ACURET Independent Training programs (ITPs)

Preamble:

The privilege of conducting research using animal subjects requires adherence to federal regulations and the Institutional policies governing the humane care and use of laboratory animals. One of the federal regulations requires assurance that individuals involved in the care and use of animals in research, teaching and testing, be qualified to perform their duties.

  • It shall be the responsibility of the research facility to ensure that all scientists, research technicians, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment and use are qualified to perform their duties. This responsibility shall be fulfilled in part through the provision of training and instruction to those personnel.
  • Training and instruction shall be made available, and qualifications of personnel reviewed, with sufficient frequency to fulfill the research facility's responsibilities under this section.

To that end, ACURET Independent Training programs (ITPs) has designed Animal Care and Use Training Programs to provide appropriate adequate training and instructions to all individuals working with animals in developing countries. This includes Basic and Advance IACUC protocol review workshops (IPA 101, 201). As part of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocol review process, the IACUC must ensure that personnel are qualified to perform the proposed animal procedures. ACURET ITP also provides hands-on practical related workshops that include performing certain euthanasia, injection and bleeding techniques. Attendees are certified.

The ACURET Independent Training Programs is dedicated to advancing knowledge and improving the health and well being of humans and animals through the humane and ethical use of animals in biomedical research.

S/No Training Program Description/Objectives Duration Comments
1 Basic IACUC Protocol Review (IPA101) Format: Workshop The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the responsible use of animals in university/Institutional research and instructional activities. The IACUC reviews protocols, reviews the animal care and use program, and monitors university animal facilities to ensure compliance with standards and regulatory requirements. IPA 101 will include
• Regulations and Guidelines
• IACUC Composition, Functions and Authority
• Institutional Reporting to ACURET
• Protocol Review
3 days Open to PIs, Administrators, Veterinary and Medical personals, Lawyers and community members of IACUC. IPA 101 is a prerequisite to IPA 201, even though both will run concurrently for the 3-days duration. Certification will eventually become relevant to be a member of and IACUC.
2 Advance IACUC Protocol Review (IPA201) Format; Workshop • Program Review and Inspection of Facilities
• Animal Use and Management
• Institutional Responsibilities
3 days
3 Humane Care and Use of Lab animals in Research [HUCULAR Course] Format: Seminar/Workshop with Hands-on practicals Present basic facts and principles that is essential for the humane use and care of animals and for the quality of research. The contents of the course are in line with recommendations of the Animal Care and Use in Research, Education and Testing Organization (ACURET.ORG) recommendations regarding the training of the young African scientists whose research involves the use of vertebrate animals. 4-6 days Open to students, Junior faculty, PIs, Animal Technicians and Animal vendors.
4 Facilities management and managers Training Course

Technical skill expectations for technicians include a basic knowledge of the species worked with, understanding of facility equipment, and animal handling abilities. Skill sets for animal facility managers include personnel management and scheduling, supply procurement, space allocation, animal production management, and communication with researchers and senior management

Defined roles and responsibilities of today’s laboratory animal facility manager to include (i) Providing “direct supervision of supervisory personnel.” (ii) Assuring that “standard operating procedures (SOPs) are current and accurate.” (iii) Assuring that “occupational safety procedures for animal care are observed.” (iv) Recommending personnel actions including hiring, training, promoting, and disciplining. (v) Participating in “facilities management and planning.”

An animal research facility manager is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and overall management of laboratory animal care personnel and the animal facility. Some of the manager’s functions include procurement of animals for research and teaching purposes, supervision of animal laboratory technicians and other part-time personnel, control of animal holding facilities and helping to obtain proper veterinary care for the animals. In addition, managers are responsible for ensuring conditions vital to the well-being of animals continuously are met in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act as implemented through the Department of Agriculture regulations and, for federally funded research, the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

More specific job duties can include the following: implementing and evaluating new procedures; monitoring experiments to ensure research study protocols are being followed and notifying proper personnel if deviations are noted; participating in Institutional Animal Care Use Committee (IACUC) meetings; and coordinating facility inspections.

Animal research facility managers ensure, by performing and/or delegating necessary functions, that animals are provided feed, water, bedding and clean cages, according to their individual care requirements. Managers also ensure that proper environmental conditions (temperatures, light levels and ventilation) are met at all times. They track and record relevant data. Managers ensure that animals are healthy by observing animals daily for signs of illness or disease, testing for parasites and coordinating necessary care with veterinarian(s).

Managers also might coordinate the ordering and receiving of animals, ensuring that the animals arrive in time for classroom or research use, that appropriate housing is available and that all procurement specifications are met. They inventory shipments, check health status and input data in the record system.

On a day-to-day basis, animal research facility managers oversee operation and maintenance of the facility’s surgical suite, making sure that sterile supplies are stocked and that housekeeping and sanitation practices consistently are performed. They ensure the chemical room, instrument room and support spaces are cleaned, stocked with supplies and able to be used effectively. Managers maintain all required facility records, including daily inspection logs, health records, protocols, censuses and facility records, in computer databases and paper files.

The facility manager also is responsible for breeding animals for use in teaching and research projects. Managers communicate regularly with both faculty and student research personnel regarding the condition of the animals and on any issues related to their care. They assist faculty and students in conducting animal research projects, including presurgical and postsurgical care, injections, drug administration and more.