Safety First – 20 Years of Continuing Education for Safety Assessors


Frankfurt am Main, Germany - 16 April 2018
The German Society for Scientific and Applied Cosmetics (DGK) and the German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW) celebrate the 20th anniversary with a scientific symposium with top-class speakers.

How do safety assessors ensure that cosmetic products are safe in terms of health? How are the methods for the scientific assessment of contact allergies to be classified? And – which alternative methods to animal experiments are available for the safety assessment of cosmetic products? These are only a few of the highly complex issues which were presented by renowned experts from Germany and abroad at the scientific symposium “20 years of education for safety assessors”, to which IKW and DGK invited. More than 130 safety assessors accepted the offer to have an interdisciplinary, intense exchange on current issues in the field of safety assessment.

In order for consumers within the EU to be able to rely on cosmetic products being safe, the work of the safety assessors is indispensable. They are the experts who are in charge of safeguarding that cosmetics comply with all demands imposed by legislation. A demanding mission which requires knowledge from different disciplines such as chemistry, toxicology, dermatology and cosmetics law. Regular continuing education which keeps the safety assessor always on the most recent state of science and legislation is a must.

This work has been performed for 20 years for DGK and IKW with their offering of continuing education courses which are regularly attended by many safety assessors and are completed with a certificate. Birgit Huber, Head of the Competence Partner Beauty Care within IKW: “We are pleased that the offer of the different course modules has been accepted so well by the safety assessors during the past 20 years, because continuing education in this field is very important. We will continue to work in future on the courses taking place on a very high level and representing a genuine support for the safety assessors.”

IKW and DGK attach a particularly high value to the selection of speakers and ensure that experts from universities, public authorities and industry pass on their expert knowledge to the safety assessors. Concerning the offer of continuing education, it is, moreover, ensured that the contents are practice-oriented and imparted in an intuitively accessible manner. This helps the safety assessors at the implementation in their everyday work. And public authorities appreciate the continuing education events in the same way, since this allows them to judge the work of the safety assessors even better and engage in further education themselves. Another benefit of the events is the direct personal exchange with other colleagues and experts who can help in dealing with issues.

For some time already, the continuing education programme has also been available in English. This means that safety assessors from outside Germany can likewise benefit from the continuing education offering of DGK and IKW.

More information about the presentations at the symposium can be found here.

Speakers at the scientific symposium “20 years of education for safety assessors” (© IKW / Bernd Georg)

Front row (from left to right):
Dr. Gerd Mildau, Chemisches und Veterinär-Untersuchungsamt, Karlsruhe
Dr. Andreas Butschke, Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL), Braunschweig
Prof. Dr. Johannes Geier, Informationsverbund Dermatologischer Kliniken (IVDK), Universitätsmedizin Göttingen
Prof. Dr. Vera Rogiers, In vitro Toxicology and Dermato-Cosmetology (IVTD), Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Dr. Hartmut Schmidt-Lewerkühne, Präsident DGK e. V., Thannhausen
Dr. Anke Meisner, Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (BMEL), Berlin
Britta Klebon, DGK e. V., Thannhausen
Dr. Rob Taalman, Cosmetics Europe, Brussels

Top row (from left to right):
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Eisenbrand, Senior Research Professor (Retired) Food Chemistry & Toxicology
Prof. Dr. Lothar Motischke (retired)
Birgit Huber, stellvertretende Geschäftsführerin des IKW e. V., Frankfurt am Main
Dr. Annegret Blume, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR), Berlin
Prof. Dr. Walter Sterzel, Universität Duisburg-Essen
Dr. Bart A. Heldreth, Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), Washington, D.C.

About IKW
The German Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association, with headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, was founded in 1968. It represents the interests of more than 420 companies from the fields of beauty and homecare on a national and European level. The industry generates annual sales revenues of more than EUR 18 billion and employs approximately 500,000 people in the value chain. Its member companies cover approximately 95% of the market.

IKW is the contact partner for its member companies, ministries, public authorities, consumers, institutions and associations as well as for the media as far as scientific, regulatory or business topics are concerned. Experts from the competence partners Beauty Care and Home Care within IKW provide competent answers to questions concerning skin and hair care, beauty and self-esteem as well as hygiene and cleaning. More information on

About DGK
With more than 850 members DGK e.V., with registered office in Thannhausen, is one of the most important non-profit making societies in the field of cosmetic science in Europe. It was founded in 1957.

The missions of DGK e. V. are the promotion of scientific research and education as well as the technical development in the field of cosmetics and the dissemination of the knowledge gained in publications available to the general public. A focus is placed on the safeguarding of interests for the scientific requirements of cosmetics including public institutions and authorities.

All activities are exclusively scientifically oriented. In this way DGK e.V. can work on themes with a cosmetics relevance and comment on them – neutrally and regardless of economic considerations.

The activities focus on the projects and work of specialist groups and the organisation of continuing education events. This includes continuing education as DGK cosmetic expert and / or DGK safety assessor.

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