The Laboratory Animal Facility
Practical training

Performing procedures in animals (Function A)

Here you will find information about what is required in the practical training part, and how this must be documented. - see attached document below as an example. There are also som links to tips for refinement of practical skills and training without use of live animals (replacement)

Who must learn what?

The new EU directive 2010/63 which was implemented in norwegian regulation summer 2015, introduced new classifications of personnel working with laboratory animals. Requirements for technical skills apply only to those who will perform procedures on animals.

Persons planning lab animal projects, but do not themselves perform procedures, must know these procedures and what impact they have on the animals, but they do not need to demonstrate that they have mastered them in practice.

Practical training must be directed towards the species and procedures you plan to work with.

The aim of practical training is to achieve knowledge, skills, experience and attitudes necessary to handle the animal with as little discomfort to the animal as possible, and thereby both prevent trauma for the animal and unwanted variation in research results.

  • If you are a beginner practical training should be as close to project startup as possible so you have your practical skills fresh in mind and fingers.
  • If you are experienced, you need to document that you are maintain your skills.
  • An example of a documentation of practical skills can be downloaded here on the bottom of this webpage.
  • An example of how you can build you CV for continuous training and education and training is available here.

The EU Commission has prepared a framework for the training of laboratory personnel adapted EU Directive 2010/63 which you can download here.

Minimum demands for everyone working in the Animal facility

Everyone working in the animal facility must master the following

  • Safe handling of animals
  • Recomnise pain and distress in animals
  • Humane killing of animals
  • Hygiene procedures and use of personal protective equipment

Relevant techniques

How much training is necessary depends on the complexity of procedures and your ability to master those. A supervisor must document that you master procedures as such a level that you don’t cause unnecessary stress for the animals or anything that can bias the results of the experiments. In case you are using special equipment you also have to document that you can operate it properly.

The requirement for practical training is outcome based, which means that the length of training is not relevntt, regardless of whether it takes you a day or 3 months. What is important, is that the candidate can show that he/she is mastering the techniques and procedures that will be used in the project at a certain level.

Common techniques and procedures

The most common techniques that you need to master are:

  • Handling
  • Lift and hold animals
  • Restrain techniques
  • Injection Techniques
  • Blood sampling
  • Euthanasia


  • Minimal invasive procedures without anesthesia
  • invasive procedures without anesthesia
  • Surgical principles
  • Microsurgery

You have to demonstrate that you master relevant techniques and procedures in the species you are going to work with.

Who can train you?

You should be able to get training at your workplace, or with a research group at your department, from a person (or persons) experienced in the relevant species and techniques and procedures.

If you cannot get practical training at your place of work, you can contact the Laboratory Animal Unit and ask if we can help you.  We offer training on basic techniques such as handling the animals (mice or rats), restraint, blood sampling (V.Saphena), injection techniques, tube feeding and organ withdrawal for collaborators in approved FOTS project.  We also offer practical training of startup and control of gas anesthesia appliances, sterile surgery preparation and aseptic procedures in surgery.  Send an inquiry to prosedyrer@viv.uib.no .

We also advise you to ask around at your workplace or department at the University. Ask active research groups if you can have your practical training with them.

How to document your competence

Your tutor(s) must fill in a form to document your practical training. 

The documentation might also be in the form of a letter from the training tutor, describing what techniques you have learned and on what species, confirming that you have mastered the techniques.

The course certificates from the LAS-courses will only document the theoretical training you have undergone, so you must keep the original of the practical training document together with the course diplomas to have the complete set. You need to show these to the lab animal facility in order to get access to the facility, or to participate in a lab animal project.

An example of a documentation of practical skills can be downloaded here on the bottom of this webpage

An example of how you can build you CV for continuous training and education and training is available here