Office of Research Principal Investigator’s Training Responsibilities For Animal Care and Use - Office of Research

Principal Investigator’s Training Responsibilities For Animal Care and Use

The Principal Investigator (PI) must ensure that appropriate training is provided and documented for everyone listed on his/her Animal Care and Use (ACU) Protocol before they work with live, vertebrate animals. Training must be provided and documented for staff, volunteers, students, or visitors that work with live, vertebrate animals and may be used in teaching and/or research.

The PI must also ensure that everyone listed on his/her protocol participates in the Occupational Health Program according to IACUC policy Animal Care and Use Occupational Health Program.

In addition, each person listed on the ACU Protocol must complete the Animal Care and Use 101 (ACU 101) course.

The PI must ensure that everyone listed on his/her ACU Protocol has read the protocol and understands their responsibilities in relation to the protocol. Everyone working with live, vertebrate animals must be qualified to work with animals, informed of their responsibilities, and trained in the specific procedures described in the protocol and otherwise required by the IACUC.

In-house Training

The Principal Investigator must provide training on the following:

  • Protocol specific training: Training on procedures and techniques listed in the protocol.
  • Personal hygiene: How to reduce the risk of contamination to the person as well as surfaces, other personnel, and other animals.
  • Personal protective equipment: How to properly select and use personal protective equipment such as gloves, eyewear, lab coats, respirators, etc.
  • Use of the Risk Analysis Tool: How to use the on-line Risk Analysis Tool at
  • Animal bite instructions: How to appropriately respond to an animal bite or similar exposure, including immediate washing and first aid procedures, who to contact, and to whom to report the exposure. This information must be posted in the laboratory or work area. First Aid Procedures for Bites is available on the Occupational Health website.
  • Zoonotic diseases: Inform individuals of zoonotic diseases associated with the species they are working with. The on-line “Risk Analysis Tool” ( or “Zoonosis Information by Species” (  can be used for this instruction.
  • Animal care and husbandry: Awareness of procedures necessary for animal care and husbandry. This is generally for animal care staff and investigator maintained animals only.
  • Euthanasia: Procedures on the euthanasia method approved in the ACU Protocol.
  • Pain and discomfort, anesthetics and analgesics: How to recognize the signs of pain and discomfort in the species with which each individual will be working and the use of the anesthetics and analgesics approved in the ACU Protocol.
  • Record keeping, monitoring procedures: How to maintain the necessary records and the monitoring procedures for each project (i.e., post-op monitoring records).
  • Information contained in and purpose of the Injury and Illness Prevention Program: Inform all personnel on the information contained in the Injury, Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), such as how to read Material Safety Data Sheets, the evacuation plan, the availability of pertinent EH&S SafetyNets, etc.
  • Bloodborne pathogens: How to take the necessary precautions when working with bloodborne pathogens and what procedures to follow when a possible contamination has occurred.
  • Other hazardous materials: Information regarding other hazardous substances such as chemicals and radiation used within the work area. This may include the safety data sheets, personal protection, and other pertinent safety information.


Documentation of the above information must be maintained by the Principal Investigator and be readily accessible by the IACUC staff during area inspections. The training document must include:

  • Name of person(s) conducting training
  • Signature of person receiving training
  • Date of training
  • A brief description of subjects covered

The “Individual Training Record” can be used as guide to assure all training has been documented and acknowledged by the Principal Investigator and employee.

Available Resources

IACUC provides the ACU 101 on-line course as well as assistance with any other training needs. For more information, please contact [email protected] or 530-752-2364.

The IACUC office provides classes for species-specific animal handling and biomethodology, anesthesia and euthanasia techniques, and aseptic surgical techniques. For information, contact [email protected] or 530-752-2364. View class information here.

UC Davis subscribes to the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Learning Library. The AALAS library offers a wide variety of online training courses. Courses include training for the AALAS certification exams (ALAT, LAT, LATG), training on techniques for working with a variety of species, and regulatory training. A complete list of the courses is available at We encourage you to take advantage of these training opportunities. If you would like access to these courses please contact the IACUC Office ([email protected]) to be assigned a login ID and password.