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Training Requirements

Animals: training information

To use any live vertebrate animals at ASU, all faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduate researchers must:

  1. achieve certification in the animal care and use training program
  2. receive clearance from the Occupational Health and Safety Program

The only individuals allowed to work with animals without meeting these requirements are students enrolled in a formal ASU course (one that has a university course number, such as BIO361) that includes the use of live animals. In such courses, the students are directly supervised by the instructor or teaching assistant, both of whom must be listed on an IACUC protocol. Individuals receiving live animal training from researchers proficient in the techniques or from DACT personnel must be on an ASU IACUC approved protocol before receiving that training.

The ASU animal training is comprised of three levels:

Level I Basic is required of all animal users, animal handlers and IACUC members, and it covers the rules and regulations regarding animal use at ASU and alternatives to animal use.  Recertification is required every four (4) years.  Level I training is an online training module.

Level II Species is required of all animal users and animal handlers who come into direct contact with live animals. This training is species specific, and each user must be certified for each species of animal he or she will work with. Recertification is required every four (4) years. Level II training is an online training module.

Level III covers training on specific procedures performed on animals and entails hands-on instruction by an authorized trainer, who may be Department of Animal Care and Technologies (DACT) or research personnel (see below). Level lll training is required of all individuals who work with animals. Procedures requiring Level III training include:

  • Physical Identification: ear punch, ear tag, toe clip
  • Genotyping: ear punch, toe clip, tail clip
  • Injections: all forms including SC, ID, IM, IP, IV, RO
  • Administration: oral dosing, oral gavage, IN
  • Blood collection: all forms including submandibular, cardiac, lateral saphenous, tail vein, ear vein
  • Anesthesia: specify injectable or inhalation
  • Aseptic technique: prerequisite or concurrent with surgery
  • Surgery: procedure specific
  • Post-surgical monitoring
  • Perfusion
  • Euthanasia: procedure specific including secondary method

Level III training is deemed adequate once the individual has developed the skills to consistently perform the procedure independently (without supervision).  Once this level of training is reached, an authorized trainer, such as the DACT staff member providing the training, the individual's principal investigator (PI), or an alternate contact designated by the PI in the protocol must submit a Level III Training Documentation Form to within five (5) business days.  

An individual cannot perform a procedure independently until a Level III Training Documentation Form has been submitted and approved by the IACUC.

ASU faculty members and medical professionals who have previous experience may substitute the hands-on training requirement by emailing the IACUC office a vita or a list of published work along with indicating on the protocol those procedures they are skilled to perform. Those skills will be verified during a post-approval monitoring session of the first surgical procedure. All other individuals, whether coming to ASU with experience or not, must receive training or have their skills verified by an authorized trainer prior to submitting the Level III Training Documentation Form.

Authorized Trainer

An authorized trainer is an individual that possesses the skills and knowledge to instruct others on a specific animal technique in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. They must demonstrate the following abilities: perform the procedure, accurately explain the steps of the procedure, recognize and critique when an individual is performing the procedure incorrectly, and troubleshoot unexpected situations. A person can be an authorized trainer in multiple techniques and on multiple species.

Contact to schedule a trainer evaluation. DACT's Research Support Services (RSS) staff will work with the potential trainer to schedule the evaluation at a convenient time for the trainer, trainee, and RSS member. Individuals that are not authorized trainers may train other under the supervision of an authorized trainer. The authorized trainer is the only person who can complete the final training and sign the training document. 

DACT-provided training

DACT can provide the IACUC-required Level III training upon request and free of charge. This training can cover basic procedures including handling, delivery methods, sampling methods, anesthesia, aseptic technique and euthanasia to more advanced surgical procedures on mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, frogs, chickens and other species. In addition to being an IACUC requirement, appropriate training in these methods helps to ensure that animals are handled and treated humanely and that research results are valid. Depending on the required skill of the procedure and the individual's comfort level, multiple training sessions may be required. 

Contact to schedule a session. Records of all DACT-provided training will be sent to the IACUC to provide documentation of Level lll compliance. 

Safety training

Depending on the specifics of the research being performed, additional safety trainings may be required by Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), including but not limited to:

  • Anesthetic Gas Safety – required when utilizing gas anesthesia
  • Hazardous Waste Management – required for discarding chemicals or biological materials
  • Laboratory Safety – required when working in a research laboratory
  • Nonhuman Primate Safety – required when working with nonhuman primates
  • Radiation Safety – required when using irradiation or radiological materials
  • Venomous Reptile – required when working with venomous reptiles

The EH&S Training Determination Tool can be used to help determine safety courses based on the work being performed.

Training resources

Additional, optional training on topics such as occupational health and safety and aseptic surgery can be found on the IACUC Training site.

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