The IACUC is charged with warranting that the university “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” (Animal Welfare Act, 2.32). The Act further specifies areas of training that should be included.
Training is conducted once and tailored to meet the individual training and certification needs of scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment or use. The described training is individualized (one-on-one or group), specific to the protocol goals and conducted prior to beginning work with animals. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide) will be used to develop training (PHS Policy IV.A.1.g). Additional training is provided on an on-going basis as necessary to address revisions to PHS and/or USDA policy, animal care issues or other change in best practice. Training will be documented in attendance rosters and online for web based training programs. Training needs will be met as follows:
1. Annual Orientation
There are four types of orientation sessions conducted annually: planned, departmental, principal investigator, and one-on-one. The purposes of the orientation sessions are (1) to provide an open forum for faculty, research personnel, and graduate students to ask questions; (2) to inform about the UM Animal Care and Use Program; (3) to inform about changes to federal and/or UM policies, procedures and regulations; and (4) to meet member of the IACUC, its staff, and staff of the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance. These orientation sessions will be provided by the Office of Research and the IACUC.
2. Animal Care and Use Personnel
The training or instruction available to scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, or use is as follows: All personnel performing procedures using animals must be identified in the Institutional Animal Care and Use Protocol. A description of each individual’s qualifications, experience and/or training with the specific animal species, model and procedures must be provided for IACUC review. Any person needing additional protocol-specific training will be identified during the review process and such required training will be a condition of approval of the protocol.
All persons involved in animal care and use will be required to attend an orientation seminar given by the IACUC Chair, Attending Veterinarian, or other qualified individual(s), which covers the laws and regulations covering laboratory animal care and use with an emphasis on the contents of the NRC Guide and the 3R’s. The training includes training or instruction on research or testing methods that minimize the numbers of animals required to obtain valid results and limit animal pain or distress as well as other requirements delineated in 9 CFR, Part 2, Subpart C, Section 2.32(c). On-line training may be used and accepted in lieu of in-house training. Any use of on-line training to fulfill training requirements must be approved by the IACUC. Approval and completion of on-line training will be documented.
Training in experimental methods, i.e., specific animal manipulations and techniques, will be conducted based on the types of research being conducted at the institution. PIs will sometimes ask the Attending Veterinarian to train them and their research personnel on a procedure specific to their animal study.
3. Animal Research On-Line Web Page
The University has an on-line web page for animal research: http://www.research.olemiss.edu/iacuc . This page covers The University of Mississippi’s policies of animal care and use, protocol submission procedures, animal per diems, animal vendors, and extensive on-line resources for acquiring information on various research animals, experimental models, and in vitro alternatives to animals.
4. Seminars, Workshops, and Conferences
AF staff are informed about and provided the opportunity to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences or other training and education sessions throughout the year, including those sponsored by Vicon Publishing Inc.’s Audio/Web Seminars, American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Webinars, National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), OLAW, USDA, PRIM&R, AAALAC, etc.
5. One-on-One Training
One-on-one training is used when the investigator, students, or technicians are learning how to perform a procedure or are developing a new or different procedure. The training is generally given by the Attending Veterinarian or another technician who has successfully used the particular technique. Because our facility is small, the Veterinarian and the animal care staff are able to closely monitor all personnel involved with animals and ensure that everyone is properly trained. Dr. Fyke and the animal care staff regularly receive continuing education through participation in national meetings involving laboratory animal medicine, animal welfare, and regulatory issues. When deemed necessary by the IACUC and/or Veterinarian, technicians and investigators are sent to other research institutions and/or training seminars to receive training in specific areas.
6. Health and Safety Training
It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to obtain the appropriate training and approvals from the Department of Health and Safety. The principal investigator is responsible for assuring Co-PIs, graduate assistants, research assistants, undergraduate students and any other technicians involved in the care and use of animals obtains the appropriate training. In addition to training mentioned above, training must also be obtained in the following areas, as appropriate: biosafety; chemical safety; pathogen safety; radiation devices; radioactive materials; devices and materials refreshers; and biosafety maintenance.
7. Approval for Use of Radioactive Materials
If radioactive materials will be used in the course of the research, the principal investigator must obtain approval from Brielle Grantham (firstname.lastname@example.org), Radiological Safety Coordinator and Mr. Ed Movitz, Health and Safety Officer. Specific information regarding Health and Safety policy, procedures and training can be found at http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/safety/ . Additionally, it may be necessary for the principal investigator to obtain approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). Principal investigators must submit the IBC Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement to obtain approval. The form can be found at http://www.research.olemiss.edu/health-safety/ibc.
Failure to obtain the training and/or approval signatures appropriate for the research to be conducted will delay the protocol approval process. The IACUC will not approve a protocol application until appropriate training and approval signatures have been obtained and submitted to the IACUC Office.
8. Novel Compound Use
The NCNPR produces many substances used in animal research. The IACUC has developed a Novel Compound Policy that will assist investigators in writing protocols involving the administration of novel substances.
9. Use of Distribution Lists
In addition to the above, the Animal Facility Office and the IACUC Office maintain mailing lists and on-line mailing lists of all IACUC members, principal investigators, department heads, instructors, technicians, and project personnel working with animals. Educational materials are distributed and the online mailing list is notified periodically of web-based educational materials. Particular attention is given to alternatives and refinement resources (i.e. computer-based training modules, simulations, new online databases and so forth).