The University of Saskatchewan’s UACC Education and Training Program provides training components designed to meet the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines on: training of personnel working with animals in science (2015). The guidelines state that “All personnel working with animals in science must be knowledgeable about the principles of humane experimental science and ethical issues associated with the use of those animals, including the Three Rs tenet (replacement, reduction and refinement),” and “All animal users must have the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to be competent to perform their required tasks.” Within these guidelines, “all personnel” includes animal users (principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, research technical staff, etc.), as well as those involved in the care and husbandry of animals used in science (animal care staff, animal facility managers, veterinarians, etc.).

To ensure that our university’s education and training program for animal users is fully compliant with the CCAC guidelines, the training components provided by UACC include:

  • The Non-Credit UACC Animal Ethics Course. Four comprehensive courses are available through the U of S Blackboard system: laboratory animals, fish, wildlife, and farm animals. A shortened “Basic Principles of Ethics and Welfare of animal Use in Science” course is available for veterinarians and Principal Investigators delegating animal work to a knowledgeable co-investigator.
  • GSR 962 Course – Ethics and Integrity in Animal Research course for graduate students. Graduate students will take the equivalent of the non-credit UACC Animal Ethics Course, but will receive academic credit for completing it.
  • Practical skills training, including basic experimental animal care and handling, anaesthesia, basic surgical skills, and advanced procedures.
  • One-on-one training as requested
  • Documentation of skills training through the Animal Use Protocol (AUP). The AUP documents the education and training received, and procedures performed by individuals listed on the AUP.
  • Monitoring of procedures through the Post-Approval Review (PAR) Program

In order to work with animals in science at the University of Saskatchewan, individual animal users must complete both theoretical ethics training (available online) as well as hands-on practical skills training (face-to-face with a UACC instructor). 

Online Training

The UACC Animal Ethics Course is an on-line training course available in four different comprehensive versions (laboratory animals, farm animals, fish, and wildlife). A fifth, more condensed version of the UACC Animal Ethics Course is also available specifically for SVMA licensed veterinarians or for principal investigators who are not directly involved in the use of live animals. Only the version(s) relevant to a specific animal user need(s) to be completed as part of the UACC Education and Training Program. For help in determining which version(s) are relevant to your personal situation, please refer to this decision tree and/or the “UACC Procedures for Training Required for Approval of Animal Use Protocol Applications” policy document.

The UACC Animal Ethics Course must be completed by all individuals listed on an animal use protocol before the UACC Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB) will approve the protocol.

Each course is divided into modules and contains three quizzes based directly on course content. When all modules and quizzes have been passed successfully (average of 80% is required), the registrant will have passed the online course. You will receive a printable certificate by email, the day following your successful completion of the course.

To register, go to http://safetyresources.usask.ca/services/training, select the appropriate course, and proceed with online instructions.

If you have a network services ID (NSID) but it is not active, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 966-4817 or help.desk@usask.ca for assistance. Researchers or other animal users not affiliated with the U of S who are interested in registering for the UACC Animal Ethics Course but do not have a NSID should contact uacc.office@usask.ca for further instructions.  

Graduate students using animals in their research, must register for the GSR 962: Ethics and Integrity in Animal Research course. Graduate students should register for this course via PAWS, similar to registration for other U of S courses at the beginning of the academic term (to avoid any late registration fees). Graduate students must also then register for the UACC Animal Ethics Course via the Safety Resources website: http://safetyresources.usask.ca/services/trainingAt the end of each academic term, the Research Services and Ethics Office will confirm with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies the students who have successfully completed the UACC Animal Ethics Course. A pass/fail grade will then be recorded on the student’s transcript.  

If you have any questions or problems with the UACC Animal Ethics Course, please email uacc.office@usask.ca.

Practical Skills Training

The UACC offers several practical skills training workshops on a regular basis, including rodent handling, anaesthesia, and surgical skills. Workshops on cattle handling and avian euthanasia are generally offered on an annual basis, or as needed. A workshop on aquatic animal care is currently under development. Other training can be provided as required by sending a request to uacc.office@usask.ca.

For more information on available workshops and to register, go to http://safetyresources.usask.ca/services/training, select the appropriate course, and proceed with online instructions.

If you have any questions or problems with the practical skills training, please uacc.office@usask.ca.

Education and Training Resources

For a listing of useful animal ethics, welfare, and training resources, materials, and links, please visit our SharePoint website at https://share.usask.ca/go/ethics/Pages/UACC%20Education%20and%20Training.aspx.

If you have questions or problems with the SharePoint site, or suggestions for links to add, please email uacc.office@usask.ca.