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework and why should we use it?

This Risk-Based Decision-Making Framework can help you identify, assess, act on, and communicate risk in a manner suited to each situation. The framework helps organise and simplify the decision-making process by breaking it down into a series of logical and manageable steps.

The framework can be used when you face a new decision about blood safety. It is flexible enough that you can adapt it to your own regulatory structures, local conditions, and needs.

The framework’s objectives are to:

  • Optimise the safety of the blood supply while recognising that elimination of all risk is not possible
  • Allocate resources in proportion to the magnitude and seriousness of the risk and the effectiveness of the interventions to reduce risk
  • Assess and incorporate the social, economic, and ethical factors that may affect decisions about risk

The framework consists of six sequential stages. In the first stage, you will review foundational material and gain understanding of how the framework is organised. The remaining stages — problem formulation, participation strategy, assessment, evaluation, and decision — are common to many decision frameworks. Each stage has a purpose and a process and includes several decision-support tools in an interactive PDF format that can be filled out and saved on your hard drive.  Risk management principles, assessment principles, stakeholder involvement and risk communications, and risk tolerability inform the decision-making process at all stages.