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Washington State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

IACUC Training

All individuals involved in research, teaching, training, and production using live vertebrate animals must undergo training. Appropriate, standard, training by qualified personnel is mandated by federal regulations.



Mandatory training

WSU IACUC’s training addresses the minimum federal requirements through these mandatory sessions:

Principles of Animal Care (PAC)

Provides the necessary beginning information regarding the ethics and use of animal species models for research and teaching. All individuals listed on protocols must complete this training. Refresher courses must be completed every 3 years by all active personnel.

To enroll, email Ashley Williams or call her at 509-335-5353.

Occupational Health Training—Animals (OHT-A)

Provides risk assessment and health protection information for personnel working with animals.

Retraining must be completed every 3 years if you are active personnel. If you are working with a new species, you need to complete an OHT-A program for that species.

Start OHT-A Training.

Mandatory training for surgical procedures

Aseptic surgical technique

Office of the Campus Veterinarian offers standard, hands-on training for all procedures listed on the protocol. Individuals are welcome to contact the Office of Campus Vet at 509-335-6246 to schedule training.

Training requirements

Aseptic Surgical Technique training requirement applies to:

  • Personnel with the functional role marked “Surgery” on the ASAF form
  • New and 3-year renewal protocols approved after 1/4/2016
  • Amendments adding personnel, after 1/4/2016
  • Survival surgery (Also non-survival surgery of extended duration)

Two parts to the training: Online and hands-on

AST-O is the online course (Board-certified surgeons working within their specialty may request exemption.)
AST-H is the hands-on workshop (DVM, LVT, MD, and RN may request exemption.)

The online course is a prerequisite to sign up for the AST-H workshop.
Workshops are available at Lab Animal Resources Training room (Grimes Way).
Workshops may also be scheduled at your building/surgery area.
Researchers with surgical experience may request an observational assessment of surgical procedure in place of the AST-H workshop.

Each individual performing survival surgery must complete AST-O and AST-H within 90 days after protocol approval. Training Coordinator Becky Elfers will send an introductory letter and 30-day and 60-day reminders. Individuals whose AST training is incomplete 90 days after protocol approval may not perform surgical procedures. The individual, the PI, and IACUC office will be notified. Contact Training Coordinator Becky Elfers, DVM, at any time to enroll.

Other training

Compassion fatigue training for caregivers

Animal Caregiver Training (ACT) is available for all animal caregivers. This training is essential to understand the cumulative toll that this role takes on individuals who care for animals. This information sheet (pdf) provides the overview. You are strongly encouraged to read the training presentation, which addresses issues surrounding caregiving for animals in teaching and research settings. If you experience any of the feelings described, please feel free to use the resources at the end of the presentation.

Species specific training

New students and staff are strongly encouraged to complete the CITI (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) training program offered online by WSU IACUC or the Species specific online courses at the AALAS Learning Library. The online courses complement hands-on training. The IACUC offers a list of suggested training modules. Once you complete the species specific online training you are encouraged to attend hands-on training workshop, offered by the WSU Office of the Campus Veterinarian. Both programs are free. If you require additional modules or training, please contact the IACUC office.

New PI orientation

Investigators new to the institution and working with live vertebrate animals should attend an orientation with the IACUC coordinator. This orientation will provide the PI with information regarding the functioning of WSU IACUC, processes, and policies. This is a friendly and cordial introduction to the IACUC and it will be a good time to have all your questions regarding the process answered. The new PI orientation is scheduled at the convenience of the PI and can be conducted in person or via phone.

New animal manager training

New animal managers are strongly encouraged to complete IACUC training for understanding the functions and responsibilities of their position. These include:

  • Training to enter and maintain animal number usage in the database
  • Familiarity with SOPs
  • Understanding site visits and lab inspections
  • Record keeping
    • Food and Fluid regulation: a sample daily log sheet (sample 1, sample 2) for food or fluid regulation is available for use or you may develop your own log based on the template. The following items must be maintained for each animal on study.
  • Training responsibilities of students and other staff members

The WSU IACUC office provides the training. Database access will be available only after the training has been completed. Contact the IACUC coordinator to schedule a session for the animal manager in your facility.

New training

IACUC will provide other types of training as required. If you do not see listed a training program that is required by your lab, please contact the IACUC training coordinator with your requirements. WSU IACUC is responsive to the needs of each lab. The Office of the Campus Veterinarian (OCV) offers comprehensive hands-on training for investigators, post docs, students, and staff. If you have a need that is not being currently addressed in any of the programs offered, please contact OCV or IACUC with your requirements.