The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy require that all personnel involved in animal use and research be appropriately trained and qualified. To ensure that this requirement is fulfilled at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has adopted the following training program.
Prior to IACUC approval of protocols and/or amendments to add personnel, the IACUC required trainings must be completed and documented for all personnel listed on the initial protocol when reviewed or specific personnel being added via amendments.
Once IACUC approval is granted, other required trainings should be completed prior to initiation of animal work. ULAR, EHRS, and other UPenn departments may have separate requirements regarding their trainings.
For a complete list of requirements, please see below in the "Trainings" section.
Please contact the department requiring the training if you have any questions regarding the training requirements.
Penn Knowledge Link – Learning Management System
The Penn Knowledge Link - Learning Management System (LMS) is a online program in which the various trainings that are required or offered by the University of Pennsylvania can be accessed. After signing in with your Penn Key and password, you can take web-based courses as well as sign up for instructor led courses.
ARIES training sessions are available to researchers and laboratory staff members who create, review, or submit animal use protocols. These sessions will provide an overview of the ARIES application, including navigation and other features.
ARIES training sessions are now being offered to departments upon request. Please contact
to schedule these departmental training sessions.
Trainings Required by the IACUC for Protocol Approval*
*This includes amendments to add personnel
Please click the link for descriptions of the trainings
Descriptions of Trainings
Penn Profiler - University
Penn Profiler is the University's web-based survey that enables people to self-identify many of their work-related training needs. The survey should be completed annually by all University employees, and more often if your job changes. Once completed, required training identified by Penn Profiler can be accessed directly in Knowledge Link. For more information, please see the Penn Profiler website .
Regulations and the IACUC– ORA This training is required by the federal law, the Animal Welfare Act, as described in the Animal Welfare Regulations, (9 CFR Ch. 1, 2.32). This training provides a basic understanding of the roles of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as well as the United States governmental agencies and laws that oversee animal research. It discusses the basic parts of the protocol form as well as policies regarding specific animal use procedures that are commonly performed at Penn.
Remember your protocol will not be approved until all personnel have taken this training. As institutional policies and federal standards may change, you are required to take this course every three years!
Species Specific Curriculum – ULAR This training is required by the federal law, the Animal Welfare Act, as described in the Animal Welfare Regulations, (9 CFR Ch. 1, 2.32). Penn’s IACUC defers to the University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) to provide and document species specific training to ensure that all individuals using animals are trained in basic handling and care procedures, The curriculum may include two parts:
WEB BASED PRE-REQUISITE – The web based trainings are short trainings that introduce you to the species you are using. It describes basic husbandry, handling, and common procedures performed on the species.
INSTRUCTOR LED HANDLING LAB – After you have completed the pre-requisite course you can sign up for the hands-on lab. Some curriculums many not have a web-based pre-requisite.
The required species-specific curriculums can be accessed by logging into Penn Knowledge Link - Learning Management System. Upon completion of the instructor led handling lab, participants will receive a checklist confirming successful completion of the class. This checklist should be kept for your own records.
If you will be entering an animal facility and/or handling animals you must complete the curriculum for each species you will use (i.e. “Rat Training Curriculum – ULAR”).
If you have been a principal investigator at Penn since before 2002, you may be exempt from the instructor-led portion of the Curriculum.
Most instructor led handling labs are regularly scheduled.
If you need training for a species that is currently not listed on Knowledge Link, email to
for further information.
Please be aware that if you need hands-on training for species other than mice, rats, and rabbits, the principle investigator may need to provide the animal. The animal used for training must be naive. Only procedures outlined in that animal's protocol will be performed unless the animal is transferred to the ULAR Training Protocol. If any animals need to be anesthetized, they will be fully recovered following the lab.
ULAR Training also offers specialized training by request. These include but are not limited to: micro tattooing procedures, catheterization procedures, and anesthesia workshops.
Occupational Health and Safety Animal Users Orientation - ORA
This web-based course reviews occupational health and safety requirements and practices, as they relate to faculty, staff, and students working with animals intended for research, teaching, or testing. Topics include: occupational medicine contact information, zoonotic considerations, laboratory animal allergies, ergonomic concerns, chemical safety, sharps safety, and best practices when working in animal facilities. This training must be updated every 3 years.
Occupational Health and Safety Non-Human Primate Users Orientation - ORA
This web-based course reviews occupational health and safety requirements and practices, as they relate to faculty, staff, and students working with non-human primates intended for research, teaching, or testing. Topics include: occupational medicine contact information, zoonotic considerations, laboratory animal allergies, ergonomic concerns, chemical safety, sharps safety, and best practices when working in animal facilities. This training and PPD testing must be updated annually.
This is a web-based training that provides an overview of the requirements of both USDA (e.g. sheep, dogs, pigs, cats) and non-USDA (e.g. mice and rats) surgical procedures and proper aseptic technique. This course is required for all individuals listed on a protocol that involves surgery.
Conditionally Acceptable Methods of Euthanasia - ULAR
This is an instructor-led training which will provide an overview of the techniques and issues surrounding conditionally acceptable methods of euthanasia. This is required for any individuals performing these special procedures. The individuals must contact
to arrange the training session
Introduction to Laboratory Safety- EHRS EHRS requires all laboratory personnel to attend "Introduction to Laboratory and Biological Safety at Penn." See the EHRS Training Requirements website for training dates and to register. EHRS requires that you update this training annually by taking a web-based course.
Respectful Workplace Training The expectations of Penn's leadership is that all employees work together to create and sustain a respectful and cordial workplace in ULAR and other areas. This presentation was developed by members of the Vice Provost for Research office, School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, ULAR, Human Resources, and the Affirmative Action office.
Animal Facility Orientation- ULAR Pre-requisites: “Regulations and the IACUC”, Species Specific Training, Change Station Training (if needed), Irradiator Training (if needed), and Respectful Workplace.
Before gaining key access to an animal facility you must be approved on an IACUC protocol, complete necessary training and complete a facility tour. During the tour you will be shown different areas of the facility as well as learn the general policies for working in animal facilities and specific policies for that particular facility.
If a protocol requires use of a Containment Facility (ABSL 2 agents or higher), the investigator must conduct informational classes for the animal care technical and professional staff prior to beginning the study. The animal procurement computer system is designed to withhold ordering animals until the facility supervisor of the receiving facility certifies that the investigator has provided the "in-service" training.
Animal Cage Change Station and Biosafety Cabinet Training– ULARMouse and Rat Users Only This short online training will introduce mouse and rat users to the proper use of the change stations that are located in many of the colony rooms. These units are important in helping to decrease the spread of disease (i.e. pinworms, MHV, etc.) through the facility. Proper use is important for your research, the research of others, and the animals.
This training curriculum teaches you how to use Penn’s Online Laboratory Animal Resources Information System (POLARIS). This training should be completed by individuals who will be purchasing research animals, approving requisitions, or submitting cage card requests. You need to complete an “Access and Training Request” form which can be found on the POLARIS website. This site can be accessed for additional information about the POLARIS.