Personnel Training and Qualifications Policy


All personnel working with laboratory animals must be appropriately qualified in order to ensure the humane treatment of animals.  The Boston University Animal Care and Use Program ensures that all individuals handling live animals have the requisite qualifications for the research in which they are engaged, assuring humane care and use of laboratory animals in accordance with the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care & Use of Animals.  The ultimate responsibility for overseeing training in animal care and use rests with the IACUC, which considers the qualifications of research personnel as part of its protocol review and approval process.  This policy covers all personnel working with live animals, including faculty, staff, and students.

I.    PURPOSE           

The privilege of conducting research using animal subjects at Boston University depends on compliance with federal and state regulations and policies governing the humane care and use of laboratory animals.  The IACUC is responsible for ensuring all personnel using animals in research receive instruction and training in properly handling, caring for, and performing pre-procedural, procedural and post-procedural activities as described in their IACUC-approved research protocol.  The IACUC and the Boston University Animal Science Center (BUASC) provide training programs to assist Principal Investigators (PIs) to ensure that they and the animal users in their laboratories are appropriately trained and qualified. 


The specific training requirements and policies for the Boston University IACUCs are as follows:

  1. Principal Investigators must report qualifications and previous training of all research personnel to the IACUC.  The IACUC protocol form allows the PI to indicate the qualifications of each research team member including prior training and experience.  Specific information must be provided regarding the particular procedures an individual will perform and the species with which they will work, as well as the experience they have with these procedures and animal species.  The IACUC will carefully review this information, and determine if any species- and/or procedure-specific training is necessary prior to approval and/or initiation of the research.
  2. Training and knowledge of the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, PHS Policy, and basic IACUC guidelines and standards.  This requirement is met by having all animal care and use personnel attend (on-line or in-person) an initial IACUC orientation and an on-line refresher, to be completed annually.  Animal use protocols will not be approved until this requirement is met by all persons listed on the protocol.
  3. If recovery surgery will be conducted on any species, all personnel responsible for performing the procedure must complete aseptic surgery training prior to initiating the experiment.

In addition to the IACUC requirements listed above, other training and qualification requirements that must be met include:

  1. Training and knowledge of basic animal facility requirements (if applicable).  This requirement is met by completing a site-specific orientation.
  2. Medical surveillance evaluation completed.  An initial risk assessment form is completed and submitted for review through the Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP); in some cases, an exam, a TB test, or vaccinations may be required for medical clearance.  All ROHP requirements must be met before starting work with animals, including, if required, a respirator clearance.  Annual follow-up assessments are also required.
  3. Environmental Health & Safety Training.  Attendance, documented by OEHS, at all required training applicable to the project: (e.g., laboratory safety, biosafety, select agents, shipping, radiation safety, laser safety, anesthetic gas safety, etc.) within the twelve months prior to the individual being listed on an IACUC protocol.
  4. Training by the Principal Investigator. The Principal Investigator will provide his/her staff with training and supervision to ensure that all members of the project team have read and understand the protocol and how to carry out their roles and responsibilities under the protocol safely and with humane care and use of animals.  The PI should make available a copy of the approved protocol to all research personnel listed on that protocol.  The PI must ensure that all research personnel are competent to handle animals and perform procedures as described in the IACUC-approved protocol.  If necessary, training will be arranged through the BUASC Staff Trainer.


  1. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th Edition, 2011. NRC ILAR.  P. 15-18.  Personnel Management.


BU IACUC Approved February 2010; Revised September 2011; Revised October 2012.