Animal User Training

From: U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training

"VIII. Investigators and other personnel shall be appropriately qualified and experienced for conducting procedures on living animals. Adequate arrangements shall be made for their in-service training, including the proper and humane care and use of laboratory animals."

From: The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th Ed (2011)

"The institution should provide appropriate education and training to members of research teams—including principal investigators, study directors, research technicians, postdoctoral fellows, students, and visiting scientists—to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise for the specific animal procedures proposed and the species used."
"…all research groups should receive training in animal care and use legislation, IACUC function, ethics of animal use and the concepts of the Three Rs, methods for reporting concerns about animal use, occupational health and safety issues pertaining to animal use, animal handling, aseptic surgical technique, anesthesia and analgesia, euthanasia, and other subjects, as required by statute. Continuing education programs should be offered to reinforce training and provide updates that reflect changes in technology, legislation, and other relevant areas."

The UMD training program on animal care and use has been formalized in local policy, and is developed and managed by the AV and his staff. All key personnel on a research protocol must take the PI/Animal User training course with the campus veterinarian. It is especially important that PIs have such training, since our program relies heavily on the PI’s knowledge of proper animal care and use to help us maintain the highest standards of research and to remain in compliance with all policies and regulations.

Personnel who are visiting the institution, and will be working with animals at UMD for less than 3 months, are not required to take the UMD PI/Animal User course, as long as documentation that they have received training elsewhere can be provided. All personnel working on a research project must be added to the protocol and documentation on training provided at the time of the addition. For students, this documentation would be in the form of a certificate or letter acknowledging completion of such training elsewhere, and for PhDs, a copy of her/his CV. For those visiting personnel who will be working with animals at UMD beyond a three-month period, UMD PI/Animal User training is required.

Refresher training
In order to meet the mandate that our program provide “continuing education programs…to reinforce training and provide updates that reflect changes in technology, legislation, and other relevant areas,” the UMD training policy (See Policies) requires all personnel performing animal research or animal caretaking, serving as an animal facility manager, or serving as PI on a protocol to take a refresher course once every three years.

The face-to-face refresher course is an abbreviated version of the initial training course, with targeted instruction on the specific animal models and procedures utilized by the personnel enrolled in the course. All animal facility managers must take the face-to-face course, however an online version of the refresher training is under development and will be available as an option for other personnel renewing their training.



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Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541
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Did You Know

Kevin Plank, co-founder of Under Armour, is an alumnus of the University of Maryland.