Animal Care and Use (ACU)

These courses cover the general principles of the ethical care and use of animals in research, training, and testing.

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About these Courses

The ACU courses are designed to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) requirements for basic training in the humane care and use of animals.

The courses are intended to help investigators and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members work more productively. Additional courses are available for IACUC chairs, IACUC community members, and institutional officials (IOs), as well as individuals seeking training on post-procedure care and post-approval monitoring or wildlife research. Courses on working with specific animal types are also included.

NOTE: IACUC Administration and Semiannual Evaluations in Depth are also available to complement ACU training.

These courses were written and peer-reviewed by experts.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Animal Workers and Staff, IACUC Chairs, IACUC Community Members, IACUC Members, Institutional Officials, Investigators, Research Assistants, Students

Basic Courses

Working with the IACUC

IACUC member writing notes at a table
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Essentials for IACUC Members

hand of IACUC member reading about responsibilities
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IACUC Community Member

IACUC community member holding notes
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Post-Procedure Care of Mice and Rats in Research

syringes and vials for post procedure care of animals
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Wildlife Research

wildlife binoculars for research
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Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM)

check marked yes box
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Refresher Courses

Working with the IACUC – Refresher

circle of chairs for for IACUC
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IACUC Member Refresher Case Studies

sheet displaying roles and responsibilities of an IACUC member
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Additional Courses

Institutional Official: Animal Care and Use

institutional official reviewing information on a tablet
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IACUC chair highlighting document
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Specific Courses

Working with Amphibians in Research Settings

Researcher looking into microscope
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Working with Cats in Research Settings

vet x-ray of cat anatomy
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Working with Cattle in Agricultural Research Settings

veterinary hands preparing an injection for cattle
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Working with Dogs in Research Settings

hands holding xray of dog torso
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Working with Ferrets in Research Settings

medicine for ferrets in research
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Working with Fish in Research Settings

Three zebrafish danio rerio swimming
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Working with Genetically Modified Mice in Research Settings

genetically modified mice dan
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Working with Gerbils in Research Settings

veterinarian injecting gerbil
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Working with Guinea Pigs in Research Settings

checking heart rate of a guinea pig
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Working with Hamsters in Research Settings

hamster x-ray on monitor
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Working with Horses in Agricultural Research Settings

female nurse stroking horse nose for comfort
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Working with Mice in Research Settings

research mouse
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Working with Non-Human Primates in Research Settings

primate skeleton for research
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Working with Rabbits in Research Settings

lab housing for rabbits
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Working with Rats in Research Settings

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Working with Reptiles in Research Settings

thermal scan of a reptile in research
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Working with Sheep and Goats in Research Settings

flock of sheep for research
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Working with Swine in Research Settings

veterinarian reaching down to touch pig
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Working with Zebrafish (Danio rerio) in Research Settings

Animal Care and Use (ACU)
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Do the ACU courses meet any federal mandates or guidelines?

Yes, the ACU courses are designed to help organizations fulfill federal training mandates and guidelines. The U.S. Government PrinciplesHealth Research Extension Act of 1985, USDA Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, and the PHS Policy all refer to the requirement for appropriately trained, qualified, and experienced personnel, as well as availability of instruction and training.

Who should take ACU courses?

Federal training requirements extend not only to individuals who work with animals, but also to those individuals who are charged with overseeing an animal care and use program. ACU courses are designed for each member of the animal care and use community.

Course Suggested Audiences
Working with the IACUC IACUC members, investigators, research assistants, animal workers, staff, and students
Essentials for IACUC Members IACUC members
IACUC Community Member IACUC community members
Post-Procedure Care of Mice and Rats in Research: Reducing Pain and Distress Personnel working with mice and rats in research
Wildlife Research Personnel studying wildlife or reviewing wildlife research protocols
Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM) IACUC members, staff, and investigators
Institutional Official: Animal Care and Use Course Institutional officials
IACUC Chair Course IACUC chairs

When should someone take a refresher ACU course?

Learners: Each organization develops refresher course requirements based on their own animal care and use program needs. Please refer to your organization’s training guidelines.

Administrators: Most organizations select a three-year period of retraining although your organization’s training needs may differ. ACU refresher courses allow organizations multiple options when it comes to developing content to meet their retraining needs, including different timings between basic and refresher course stages depending on the learner group.

What are the standard recommendations for ACU learner groups?

CITI Program allows organizations to customize their learner groups, which means they can choose the content modules their learners need to complete. We can work with your admin to determine the learner groups that best fit your organizational needs. You can also choose to use our recommended learner groups.

How should ACU be structured to create a training program that meets federal regulations and guidelines?

There is no uniform standard regarding the methods and format used for ACU training. CITI Program content is designed to be a component of an overall foundation of training for an organization's affiliates. We recommend that organizations build frameworks of training that combine CITI Program content with face-to-face training, one-on-one mentoring, and other types of learning opportunities, as appropriate to the particular topics and their organizational cultures.

Typically, training should begin with at least one basic course, followed by a refresher course that learners complete within a time period designated by the organization (for example, three years after completing the basic course). ACU also offers animal-specific courses that are meant to supplement the basic course(s) and are presented to learners based on their research activities. Additional standalone courses for institutional officials, IACUC chairs, and IACUC community members, as well as individuals seeking training on post-procedure care, post-approval monitoring, and wildlife research are also available.