Animal User Training April 30, 2024

Trainings will be via Zoom. 
Pre-registration is required. See dates and registration info at right.
Registration closes 48 hours prior to the scheduled class. 
You will receive a Zoom invite after you sign up.

Additional trainings are required if conducting surgeries, these are listed in the training checklist below.

Classroom Training Materials (Word)

Training Checklist (Word)

How to Access Kuali Protocols (Word)


The IACUC requires that all personnel listed in an animal use protocol have basic IACUC training certification.  The animal user training for new users includes a classroom component, and CITI online modules and quizzes. Project specific training needs to be described in the protocol for each person for review by the IACUC.

If you have any questions about the animal user training or need to sign up for a training session please contact Elaine Nogueira at

All animal users must renew their animal users' training certification every three years by retaking the CITI training.  If an animal user's training certification expires he/she may not work with animals.

Teaching Protocols and Teaching Assistants
Visiting Scientists
Off-Campus Internships
Classroom Training Schedule
Online CITI Training Instructions

Teaching Protocols and Teaching Assistants

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator on a teaching protocol to assure everyone involved in teaching the class (staff, teaching assistants) are properly trained in the regulations, animal handling and the procedures described in the protocol before the activities using animals start.

The professor/lecturer/postdoc/staff person teaching the course must have current IACUC training certification.

The instructor is responsible for informing the TAs of requirements for their training for use of animals in the class. TAs who assist in classes where animals are used and in which the instructor is present at all times are not required to take the basic IACUC classroom training. TAs who will be solely responsible for supervising students taking a class in which animals are used (i.e. conduct or supervise the lab/class in the absence of the instructor) must have current basic IACUC training certification and be added to the protocol.

The instructor is also responsible for training TAs, students and other personnel who will work with live animals as part of the class activities. This training must include basic information about the regulations that affect use of animals in research and teaching and instruction in the techniques, and specialized procedures involving animals that will be needed in the class. The campus veterinarian or the Research Compliance Coordinator can assist with the training.

The instructor is responsible for informing students, TAs, and staff of risks associated with working with live or dead animals if a significant risk is present. Risks include the risk developing allergic responses or possible exposure to zoonotic diseases. Students should be advised that even when the risk level is low people with special health conditions (e.g. pregnant, having a compromised immune system) may be at greater risk than a normal healthy adult. On request, the Director of Animal Care (413)545-5268 or (413)992-8295 (after hours or emergencies) and/or the Biosafety Officer (413-545-2682) will provide information on risks associated with specific teaching protocols. The IACUC will not approve a teaching protocol that presents significant and unavoidable risk to students and staff.

The instructor is responsible for informing students when chemicals from embalmed or treated animals may present a hazard.

The instructor is responsible for knowing what personal protective equipment (PPE) is appropriate for the activities using animals, ensuring that staff and students use it, and training them in its use.

For more details, including basic Information for teaching assistants who do not take the classroom training, read Guidelines for PIs and TAs Training Requirements.

Back to top

Visiting Scientists

To ensure that visiting scientists and scholars engaged in research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst comply with state and federal regulations and university policies and guidelines which apply to the handling of, and potential exposure to, hazardous materials (including exposure to live animals) the Faculty Senate requires visitors to comply with Faculty Senate Policy Concerning Safety and Training Protocols for Visiting Scientists and Scholars. It is the responsibility of the visitor's host to ensure the visitor complies with this policy.

Visiting scientists here for more than a month must complete training requirements required for UMass personnel.

For visitors here for less than a month the training requirement for animal users may be waived if the visitor is always supervised by his/her host while working with animals but prior approval must always be obtained from the Director of Animal Care before the visitor may be taken into a UMass Amherst animal facility.

Back to top

Off-Campus Internships and Employment that Involves the Use of Live Animals

There are many opportunities for students to do internships or find summer employment at facilities that work with live animals. These include zoos, animal shelters and rescue organizations, farms etc. Students may or may not receive UMass credit for internships.

The IACUC does not need to review a student's activities involving live animals when:

  1. The activity does not involve any change in the activities associated with the care of these animals (i.e., the student's activities do not involve a change in the usual routine for the animals).
  2. The student is supervised by a person with appropriate expertise who has overall responsibility for the care and husbandry of the animals.

Back to top

Classroom Animal User Training Schedule


  • Please start the Occupational Health clearance process (OHSP) as soon as possible. If you are not OHSP cleared, you cannot perform animal work.
  • You will receive a secure message from Kirsten Bergstrom the day before the training to start the OHSP process.
  • Open the message, complete and return.
  • Check your secure messages on the health portal to find out what is pending for you to be OHSP cleared.
  • This is how UHS will be communicating with you. If you have not received an automated email from UHS that you are OHSP cleared, you still have to take action.
  • To find out what you need to do, communicate with Kirsten through the health portal or email her.
  • Compliance office and UHS are two separate departments and any medical questions must be directed to Kirsten Bergstrom via the health portal.

FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH FORM INSTRUCTIONS: Instructions for Animal Care Health Form 2024

To make animal care appointments (researchers that need immunizations, etc.) 413-992-8003.



***Sign up for April  1 - 5th:  A Powerpoint presentation will be sent via email on the last day of the sign up period.  You have one week to view the training.  Click through the entire training and click on each slide to listen to audio.  After one week access to the slides will be removed and a link to complete a quiz will be sent.  You will have one week to take the quiz.  Once you have passed the quiz you will receive credit for Animal User Training.  If you have any questions please contact the Research Compliance office at:


Please click on the training's date link to register online.

If you are a group of 4 or more and wish to schedule a class, or you have other training related questions, please contact Elaine Nogueira at

Classroom Training Materials (Word)

Back to top

Online CITI Training Instructions

The online training component consists of the CITI training course Working with the IACUC Course plus species-specific course(s). CITI courses are a set of modules. After each module you are prompted to take a quiz. You need to score at least 80% to pass the course. Your IACUC animal user training certificate is valid for 3 years from the date you complete the CITI courses.

Go to the CITI Home page and choose Log in via SSO.

  • Choose your institutional affiliation (University of Massachusetts Amherst).
  • Enter your UMass Amherst NetID and Password
  • The software presents you with the Learners Main Menu.
  • Select University of Massachusetts Courses
  • Select Add a Course
  • Click on the last instruction, Continue to Question 1, to go to the courses menu.

In the Courses menu:

  • Answer Question 1 by clicking on the last button, "None of the Above".
  • Within Question 2 select "Working with the IACUC Course" plus the species-specific course(s) appropriate for your project (check with the PI on the protocol).
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Submit
  • Your selection will be listed in your Main Menu under the University of Massachusetts Courses.
  • Select the Course to begin the training

You need not complete a course at a single sitting. CITI saves your work and provides a list of modules and their status. When you have successfully completed all the modules in a course it will indicate "Passed" under "My Courses" "Status" and you can print a completion certificate.

You do not need to inform the IACUC Office when you have completed an online course. CITI automatically adds your name to the UMass Amherst list of certified animal users.

Back to top