Training Overview

The National Research Council’s 8th Edition of The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Animal Welfare Act (USDA Regulations) require that only trained and qualified personnel work with animals.  For example, The Guide states (regarding research staff):

         ‘The institution should provide appropriate education and training to members of research
         teams—including principal investigators, study directors, research technicians, postdoctoral
         fellows, students, and visiting scientists—to ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and
         expertise for the specific animal procedures proposed and the species used. Training should be
         tailored to the particular needs of research groups; however, all research groups should receive
         training in animal care and use legislation, IACUC function, ethics of animal use and the concepts
         of the Three Rs, methods for reporting concerns about animal use, occupational health and safety
         issues pertaining to animal use, animal handling, aseptic surgical technique, anesthesia and analgesia,
         euthanasia, and other subjects, as required by statute. Continuing education programs should be
         offered to reinforce training and provide updates that reflect changes in technology, legislation, and
         other relevant areas. Frequency of training opportunities should ensure that all animal users have
         adequate training before beginning animal work.’

The Duke animal program recognizes that the goal of all training is to assure the individual working with the animals has satisfactory qualifications and effective skills for the procedures they are approved to do.  The Duke animal program also acknowledges that many professionals are sensing a 'training overload' in today's world.  Even so, research is dynamic and thus requires both initial and on-going training for assured proficiency. As such, Duke uses a tiered approach for animal research and care staff training, providing core information and skills and then supplementing the core training with Annual Refresher and Continuing Education.  The Duke IACUC has established an annual requirement for three (3) continuing education units (CEU) for all animal program participants  For most program participants, you are already far exceeding this level of CE in your routine research development activities.  For others, it may be a matter of documentation more than a new required activity.  But for all, the Duke animal program chooses to make ongoing training as pain-free as it can be.  The IACUC has listed several options below ho individuals may fulfill the 3 CEU requirement annually.

The Duke Animal Care & Use Program offers a training and certification program for individuals wishing to serve as their laboratory ‘go-to’ person for animal care and use activities. Referred to as the Research Animal Coordinator (RAC) certification program, individual’s who participate in this program will receive specific and detailed information concerning animal care & use at Duke. Those who achieve certification may be designated by the Principal Investigator to serve as the laboratory coordinator for all animal activities and provide in-lab guidance regarding animal care & use at Duke. For more information, visit Duke RAC Certification Program.  This is the most robust form of local training for members of the research community, and occurs after completion of the REQUIRED TRAINING (see below).

REQUIRED TRAINING FOR RESEARCHERS (Protocol Participants listed in Protocol Section A-3):

The animal program has published a list of training requirements for research personnel.  Visit this link to review which of the institution's training modules you may be required to complete.

  • All individuals who will have risk of developing animal related disease (defined as handling or contacting animal or animal tissues) are required to complete the Animal Users Training (Parts I and II). To access this web based training module, click here.

  • Those individuals working on mouse or rat protocols where CO2 is a method of euthanasia must also complete the CO2 web module. To access this web based training module, click here.

  • Those individuals who will be using controlled substance for anesthesia, analgesia, sedation, or euthanasia will complete the Controlled Substances module.   To access this web based training module, click here.

  • CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR RESEARCHERS (Protocol Participants listed in Protocol Section A-3):

         Compliance Documentation & Assessment: The individual (or laboratory) will maintain their own training records. Training records will not be maintained by OAWA or the IACUC. Records may be reviewed by Compliance Liaisons and/or IACUC Subcommittees during post-approval monitoring visits or IACUC Semiannual Inspections.  There are three (3) places where the continuing education should be documented:
        1.    A checkbox on Section F (the PI agreement) that all protocol participants have and will continue to obtain three (3) continuing education hours each calendar year;
         2.   A checkbox on the Personnel Qualification Form (PQF) for each individual on the protocol noting that continuing education training has or will be been obtained; and
         3.   As part of the Annual Refresher Training (AHIII) module each year.

     NOTE:  Any manner of documentation of training is acceptable.  The animal program has a C.E. documentation form that can be used,

         Consequences of Failing to Maintain CE activities: As stipulated in the 8th Edition of The Guide, the IACUC is charged with assuring appropriate animal care and animal use. Lack of evidence of ongoing training may be viewed as sub-optimal practice. In such a situation, the individual and/or PI may be encouraged to participate in training activities, the IACUC may require training participation, and/or the IACUC may consider the qualifications of an individual incompatible with the expectations of the Duke animal program. This may impact approval for animal use and/or access to animal facilities.


