Institutional Animal User Training Program (IAUTP)

Animal User Training Requirements

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines mandate that

"All personnel involved in the use of animals in research, teaching and testing must be adequately trained in the principles of laboratory animal science and the ethical issues involved in animal use."
“...all personnel working with animals [must] possess the necessary knowledge, skills and competency to perform their required tasks prior to commencement of any work involving animals.”

This includes principal investigators, research staff, trainees, animal care staff, etc., and refers to all types of animals used in science, including traditional “laboratory animals” as well as domestic livestock, fish and wildlife. 

The University of Alberta training requirements for animal users are delivered in two parts:

  • Part 1: Basic Animal Care and Use Course
  • Part 2: Practical Species Specific and Procedure-Specific Training

Part 1: Basic Animal Care and Use Course

An online course managed by the Research Ethics Office, required to access ARISE and as a prerequisite for Practical Hands-on Species-specific and Procedure-specific Training.

The Basic Animal Care and Use Course include the following core topics: regulations and animal welfare; moral, legal and ethical issues; and the concept of the Three Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement). The course discusses the University of Alberta’s animal care and use program, the roles and responsibilities of Animal Care and Use Committees (ACUCs), the CCAC Assessment and Certification program, and the legal framework in Canada for animal use in science. Trainees will also learn ethical considerations and how the ACUC evaluates issues like environmental enrichment, animal stress, pain and its control, and euthanasia. 

Trainees will complete one or more Animal Knowledge Streams based on the type of animals to be used - traditional Lab Animal Species (mice, rats), Aquatic Animals (fish), Agricultural Animals (Cattle, Pigs, Poultry), or Wildlife (wild birds or mammals in the field or captive).

Training Equivalencies

New staff and students at the University have the option to submit training documentation from other CCAC-certified institutions or equivalent international institutions (e.g., USA, UK, EU) for credit review. However, all individuals must complete a portion of the Basic Animal Care and Use Course to ensure they are familiar with the University of Alberta's procedures and policies. If you seek credit for prior animal training, please submit the request to take the course and send your certificate(s) or training records to

How to take the course

The course is available through eClass and REO will need to enroll you to take the course.

Submit a request to take the course

Note:This form only notifies REO that you are requesting to take the course. You will be emailed further instructions following submission of your request.

Part 2: Practical Species Specific and Procedure-Specific Training

Hands-on training managed and offered by the Animal Services Units and RRSMRI.

Species and procedure/technique specific training is required for all personnel who handle animals in any way. Practical Training modules are offered by the animal services units. Please contact the appropriate unit to arrange training.

Practical Species Specific and Procedure-Specific Training
Research Area Animal Handling Courses Method of Registration
Agricultural or biomedical studies with livestock (farm animals) Handling and care of dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry, swine; and specialized technique/procedure training, e.g. blood collection, injections, swine anesthesia Offered by AFNS Animal Units. Complete the IAUTP Part 2: Species Specific Training form for Livestock and Dr. Christina Osborne will reply. 
Biomedical (“traditional lab animals”) Handling and care of mouse, rat, guinea pig, hamster, other lab animal species; plus specialized technique/procedure training, e.g. blood collection, injections, gavage.

Offered by HSLAS. 

Email HSLAS ( for training forms and registration details.

Phone: 780-492-3040

Biology, Psychology & Wildlife SASS facility orientation, handling and care of songbirds, pigeons, and fish (zebrafish and other). Specialized technique/procedure training as is requested.

Offered by Science Animal Support Services (SASS). Email ( for training forms and registration details.

Surgical Procedures

Aseptic Techniques;
Basic Surgical Skills and Principles

Offered by Ray Rajotte Surgical Medical Research Institute. Contact RRSMRI for registration procedures and details.

Training Equivalencies for Practical Training

Staff and students who are new to the University may submit evidence of animal user training completed elsewhere (or comparable experience) and request that it be accepted as equivalent training. Please provide copies of training certificates to the animal services unit supporting your protocol for review.

Records of Training 

Once an individual successfully completes training, the training record is updated in their profile in the ARISE system. This allows the ACUC to verify that study personnel are qualified to conduct the proposed work.