EU recommendations for education and training in Laboratory Animal Science

The background to this structure is the set of recommendations on training in laboratory animal science that were drawn up when the EU animal protection directive (Directive 2010/63/EU) was implemented (Öffnet externen Link in neuem FensterEducation and Training Framework). These recommendations provide for the requirement that anyone who performs functions as defined in Art. 23(2) of the Directive possesses certain core competencies before they are permitted to exercise the functions in question. In accordance with Art. 23(2), this concerns persons who

  • perform procedures in animals (Function A)
  • plan and design procedures (Function B)
  • look after animals (Function C) and  
  • kill animals (Function D).

It is envisaged here that, by broadening the personal qualification profile, it will be possible to take on additional functions. The possibilities for exercising the function “Planning and designing procedures” are restricted, however, because a university degree is required for this function.

The modular structure of vtk online is guided by EU recommendations for training in animal experiment work. 

Modulare concept

Core modules

Core modules = C correspond to all function-specific fields. Core modules are:

ModuleCommentTopicABCD
C 1TheoryNational legislationXXXX
C 2TheoryEthics, animal welfare and the Three Rs (level 1)XXXX
C 3.1TheoryBasic and appropriate biology – species specificXXXX
C 4TheoryAnimal care, health and management – species specific XXXX
C 5TheoryRecognition of pain, suffering and distress - species specificXXXX
C 6.1TheoryHumane methods of killingXXXX

Function-specific modules

Knowledge that relates to A or B or C or D is acquired in function-specific modules = F. They are mandatory for exercising the function in question.

ModuleCommentTopicABCD
F 3.2PraxisBasic and appropriate biology – species specific XXX
F 6.2PraxisHumane methods of killingX
F 7TheoryMinimally invasive procedures without anaesthesia – species specificXX
F 8PraxisMinimally invasive procedures without anaesthesia – species specific X
F 9TheoryEthics, animal welfare and the Three Rs (level 2)X
F 10TheoryDesign of procedures and projects (level 1)X
F 11TheoryDesign of procedures and projects (level 2)X

Task-specific module

Knowledge and skills that go beyond the basic function-specific fields and are required for the performance of specific tasks are acquired in corresponding task-specific modules = T. 

ModuleCommentTopicABCD
T 10TheoryDesign of procedures and projects*X
T 20TheoryAnaesthesia for minor proceduresXX
T 21TheoryAdvanced anaesthesia for surgical or prolonged proceduresXX
T 22Theory & skillsPrinciples of surgery (combined with 21)XX
T 23TheoryAdvanced animal husbandry, care and enrichment practicesX
T 24TheoryDesignated Veterinarian
T 25TheoryProject Evaluator

* This module is a pre-requisite for people who will be designing projects (Function B) but it is also be beneficial for scientists who have some involvement in designing the procedures that they carry-out (Function A).

It is envisaged here that, by broadening the personal qualification profile, it will be possible to take on additional functions. The possibilities for exercising the function “Planning and designing procedures” are restricted, however, because a university degree is required for this function.

People can thus qualify accordingly by completing modules that are not initially envisaged for their kind of activity. 

Example 1: a person who kills animals (Activity D) subsequently takes modules for Activity A or C and, after successful completion, is now allowed to perform these activities. The person if thus qualified activity fields D and A and/or C.

Example 2:for Activity A, the practical module is not envisaged for humane killing; therefore, people who kill animals as part of their job are required to take this module.

vtk onlines' modules

CORE MODULES (C)

  • C 01 Animal welfare law: Introduction to animal welfare legislation: 
  • C 02 Ethics and 3R: Introduction to basic ethical principles relating to animal experiments and the 3Rs - refinement, reduction and replacement
  • C 03 Laboratory animal biology: General and species-specific biology of laboratory animals
  • C 04 Laboratory animal housing: General and species-specific information on the husbandry of laboratory animals
  • C 05 Strain: General and species-specific content concerning constraints on laboratory animals
  • C 06 Humane methods of killing: General and species-specific content on euthanizing laboratory animals

Function-specific modules (F)

  • F 07 Methods without anesthesia: Presentation of minimally invasive methods and their implementation.
  • F 09 Ethics and 3R Level 2: Ethical questions on animal experiments and alternative and supplementary methods
  • F 10 Design of procedures and projects: Approach, database search and biometric planning study in the context of the application

Task-specific modules (T)

  • T 20 Anesthesia and analgesia I: Content on anesthesia and analgesia for minor procedures in laboratory animals
  • T 21 Anesthesia and analgesia II: Content on anesthesia and analgesia for surgical or lengthy procedures in laboratory animals (advanced)
  • T 22 Surgical interventions: The module contains basic information on the approach to surgical procedures

Additional modules (A)

  • A 01 History: Summary on the historical context of animal experiments
  • A 02 Blood sampling methods: Blood sampling procedures that sometimes require anesthesia
  • A 03 Genetically modified animals (GMA): Introduction to genetically modified animals
  • A 04 Telemetry: Collection of telemetric data in animal experiments
  • A 05 Non-invasive methods: Presentation of methods used for animal-friendly data collection
  • A 06 Animal-specific module: hamster - species-specific summary of the learning content from the various modules
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