Training and continuing education
Persons involved in animal experiments, either carrying out experiments or directing them, need to special training. This training is presented below.
All persons involved in animal experiments have to complete an introductory course in laboratory animal science (LTK Module 1) before they begin practical work with laboratory animals. This course is offered in English and German.
A FELASA (Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations) category B course together with a one day training on Swiss animal welfare legislation, ethics and alternative methods (LTK Module EGA) is accepted as equivalent to the above.
Pre-requisite for functioning as study director for animal experiments are:
- University degree encompassing basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, zoology and behavioural science, genetics and molecular biology, hygiene and biostatistics
- Basic course on laboratory animal science (LTK Module 1 or FELASA B and LTK Module EGA)
- Minimum 3 years of experience in experimental animal work
- Specific training course for study directors animal experimentation called LTK Module 2. The basic course on laboratory animal science must have been completed in order to gain admission to this course. Alternatively, an equivalent course approved by the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA course category C) is also accepted when combined to one day training on Swiss animal welfare legislation, ethisc and alternative methods (LTK Module EGA).
To lead animal experiments involving less commonly used species or non-standard experimental methods, evidence of special expertise must also be provided. For example, an LTK module specialising in non-rodents (Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science: "Non-rodent" species, LTK Module 20) could be taken.
Everyone who works with laboratory animals is obliged to attend further education. At least 4 subject-specific training days are required per 4 years. These may be internal or external courses, conferences or continuing education events, all of which must be recognised by the veterinary authorities as subject-specific training.
Events for the current year that have already been accepted as further education can be seen on the website of the Federal Veterinary Office (BVET).
Events that have not yet been recognised are approved by the Cantonal Veterinary Office. Please fill in the application form (DOC, 80 KB)and upload it together with a scanned certificate of attendance and event program to the electronic license database "e-Tierversuche". Your groups study director, resource manager or the ETHZ animal welfare officer can provide help.
LTK modules – how to avoid bottlenecks
Since the availability of places on some LTK modules is limited, there are often bottlenecks when new employees (e.g. Master's students, post-docs) are employed. Since LTK Module 1 or 2 must have been completed before carrying out animal experiments or becoming an experiment leader, this often leads to problems.
I would therefore like to make the following recommendation to the relevant line managers: register future employees provisionally, even if their names and other details are not yet definitely known. If the place is not in fact needed, it can be cancelled. In this way, waiting times and bottlenecks can be avoided.