Certificate in the Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use Overview

The Certificate in the Ethical Foundations of Animal Care and Use will provide you with an understanding of the ethical and regulatory basis of animal care and use in research. The program is designed to provide you with expert advice, real-life examples, and strategies to enhance your knowledge in this area.


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 and strategies for ensuring institutional compliance, fostering ethical responsibility, and advancing research.
  • 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.

Program Requirements

Program requirements are flexible to meet an individual’s interests and professional needs. All requirements must be completed within three years of enrollment.

Core Requirement


Attendance at PRIM&R's annual IACUC Conference

Participation in one of the following electives:

  • Full-Day At Your Doorstep
  • Full-Day Preconference Program or Two Half-Day Preconference Programs
  • Full-Day Course at PRIM&R Workshops & Boot Camps
  • Three PRIM&R webinars related to animal care and use (Webinars viewed live and webinars that are less than one year old count toward the elective requirement. Users should provide a certificate of attendance as proof of participation. Viewing PRIM&R webinars that are over one year old in the Knowledge Center will not count as an elective.)

Participation in eligible programs and webinars that took place two years prior to the participant’s enrollment date may count toward the completion of the certificate. Participants must be able to provide documentation of attendance.

Participants are responsible for tracking their progress. Once all requirements are completed, participants submit the tracking form with copies of relevant certificates of attendance to PRIM&R.

After successful completion of the requirements has been verified, participants will receive a certificate documenting their accomplishment.

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. All requirements must be completed within three years.

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

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.