Animal Care & Use Training

Mandatory Training for Persons Conducting Research Using Animal Subjects

Federal offices overseeing the conduct of animal care and use require that “all staff working with laboratory animals must be qualified to do so in order to ensure the humane treatment of animals.”  These Animal Welfare Regulations specifically state:

It shall be the responsibility of the research facility to ensure that all scientists, research technicians, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, and use are qualified to perform their duties.  This responsibility shall be fulfilled in part through the provision of training ad instruction to those personnel.

To fully satisfy this obligation, the George Mason University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has enhanced current training requirements to include completion of online training provided by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) along with the required Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) training courses that must be completed prior to application approval.

• Information about the CITI Program – including a description of the entire program and the “Lab Animal Course” – can be found at
• Information about EHS at GMU – including how to register for the training – can be found at

CITI Program

Effective September 1, 2010 all animal research personnel (faculty, staff and students) listed on new IACUC animal study applications or who are added to existing applications are required to complete the relevant portions of the CITI program before the application can be approved.  For research already underway, new personnel must be added by amendment and required to complete the relevant trainings before it can be approved.

The training consists of several courses. “Investigators, Staff and Students, Basic Course” is required for all investigators, staff, and students who work with lab animals.  Other courses depend on the species of animal being studied and the procedures to be performed.  The CITI program includes separate training courses for working with mice, rats and other animals.  Exactly which course investigators are required to complete depends on the protocol.

For example if procedures will be conducted on mice, the investigators will need to complete three courses:

  1. Investigators, Staff and Students, Basic Course
  2. Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats, Basic Course
  3. Working with Mice in Research Settings

Training is considered valid for three years following the completion date.  It is the investigator’s responsibility to monitor when refresher training is needed.

  1. To begin the CITI program go to
  2. The first time you access this site, select “Register For the CITI Course”
  3. Select your Institution or Organization Page
  4. Select George Mason University from dropdown box under “ALL Others”
  5. Click the Submit button
  6. Select a User Name and Password Page
  7. Create a User name and password
  8. Write it down! (My user name: ____, Password: ____)
  9. Click the Submit button. You will be presented with a series of questions or options to enable you to enroll in the Learner Group appropriate to your interests or your role in Lab Animal Welfare.
  10. Respond appropriately to the Previous Basic CITI Course Completion question. (Unless you have previously taken this CITI Course, your answer should be “no”.)
Once you have completed the preceding steps you are logged in and registered for the course. At this point you may begin the appropriate course or log out and return at another time. If you chose to log out, when you return to the CITI homepage you will not need to register again. You can login with the username and password you have already created.
You must take the modules in the order they are shown and complete a short quiz following each one. You will not be allowed to move on to the next module until you have completed each one. However, you do not have to complete all of the modules at one time. You may leave and return to the program as many times as you need to complete the course. In addition to the required basic course, there are three additional courses that must be completed. If the information in any of these courses relates to your research, you are required to complete the appropriate course. For example, if your research involves mice and rats, you must complete the courses on Working with Mice in Research Settings, Working with Rats in Research Settings and Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats, Basic Course. When you have completed the courses, and any applicable optional modules, you will receive a Completion Report. The Office of Research Integrity and Assurance (ORIA) will also receive notification that you have completed the course. Please print a copy of the completion report for your records, and submit a copy of it with your IACUC research proposal. ORIA should already have a copy of the report, however, in the event that the computer system is down, submitting the report with the protocol will facilitate timely review.

For additional information, please contact ORIA via email: or phone: (703) 993-6118.