Research Personnel Qualifications and Training

One of the primary responsibilities of the IACUC is to ensure that research personnel have the qualifications and training necessary to perform proposed work using animal subjects. Below is information about required training for personnel wishing to work with laboratory animals. To see training requirements for visitors click HERE. 

The RRF also offers optional hands-on training for Principal Investigators and laboratory personnel. Level III Training is one-on-one or group sessions for practical training with animals. The training may be tailored to the needs of the individual or laboratory and is intended to help new or established personnel at any level develop and/or hone techniques common to most all research efforts. Click here to see more information/register for Level III Training. 

 

Required Training for personnel wishing to work with laboratory animals and for access into animal facilities: 

In order to adhere to Federal regulations governing the use of animals in medical research, the IACUC has developed a training program to ensure that personnel are appropriately trained in animal care and use. Below is a summary of the 4 requirements that all personnel wishing to work with lab animals and gain facility access must complete.

You can find the Periodic Animal Contact Health Survey HERE. A link to CITI Program and instructions on how to complete each training requirement are under the ***Instructions*** link below.

How to Complete IACUC Training Requirements:


1. a.) Complete the Level II ("Working with the IACUC"), and 

    b.) OHS ("Occupational Health and Safety Training for Animal Handlers") courses in CITI Program.

Here are detailed instructions on how to register for the 2 courses in CITI:

Registering a NEW CITI Account for Level II and OHS (for users who do not have a CITI account)

Registering an EXISTING CITI Account for Level II and OHS (for users who already have a CITI account)

Link to CITI Program


2. Complete the Individual Risk Assessment for OHSP enrollment by filling out the Periodic Animal Health Survey. Return the Survey to the IACUC Office (MDR-015) in a sealed envelope labeled with the participant's name and the words "Periodic Animal Contact Health Survey" on the front. PLEASE DO NOT FAX or EMAIL the Periodic Health Survey.  Mail ONLY!


3. Fill out your IACUC Participant Training Log.  You should record all prior experience and training. All training and experience should be species-specific. Note: you should periodically update your training log to reflect all newly-obtained training. Training should be obtained and documented prior to performing any animal-related procedures unsupervised. An Information Sheet for Training Log Completion is available here. 

Go to the Training Log Website


4. Complete Euthanasia Training, if applicable. If you are responsible for euthanasia, you must attend a hands-on euthanasia training session with RRF faculty and/or staff. Register to take a euthanasia training course here. 




Once you have completed the steps above, you will have fulfilled the IACUC training requirements and can be added to an IACUC Proposal. After you are approved as a project participant on a proposal in iRIS, you can submit a facility access request.  

All personnel wishing to work with laboratory animals and requesting access into animal facilities must complete this training before they will be approved as project participants and granted facility access. Level II Training is now offered online through CITI Program as a set of courses titled “Working with the IACUC.”  Currently, no in-person training sessions are planned and all Level II Training should be completed online, unless a special request is made through the IACUC office for an in-person session.

Level II is designed to ensure that individuals understand the principles of humane animal care and are qualified to handle the species proposed for use. All research personnel listed on an animal-use proposal must complete the "Level II" course before they can participate on an animal research study. In addition, Level II refresher training is required every three years to ensure that all personnel working with animals stay informed of the regulatory requirements. Those who have not met training requirements at the time of proposal submission are informed of the need to do so during the proposal review process; animal use privileges are contingent upon meeting the IACUC training requirements.

See the IACUC policy "Required Training" for further information about Level II "Working with the IACUC".

Enrollment in the Occupational Health and Safety Program (OSHP) for Animal Handlers is mandatory for all personnel exposed to animals or animal areas and must be renewed every three years. OHSP enrollment consists of 2 parts: a CITI training course and the Individual Risk Assessment (the Periodic Animal Contact Health Survey). The CITI training course, titled "Occupational Health and Safety Training for Animal Handlers," includes information about animal-related hazards such as allergies, bites, and scratches; zoonotic diseases; physical hazards such as "sharps," electrical hazards, and compressed gas cylinders; and the use of hazardous agents. All individuals wishing to work independently with animals must take this course and successfully pass a quiz based on its contents.

The University has a multidisciplinary approach to assessing hazards associated with the use of animals and potentially hazardous agents. Animal facilities are designed with engineering controls over potential hazards; operational practices and personal protective equipment (PPE) augment this control.  For example, research personnel working in animal facilities are required to wear a clean laboratory coat or disposable gown as minimal protection. Disposable gloves are available in all animal-housing rooms; their use is strongly encouraged during any animal handling activities. Depending on the health status of the animals involved or the use of hazardous agents in research, additional PPE may be required, such as additional disposable gowns, masks, shoe covers, and special gloves (e.g., nitrile). Project-specific PPE requirements are outlined in individual Special Animal Safety Protocols (SASPs).

Your understanding of potential hazards in animals and animal facilities does not prepare you to mitigate risks associated with your personal medical status.  Conditions such as pregnancy, immune-suppression, and preexisting allergies may increase risks of occupationally-acquired illness. The Individual Risk Assessment allows individualized risk assessment by an OHS Physician. You are encouraged to complete a new Periodic Animal Contact Health Survey if your health or medical status changes in any way. You will be required to submit a new survey at least once every three years.

NOTE: The IACUC provides oversight for enrollment in the OHSP related to animal subjects. IACUC-approved animal use privileges are contingent upon complete enrollment. Failure to re-enroll will result in administrative removal as a participant in associated Proposals and thereby loss of animal use privileges. Failure of Principal Investigator enrollment or re-enrollment will result in administrative inactivation of all pertinent Proposals and thereby loss of animal use privileges for the laboratory. The RRF also assists in monitoring by controlling facility access; access into central vivaria is not granted until individuals have completed the enrollment process (i.e., completion of OHS, Level II Training and the Periodic Animal Contact Health Survey). The RRF will also be instructed to remove access to animal facilities for individuals failing to re-enroll.

See the IACUC policies "Individual Risk Assessment and Medical Surveillance" and "Required Training" for further information about OHSP. Note: Some activities may require general safety training provided by DEHS, such as General Laboratory Safety / Hazardous Waste Training, General Bloodborne Pathogen Training, and Radiation Training.

The IACUC Participant Training Log is used to document species- and procedure-specific training; each animal user must maintain an IACUC Participant Training Log. This Log should describe prior experience for which specific procedure proficiency was obtained and outline each newly-acquired training. IACUC Participant Training Logs must be made available to the IACUC upon request. Principal Investigators are responsible for ensuring that training is obtained and documented prior to a Participant performing any animal-related procedures unsupervised. Participants conducting procedure for which the Log does not record an appropriate level of training may also lose animal use privileges.

Effective February 1, 2019: All laboratory personnel responsible for euthanasia must attend a hands-on euthanasia training session with RRF faculty and/or staff. The IACUC is also offering the opportunity for key laboratory personnel to become RRF-certified euthanasia trainers to train individuals within their lab; lab personnel wanting to become RRF-certified euthanasia trainers must attend a hands-on euthanasia trainer certification course with RRF vet staff. The RRF offers training monthly, as well as on an individualized basis, for both the euthanasia course and the euthanasia trainer certification course. All new Proposals, 3-year renewal Proposals, and study participant additions will be subject to this euthanasia training requirement. Further information is available in the IACUC policy, "Required Training." 

Information regarding available training sessions is available HERE. 


RRF-certified euthanasia trainers should document any training sessions they conduct with the Euthanasia Training Sign-In Sheet and promptly email the IACUC Office after the sessions with the sign-in sheet of participants and species-specific methods of euthanasia taught.