Chemical terrorism is now typically described as a "high probability" event. Chemical Warfare agents (CWAs) and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) represent a diverse class of agent now usable in a terrorist attack, and the threat potential of CWAs and TICs cannot be underestimated. For example, the deliberate release of Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury, UK in March of 2018 not only resulted in a human fatality but also rendered civilian areas of Salisbury unusable for many months. This followed the use of the VX nerve agent in Malaysia against the half-brother of North Korea’s leader in 2017, as well as the repeated and documented use of chemical weapons in Syria over the past six years.

The aim of this CBRN-UK Masterclass, being held in association with The Emergency Planning Society, is to introduce attendees to the risks associated with a chemical incident and the measures that may be taken to respond to such incidents.


Key note presentations and industry demonstrations will provide attendees with an increased understanding of the UK response to a deliberate or accidental chemical release, as well as on the latest procedures and technologies that can be used to mitigate chemical threats. The programme will include presentations of key aspects of the response to a chemical incident including the UK response to such incidents as well as case studies of previous biological events. Invited speakers include representatives of Dstl, Public Health England, Health and Safety Laboratory and others.

Speakers confirmed:

  • OPCW – Chemical Agent History and the existing non-proliferation Framework – Gwyn Winfield (Falcon Communications)
  • Chemical Agent Threats: Understanding needs in Emergency Medical Countermeasures - Dr Laura Cochrane (Emergent Countermeasures)
  • Detection, Identification & Monitoring; Advancements in identifying chemical threats – Dr Huw Loaring (FLIR) and Noel Mitchell (CSNR Technologies)
  • Principles of Chemical Decontamination - How they relate to Mass Casualty Events– Prof Rob Chilcott (InterTox Ltd)
  • UK Resilience to Chemical Attack - A global Insurance industry perspective – Jerry Smith OBE (CHC Global)
  • Chemical Agent Forensics – Deciphering the "Who Done It" and How– Steve Johnson (Cranfield University)
  • Chemical Warfare Agent Techniques, Tactics and Procedures Response Approach’ – David Butler BEM (KBR)
  • International counter-chemical capability development; ‘needs', ‘wants' and ‘desires' – Barry Moss (EPS)


At the end of the Master Class attendees will:

  • Appreciate the types of, and risk from, chemical agents, including pathways and symptoms, for accidental (TIC) and deliberate (CWA) use.
  • Understand response measures including Medical countermeasures, information management, detection, identification and monitoring, personal and hazard management.
  • Have an awareness of the UK response to a chemical (CWA or TIC) incident.
  • By way of case studies have an increased knowledge of the last technologies used in chemical agent detection and mitigation. 


Defence & Security Organisation Export Support Team, Department for International Trade, Royal Artillery Barracks, Larkhill, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 8QT