CITI Training for Use of Live Animals in Research


Public Health Service Policy and USDA Animal Welfare Regulations require that “all personnel involved with the care and use of animals must be adequately educated, trained, and/or qualified in basic principles of laboratory animal science to help ensure high-quality science and animal well-being.”1  Researchers must have specific training in appropriate species-specific housing methods, husbandry procedures, and handling techniques; in addition, research personnel must be qualified through training or relevant experience to perform all experimental manipulations, including anesthesia and surgery, humanely and in a scientifically acceptable fashion.  Research staff must also be able to employ research and testing methods that minimize the number of animals required to obtain valid results and minimize animal distress.

All research personnel must receive training in the ethical care and use of animals and the regulations, policies and procedures governing animal use in research as well as in the actual procedures that may be performed on animals during the course of the research. UCI uses the web-based training resources of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) to provide basic training in the humane care and use of animals in research and teaching via its basic training module, periodic refresher courses and species- and procedure-specific modules.  All required online training must be completed before any individual may be listed on or added to an approved IACUC protocol; individuals who fail to complete required training will not be authorized to engage in any activities involving live animals.

CITI Training Requirements

To be authorized to work with live animals in research or teaching activities, the Principal Investigator and their research personnel must complete all required CITI training, as identified by the CITI enrollment screening questions.

Initial training requirements include the completion of either the CITI Basic or Undergraduate training modules. Additional topic-specific modules (species-specific, reducing pain/distress in rodents) may also be required, depending on your answers to the CITI enrollment questions. The IACUC may also assign additional training, as needed (you will be notified of this during protocol review).

Refresher Training in laboratory animal use is required at least once every three years, regardless of an individual's qualifications or level of expertise. All researchers will receive a reminder from CITI when their refresher course is due.

Notes about Incomplete Training:

  • Protocol applications may not proceed to full committee review until the PI and other key personnel have completed the required CITI training.
  • When a protocol is ready for approval, any study team members who have not completed the required training will be removed from the protocol; those individuals are not authorized to work with live animals until they complete the required training and are officially added as authorized personnel to the protocol (via protocol modification).


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If you have recently completed CITI training at a different institution, you may be able to transfer completion credits by changing your affiliated institution to UCI - Follow instructions on the CITI website to transfer completion credits.

Documentation of Training:

Principal Investigators are ultimately responsible to ensure that all research personnel are proficient in all procedures.

The IACUC strongly recommends for labs to maintain training records for all laboratory personnel, to indicate appropriate training for animal care and use,use of hazardous agents, laboratory safety procedures, etc.

Please see Personnel Training Record Log Template - customize this template to fit your lab's specific needs!

1Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, page 15.