Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use

Certificate in the Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use

Obtaining the Certificate in the Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use will provide those who participate with an understanding of the ethical and regulatory basis of animal care and use in research. The selection of PRIM&R educational programs is designed to provide you with expert advice, real-life examples, and strategies to enhance your knowledge in this area.


Participants are responsible for tracking their progress through the required educational programs on the form provided. Once all requirements are completed, participants submit the tracking form with copies of relevant certificates of attendance for verification. All requirements must be completed within three years of enrollment.

Program requirements are flexible to meet an individual’s interests and professional needs.

Participation in one of the following foundational conferences:

PRIM&R Annual Conference (at least two days of content related to animal care and use)
IACUC Conference

Participation in one of the following PRIM&R electives related to animal care and use:

  • One full-day preconference workshop or two half-day preconference workshop
  • Introduction to the IACUC
  • IACUC Core Training
  • PRIMR&R’s Animal Research Oversight Course (AROC)
  • Three webinars. (For this requirement, the webinars must be viewed live or recorded webinars must be less than one year old at the time of viewing.) 


After completing a Certificate in the Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use, recipients will be able to:

  • Discuss ethical issues that arise in animal research as well as strategies for ensuring institutional compliance, fostering ethical responsibility, and more.
  • Understand the core responsibilities of institutional officials, IACUCs, and attending veterinarians to ensure institutional compliance is achieved in accordance with federal regulations governing animal research.
  • Explain regulatory requirements related to the use of animals in research as set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare.
  • Utilize regulatory requirements, ethical principles, and best practices to identify and address issues related to pain and distress, housing, enrichment, and the 3Rs.
  • Identify the components of the protocol review process and discuss whether proposed research meets federal requirements.

Enrollment and Cost

Enrollment in the program is required. Once enrolled, participants will receive a form that can be used to track their progress toward completion of the program requirements. They will also receive regular updates via email about upcoming programs that meet certificate requirements. Only participation in program requirements for a period of two years prior to enrollment and three years after enrollment will count toward the completion of the certificate.

The program is free to PRIM&R members. Nonmembers pay a nominal enrollment fee of $49.

Submit for Your Certificate

If you have enrolled in the program and have completed all the requirements, submit for your certificate by completing the online tracking form.

Certificate vs. Certification

The Certificate in the Foundations of Animal Care and Use is not a prerequisite to, nor does it count toward, eligibility for the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA®) certification. Additionally, some position announcements state a requirement for CPIA certification. This certificate does not fulfill that requirement, nor is it intended to demonstrate the same level of competency. Rather, it demonstrates a basic understanding of animal care and use.