'If you work with laboratory animals, you will never be finished with your training! New developments within animal research are going fast. Keep your knowledge up-to-date.’ Jan van der Valk 3R’s Centre ULS (Utrecht Life Sciences)
Table of contents
- Anyone who carries out or directs animal experiments must have the appropriate training and be able to prove that they have received regular further training. The Ordinance of 12 October 1998 on the initial and continuing training of specialist personnel involved in animal experiments specifies the duration and content. Directive 1.09 of the Federal Veterinary Office provides further details.
- The Cantonal Veterinary Office decides on the recognition of the training and further education of the persons involved in the animal experiments within the framework of the animal experiment licence. A list of courses recognised by the Association of Cantonal Veterinarians is published on the website of the Federal Veterinary Office.
- Training and further education courses are organised by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Science and professional organisations such as the Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association (SGV).
- Further training courses can be found here.
- The Animal Welfare Officers, the 3R coordinator and the biostatistician support in-house training courses in the field of animal welfare, animal experimentation, 3R or experimental design/statistics.
- Please send your inquiries about internal training courses to the Animal Welfare Officers.
Individuals working with experimental animals must undergo special education and training
All persons carrying out or supervising animal experiments must pass the mandatory training to gain expertise and practical skills required to handle and breed experimental animals in a responsible manner and with due care and consideration.
Ususally, experimenters must attend and pass the LTK Module 1 (or a different FELASA Cat. B accredited course) before starting experimental work with animals.
Individuals with a special education, e.g., veterinarians, need to attend the entire course only in case they work with animal species they have not routinely worked with during their education as a veterinarian. In all other cases, veterinarians must attend the parts of the course covering ethics (E), legislation (G) and alternative methods, 3Rs principle (A) or a separate EGA course.
In case you acquired a certificate for animal experimentation abroad and are not sure whether it fulfils the required training, you (or your resource manager) may submit all information to the Cantonal Veterinary Office via animex-ch. The veterinary office will decide which training and/or education is needed.
Study directors (SD) and their deputies must have completed studies in biology, human or veterinary medicine or similar, show a minimum of 3 years of practical experience in the field of animal experimentation and complete the LTK Module 2 (similar to FELASA C Courses).
The certificate of LTK Module 2 (or a similar course attended abroad) and a CV must be submittted to the Veterinary Office via animex-ch:
Continuing education for all individuals working with animals
All individuals performing or supervising animal experiments as well as animal care takers and animal welfare officers must undergo a minimum of four days of training/cont. education within four years, i.e. in average one day of training per year. You have to make up for missing days of continuing education.
The obligation for further education starts with the date of the first recognition / accreditation for experimental work (date of first "approved role" in animex-ch). The date refers to the last course day of the LTK1/20 module or a FELASA B course recognized by the veterinary office.
NB: This means that with the recognition of a foreign training course, the obligation to continue the training starts from the date of completion of this training course - regardless of when the work in Switzerland started.
Certificates of attendance of expert or technical training or certain scientific meetings can be submitted to the Cantonal Veterinary Office for approval via animex-ch to request the recognition, giving all necessary information (see form). Note that scientific conferences are not always accepted as specific training..
List of continuing education courses
Together with the Office for Animal Welfare and 3R of the UZH, LTK organizes one day of continuing education every September: "Actual Topics of Laboratory Animal Science, LTK Module 14" and other courses like LTK 6, 11, 13 and 21. More courses that are recognized as continuing education can be found on the LTK website
Courses by the Office for Animal Welfare and 3R
Continous education: We offer tailormade courses for your research group (please contact us for further information).
Student courses: 3Rs and the ethics of Animal use: The course is open to students of all majors and disciplines. It is primarily aimed at anyone with an interest in ethical and social issues surrounding animal experimentation and related research. It is also suitable for people who conduct animal experiments themselves or will work with data from animal experiments. (1 ECTS and 2 days of cont. education). Bachelor, Master, PhD level School for Transdisciplinary Studies (STS) and PhD level Life Science Zurich Graduate School
Submitting basic or continuing education in animex-ch
Upload all education such as certificates of LTK Modules 1, 2, 20, EGA under "Education" (= "Ausbildung" in the German version of animex-ch) .
Certificates of continuous education (e.g. other LTK Modules, courses) have to be uploaded under "Training" (= "Weiterbildung" on the German version of animex-ch).