IACUC Policy: Education and Training of Animal Care and Use Personnel
Policy # IBT-111.00 IACUC Approval: February 27, 2014

Purpose: 
Federal law requires that personnel working with laboratory animals must be qualified and trained to perform their duties. This policy outlines a training program for all personnel involved in the use of animals in teaching and/or research.

Animal users require training in order to ensure that all persons involved in animal care and use are:

• Informed of IACUC and Program for Animal Resources (PAR) policies and procedures regarding animal care and use at Texas A&M Health Science Center facilities;

• Informed of available resources regarding animal care and use certified by accrediting and oversight agencies including the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), and the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW);

• Technically proficient and fully capable of their responsibilities for animal care and use covered under their Animal Use Protocol (AUP); and

• Provided information and enrolled in the Occupational Health Program.

Scope:
This policy is to provide and document a comprehensive training program for all personnel working with animals including: scientists, research technicians, animal technicians and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, and use subject to oversight by Texas A&M Health Science Center.

Responsibilities:
It is the responsibility of the IACUC Office to:

  • Maintain records of mandatory training for all personnel working with animals;
  • Provide account information and instructions for the use of the CITI training site;
  • Provide instructions for obtaining and submitting Occupational Health materials.

It is the responsibility of Attending Veterinarian (AV) and PAR Director or designates:

  • Conduct regularly scheduled training sessions for personnel requiring access to the PAR Facilities (i.e., PAR Orientation, animal handling, etc.); and
  • Conduct animal handling training and other animal related training for researchers and new personnel as reasonable and necessary.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) or designate to:

  • Provide hands-on training to personnel for responsibilities covered under their AUP; and
  • Maintain training/proficiency forms for all personnel listed on their IACUC approved protocol(s).

It is the responsibility of all personnel that are involved in animal care and use to:

  • Complete all required training, as required by policy.

Definitions:
PAR- Program for Animal Resources
CITI-Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative
IACUC-Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Procedure:
I. All personnel working with animals are required to complete the following training prior to entry into the animal facility and prior to any and all animal hands-on training:

1)      All research staff need to request iRIS accounts if they are not present in the system. iRIS is the electronic research submission system the IACUC uses for protocol submission and training tracking.

2)      Online training (CITI Program)-

a)      All personnel must complete:

i)        Working with the IACUC, Basic Course

ii)      Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats, Basic Course

iii)    Aseptic Surgery

b)       Protocol specific training-complete all courses related to the species you will be working with and the work you will be doing:

i)        Mouse- Working with Mice in Research, Basic Course, (if applicable)

ii)      Rat- Working with Rats in Research Settings, Basic Course, (if applicable)

3)      Enroll in the Occupational Health Program.  http://tamhsc.edu/ehsm/forms-laboratory-personnel.html

II. Facility specific training

1)      PAR Orientation-Introduction to animal facilities and laboratories where animal use occurs, including introduction to animal care and use Standard Operating Procedures

III. Continuing Education

1)      Annual submission of Occupational Health update

2)      Triennial Refresher training

a)      Online training (CITI)

i)        Working with the IACUC, Basic Course

ii)      Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats, Basic Course

iii)    Aseptic Surgery

iv)    Species/protocol specific courses

IV. Non-Compliance

Facility access will be denied or revoked if training is not completed or updated as required.

If annual/triennial training is not completed by the due date, the non-compliant personnel and the PI will be given a final notice that the delinquent training must be updated within the next 10 days. If training remains incomplete:

  • Personnel will be administratively removed and the PI will have to add the individual back to the project once training is complete.

References:

  1. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. US Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990) and Regulations (PL-89-544, as amended, 7USC Ch. 54) 2008. CFR Title 9, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
  2. National Research Council. Institute for Laboratory Animal Research. 2011. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Public Health Service, Bethesda, MD.
  3. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/phspol.htm.
  4. Silverman, Jerald, et.al. 2000. The IACUC Handbook: The Basic Unit of an Effective Animal Care and Use Program. Baltimore, MD.
  5. ARENA/OLAW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, 2nd Ed. 2002.

History:
Version 00 -  Initial approval – February 27, 2014