Office of Research Administration

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Training Responsibilities

What training should be provided?

PHS Policy and Animal Welfare Act regulations require all individuals working with animals in research and teaching to be well versed in their individual animal welfare responsibilities as well as in humane methods of animal experimentation, proper care and handling of animal species, and appropriate use of anesthetics, analgesics, and tranquilizers.

The Principal Investigator must make sure that everyone listed on his/her protocol or working with live, vertebrate animals participates in the Occupational Health and Safety Program according to IACUC policy. In addition, each person listed on the Animal Care and Use Protocol must successfully complete the on line training courses conducted through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website. First time users of the CITI training modules must register and should read the CITI Instruction Page before proceeding. CITI Program's Animal Care and Use (ACU) materials cover general principles of ethical care and use of animals in research, training, and testing, as well as focusing on the care and use of particular species. Content is designed to meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) requirements for basic training in the humane care and use of animals. There are also courses designed to help investigators learn how to work more productively with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and for members of the IACUC itself. Animal-specific materials in the "Working with..." courses focus on research involving specific species. Additional content focuses on aseptic surgery, post-procedure care and post-approval monitoring.

The Principal Investigator must provide training on the following:
  • Protocol specific training: Training on procedures and techniques listed in the protocol.
  • Personal hygiene: How to reduce the risk of contamination to the person as well as surfaces, other personnel, and other animals.
  • Personal protective equipment: How to properly select and use personal protective equipment such as gloves, eyewear, lab coats, respirators, etc.
  • Proper Use of Hazardous agents if approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee.
  • Animal bite instructions: How to appropriately respond to an animal bite or similar exposure, including immediate washing and first aid procedures, who to contact, and to whom to report the exposure. This information must be posted in the laboratory or work area.  Information regarding procedures is available from Student/Employee Health Services or DCM.
  • Zoonotic diseases: Inform individuals of zoonotic diseases associated with the species they are working with. 
  • Animal Care and husbandry: Awareness of procedures necessary for animal care and husbandry. This is generally for animal care staff and investigator maintained animals only.
  • Euthanasia: Procedures on the euthanasia method approved in the Animal Use and Care Protocol.
  • Pain and discomfort, anesthetics and analgesics: How to recognize the signs of pain and discomfort in the species with which each individual will be working and the use of the anesthetics and analgesics approved in the Animal Use and Care Protocol.
  • Record keeping, monitoring procedures: How to maintain the necessary records and the monitoring procedures for each project.
  • Injury and Illness Prevention: Inform all personnel on the information contained in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), the evacuation plan, and the availability of pertinent employee health and safety services, etc.
  • Bloodborne Pathogens: How to take the necessary precautions when working with bloodborne pathogens and what procedures to follow when possible contamination has occurred.
  • Other Hazardous Materials: Information regarding other hazardous substances such as chemicals and radiation used within the work area. This may include the safety data sheets, personal protection and other pertinent safety information.

Documentation of the above information must be maintained by the Principal Investigator and be readily accessible to the IACUC during area inspections. The training document should include:

  • Name of person(s) conducting training
  • Signature of person receiving training
  • Date of training
  • A brief description of subjects covered

Available Resources: DCM personnel, with the oversight of the IACUC, provides classes for species-specific animal handling and biomethodology, anesthesia techniques, and aseptic surgery techniques to IACUC approved protocol personnel who have direct contact with laboratory animals. Individual or small group hands-on training sessions are tailored to meet individual needs and are announced throughout the year. For information regarding training, contact IACUC@Downstate.edu.