Training Requirements for Research Personnel and Students (Permanent or Temporary)


The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (the Guide, NRC 2011) states: "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." (p. 16)


IACUC Policy

Permanent Personnel

Definition: All principal investigators, study directors, research technicians, postdoctoral fellows, students who work independently with live animals. These individuals must fulfill a comprehensive training program.

NOTE: Prior to being added to an IACUC protocol (e.g. new hires) these individuals may work with animals as long as they follow the requirements listed for "Temporary Personnel" below.

Training/Paperwork Requirements

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure that individuals who work with live animals on their protocol(s) complete the requirements as outlined on the IACUC website under Training and Education. Areas of required training include Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program Modules (i.e. Responsible Conduct of Research, Laboratory Animal Welfare, Environmental Health & Safety) and Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) hands on training. In addition, enrollment in the Animal Contact Occupational Health & Safety Program (AniCon) is required.

Temporary Personnel

Definition: Individuals who will be observing or working with animals for no longer than one semester (approximately four months), such as students or visiting scientists. These individuals must comply with the following items:

  • They cannot work with animals unsupervised.
  • They may, under direct supervision, handle or perform minor procedures on animals.
  • They will not be allowed to perform survival surgery, even under supervision.
  • They do not need to be included on an IACUC protocol as "Research Personnel" or added to the protocol by an amendment; however, they must complete the minimum training/paperwork requirements outlined below prior to handling any animals.

Training/Paperwork Requirements

  • Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program Modules
    • Working with the IACUC
    • Animal Allergy Exposure Reduction
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Applicable species-specific course(s)
    • Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats (if applicable)
    • Laboratory Safety
    • Biosafety/Bloodborne Pathogens (if applicable)
    • Radiation Safety (if applicable)
  • Animal Contact Occupational Health & Safety Program (AniCon) enrollment

Documentation of the completed requirements for all temporary personnel must be kept by the Principal Investigator and made available for Post Approval Monitoring and IACUC Semi-Annual Inspections. Temporary personnel may not access any DLAR animal facility unattended. If personnel become permanent or continue to work with animals longer than one semester, they must be added to the protocol via amendment immediately.

Auxiliary Employees

Definition: Individuals working in areas adjacent to animal use spaces may be at risk of being exposed to animal allergens. These individuals include laboratory personnel working in adjacent laboratory space, custodial staff, physical plant staff, and contractors who work inside animal housing facilities or adjacent areas.

Training/Paperwork Requirements

Animal allergen educational material will be posted in animal care areas, laboratories, custodial and physical plant administrative areas, and handed out during semi-annual inspections. Supervisory staff will cover animal allergen exposure information with custodial and physical plant staff at least once annually.

Minor Employees, Permanent or Temporary

Definition: Any minor, defined as any person who is under the age of 18, must comply with the Minors in Research Laboratories and Animal Facilities Policy while in a research lab or animal facility. They must comply with the above training requirements as applicable to their laboratory role.

Workshop Attendees

Definition: Individuals not included on the IACUC protocol as Research Personnel who are attending workshops (e.g. company sales representatives, trainees) are exempt from this policy. However, if radiation generating machines are used during the workshop, WSU Radiation Safety has specific requirements that must be met. Please see the WSU Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) website for details.



Approved: January 2008

Revisions Approved: 8/2008, 12/2012, 8/2013, 11/2014, 6/2015, 6/2019