Last Updated on August 28, 2023
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The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is the Canadian regulatory body overseeing animal based research at Universities in Canada. The CCAC guidelines on training of personnel working with animals in science forms the foundation for the training, supervision, and attainment of competence for all personnel involved in the care and use of animals in science.
The CCAC experimental animal user training streams below provide basic theoretical training on the ethical use and care of animals. These CCAC training templates are not substitutes for standard operating procedures and in no way do they comprise stand-alone training for persons wishing to work responsibly with animals. The training streams below are supplemented with detailed theoretical and hands-on training provided by the institution for laboratory rodents and other species.
The experimental animal user training streams follow the CCAC’s National Institutional Animal User Training program. All animal users must be listed on an approved protocol. Certificates of completion of online training are issued by the Animal Care Committee and are transferable between most Canadian post-secondary institutions.
The experimental animal user training materials are available for access at no cost from the CCAC website. Certificates of completion for online training are available for UBC staff, students, and members of UBC affiliated institutions whose research or teaching involves animals. Upon passing the CCAC Online Ethics Exam(s), your UBC RISe profile will be updated within two weeks to include the certificate of completion. For UBC staff, students, and members of UBC affiliated research institutions, this certificate is provided at no cost. For all other users, a $100.00 certification fee applies per certification.
Students can enroll for the online training course components at any time and have immediate access to the self-study reading materials. You may complete the online component for multiple courses concurrently.
How to Select and Self-Enroll for Classes Online
To enroll in the online components through Canvas, visit the ACS Online & Lab Rodent Courses page. Once you have decided which training courses to enroll in, select “Register.” You may complete the online component for multiple courses concurrently.
The process involves four simple steps:
1. Enroll in the selected course.
2. Select Sign in here to login using your CWL account.
3. Choose Login with CWL and have your username and password ready.
4. Enter your CWL credentials and click Login.
5. You will be returned to Canvas Catalog. Select Enroll in Course.
6-9. Once signed in, you may pay by credit card (red) or by entering a Training Payment Processing (TPP) code as shown below (green). To obtain a code, consult with your laboratory manager or research group. Your group may need to submit an Internal Sales Delivery (Training) form to receive a TPP code.
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Who is Involved in Animal Ethics and Care in Canada?
The CCAC is the organization responsible for advancing animal ethics and care in science throughout Canada. The CCAC both develops and maintains high standards of animal ethics and care, and oversees their implementation by assessing institutions working with animals for scientific purposes and providing certification to those that meet these high standards.
The CCAC does this by working with a vast and diverse community, including thousands of animal care committee members, animal health professionals, community representatives, educators, researchers, and volunteer experts.
Animal Health Professionals
In each CCAC-certified institution, veterinarians and animal health technicians work alongside researchers and educators, attending to the animals on a daily basis.
These individuals are dedicated to ensuring that the animals are properly cared for, fed, housed, and are well-monitored.
Animal Care Committee Members
Each CCAC-certified institution has at least one local animal care committee responsible for overseeing all aspects of animal ethics and care at the institution and for working with those involved in animal-based science (including animal care personnel, graduate students, institutional administration, post-doctoral fellows, representatives from the local community, and researchers) to ensure the ethical treatment of the animals.
They must also ensure that every reasonable safeguard is in place to minimize any potential pain and discomfort, and must act as a strong and visible advocate for the ethical care of the animals under their protection.
Hundreds of volunteer experts contribute their knowledge and skills to the CCAC’s mission every year.
Animal health technicians, members of the public, scientists, and veterinarians contribute to the development of guidelines and policies, advancing high standards of care for animals in Canadian science.
Teams of volunteer experts also visit certified institutions to ensure they are in line with CCAC standards. These teams include representatives from the local community, scientists, and veterinarians, all specialized in the types of animals held in a specific institution.
Researchers and Educators
Individuals studying animals for scientific purposes can be wildlife researchers (e.g., biologists, conservationists, zoologists), health researchers (e.g., biochemists, geneticists, physiologists), clinician researchers (e.g., oncologists, cardiologists, immunologists, veterinarians) and graduate students – just to name a few.
Across the country, these individuals engage in animal-based studies in accordance with standards and best practices set forth by the CCAC and must be competent and adequately trained in the principles of animal ethics and care.
Animal welfare is also a priority for researchers and educators, as the physical and psychological well-being of animals is proven to support better quality data because it minimizes variables that could compromise the quality of the science being conducted. It is therefore in the interest of researchers to approach their subjects with respect, mindfully avoiding any unnecessary pain or distress.