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What training is required?


The Animal Welfare Regulations and Public Health Service (PHS) Policy require institutions to ensure that people involved in the care or use of animals for research are qualified to do so, and this responsibility is fulfilled in part through the provision of training and instruction.

The Medical College of Wisconsin supports the position of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Public Health Service (PHS) with regards to training. As such, the Medical College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) requires that all personnel working with animals, including animal care staff, veterinary staff, and IACUC members, complete Core Certification as well as training for technical skills applicable to their responsibilities.

Core Certification requirements have been established based on Federal Regulations and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Assurance agreement with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) in order to ensure that all personnel using or caring for animals at this institution are qualified to do so.

Core Certification typically consists of 3 components:

  • Animal Care and Use Program Orientation Component
  • Occupational Health and Safety Component
  • Continuing Education (CE) Component

The first element of Core Certification is attendance at the Animal Care and Use Program Orientation. This orientation component is required for all new personnel and must be renewed by attending the refresher orientation every three years.

The second element is enrollment in the Occupational Health and Safety Program. Enrollment is accomplished by completing the Animal Contact Health Questionnaire online. This enrollment is required and must be updated on an annual basis.

The third element is Continuing Education (CE). For new employees and first time users, the required AALAS Learning Library online course is Working with the IACUC: Non VA version. Completion of an AALAS course is validated by passing the final exam. The CE component must be updated on an annual basis. You may select any AALAS Learning Library course you wish* for subsequent renewals, however, once a course has been completed, it may not be used for the next year’s renewal. Alternatively, you may substitute attendance at an in-house training session provided by the IACUC Office and/or the Biomedical Resource Center (BRC), or proof of attendance at an outside professional seminar or conference** with topics focusing on laboratory animal welfare, application of the 3 Rs (Replacement, Refinement, Reduction), or regulatory aspects of animal care and use.

Research personnel that are enrolled in the Occupational Health program at another institution (e.g. Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center) and receive training through their program may use this to fulfill the training requirements here at the Medical College of Wisconsin. If you fall within this category for training requirements, please notify the IACUC Office of your training status.

A comprehensive list of training opportunities for the animal researcher is available at MCW’s intranet site.  If you have access to InfoScope, search for keywords “training for animal research.”

*The following AALAS Learning Library courses are NOT eligible for renewing the CE component: Study Skills; Taking an AALAS Technical Certification Examination; CMAR Certification Preparation.
**Proof of attendance will be accepted at the discretion of the IACUC Office based upon the approved IACUC standard regarding animal user training.

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Page Updated 05/02/2014