  • Review IACUC-selected Continuing Education Articles: Visit the Current Listing of CEU Articles that may be of interest.  You receive 1.0 CEU for each article you read. 

  • Attending a Duke Brown Bag Seminar:   The BB Seminars are announced regularly in the 'Animal Tracks' E-newsletter.  You may also email for the next scheduled BB Seminar. You receive 1.0 CEU for each BB Seminar you attend.

  • Reading the Current Edition(s)  of the Institution's E-Newsletter 'Animal Tracks': The Duke animal program has named it's E-newsletter 'Animal Tracks' because we respect the contribution of animals to research. In a sense, we see the 'tracks' of animals on all medical advancements, both past and present ... and we look to the 'tracks' of animals for the future developments of improved health and well being for humans and animals.. 'Animal Tracks' is published approximately monthly, and electronically distributed to the Duke research community. The archived issues are available below; retrieve by clicking on an issue.  You do receive 0.5 CEU for each CURRENT YEAR issue you read.  NOTE:  While review of archival issues does not grant CEUs, the information remains valuable for the Duke research community.

  • Completion of AALAS Learning Library Modules: The Duke animal program holds an institutional license for this web resource. Usernames and passwords are provided to all members of the Duke animal research community by emailing There is NO COST for members of the Duke animal care or use community. Visit the Learning Library for a complete listing of available courses ( You receive 1.0 CEU for each module you complete. 

  • Completion of an OESO Safety Website On-Line Module Having an 'Animal Research' orientation:  The OESO provides on-line training in a variety of subjects, specifically focusing on Duke issues and concerns. Visit and select the 'ONLINE TRAINING' option. You do receive 1.0 CEU for each module you complete which has animal research implications.

  • Attending CE seminars given by DLAR or the Duke Lemur Center: Each activity post their seminar series separately.  Contact Randall Reynolds ( ) for the DLAR seminar schedule and contact Cathy Williams ( ) for the Lemur Center seminar series.  You receive 1.0 CEU for each DLAR or DLC seminar you attend.

  •  Attending an IACUC- or animal use-related regional or national conference: These meetings are held through out the year and include such activities as the NCABR, AALAS, AAALAC, AVMA, SOT, etc,  CEUs are based upon the conference criteria and conference CEU awarding policy. 

  •  Attending an IACUC Programmatic Meetings (RACs Only):  This option is available only to graduate RACs of the Duke Animal program.  You receive 1.0 CEU for each Duke IACUC programmatic meeting you attend.

  •  IACUC Member Training (IACUC members only):  This option is available only to IACUC members who either attend the monthly meeting, or receive and review the E-training document provided afer each monthly meeting.  You receive 1.0 CEU for each Duke IACUC monthly training activity (e.g., meeting attendance or post-meeting training document review).

  •  Other continuing education activities: No list of acceptable CE training can be complete, so the IACUC offers the option that protocol participants may request CEU credit for other CE activities with prior approval of the activity from either the OAWA Director or IACUC Chair.

    2016 Issue #1    
    2015 Issue #1 2015 Issue #2 2015 Issue #3
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    2014 Issue #1 2014 Issue #2 2014 Issue #3
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    2013 Issue #1 2013 Issue #2 2013 Issue #3
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    2013 Issue #7 2013 Issue #8 2013 Issue #9 & #10
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    2012 Issue #7 2012 Issue #8 2012 Issue #9 & #10
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     Brown Bag Seminar Notes: Download a copy of the BB Seminar handout below:  

    Aseptic Surgical Technique for Rodents
    Preparing Your Lab for an IACUC Inspection
    Understanding the AAALAC Accreditation Site Visit Process
    How to Write a Protocol the IACUC will Approve
    Mouse Breeding 101 (Suggestions & Tips)
    Duke Protocol Form (Suggestions on Completing the Application)
    Sanitation for the Research Animal Laboratory Member
    Factors Affecting Research
    ABCs of Daily Animal Observations
    Administrator's Seminar on the Animal Program
    RCR Forum- Factors Affecting Research

    For a list of Upcoming Brown Bag Seminars, email Bill Wade for details.