We are pleased to announce that, in response to member feedback, PRIM&R has expanded our programming for the animal care and use community. Please read on to learn more about what we are doing to provide enhanced educational and networking opportunities, and strengthen the community of animal care and use professionals.
- Research Ethics Digest, PRIM&R’s bimonthly electronic publication delivering abstracts and articles from scholarly journals to PRIM&R members, now has increased content on animal research and animal research oversight topics. New IACUC- (and IRB-) specific Discussion Guides accompany each issue of Research Ethics Digest, which can be used as educational or professional development opportunities for IACUCs, or to deepen individual understanding of the articles they review. And, (in addition to the Human Subjects Protections Self-Study Quiz), there is a newly created Animal Care and Use Self-Study Quiz, which allows readers to receive continuing education credit for reading two articles and for achieving a quiz score of 80% or above. Those who hold the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration credential are able to apply this credit towards their recertification by continuing education Category #2 credit hours. These features were launched in the April issue, which can be found here (this page requires a PRIM&R member login).
- This September, PRIM&R will host our inaugural IBC Boot Camp: Best Practices for Communicating and Collaborating, in Denver, CO. This program focuses on integrating IBC functions with those of IRBs and IACUCs, which is key to ensuring effective review. This intermediate- to advanced-level program will provide information, tools, and guidance for IBC, IRB, and IACUC professionals to improve integration to best support research that is ethical, collaborative, and interdisciplinary.
- PRIM&R has recently initiated changes in our credentialing program to better support IACUC administration and animal care and use program management. The Certified Professional IACUC Administrator credential title has been changed to the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration, to better align the credential with the diverse nature of the professional community it serves. PRIM&R believes this inclusivity leads to a more robust profession and strengthens the animal research oversight field.
- Essentials of IACUC Administration has long been a cornerstone of PRIM&R’s animal care and use educational programs, and we are happy to announce that we are extending its availability. Institutions interested in offering this program at their locations, on their own schedule, can now take advantage of the At Your Doorstep—Essentials of IACUC Administration short course. PRIM&R speakers and staff will collaborate with host organizers in preparing a customized agenda to be offered to personnel from the host institution or a group of host institutions. Essentials of IACUC Administration will continue to be offered as a pre-conference program held in conjunction with our annual IACUC Conference as well. Some of our other new AYD offerings, such as our new Integrity in Research series, may also be of interest to IACUC professionals and educators. Effective oversight of research with animals requires an understanding of responsible conduct of research principles, and the ways in which noncompliance and research misconduct intersect and overlap. Institutions are encouraged to combine AYD programs to create a customized event.
- We know a critical challenge facing the research oversight community is reducing regulatory burden. PRIM&R recently offered two new in-person workshops on topics related to decreasing regulatory burden while ensuring best practices in animal research oversight. Beyond the Basics: Advanced Issues and Current Topics in IACUC Administration, was offered as a full-day pre-conference program in conjunction with IACUC17. Participants collaborated to review and discuss a range of program processes, including protocol template design, review of administrative amendments, and post-approval monitoring. Decreasing Regulatory Burden: What’s Not to Like? was held as a post-forum workshop in conjunction with the 2017 American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) Forum. This half-day workshop expanded on a Forum lecture on Veterinary Verification and Consultation (VVC), and provided an in-depth exploration of VVC and related issues. Watch for future offerings of these and similar topical workshops.
- Reducing regulatory burden is also the focal point of the Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project, an initiative with the goal of increasing compliance with federal standards while minimizing regulatory burden. In the summer of 2016, PRIM&R convened two ICARE Train-the-Trainers Institutes (TTIs), during which participants learned about the use of active learning pedagogy to enhance the effectiveness of their IACUC training programs. Individuals collaborated in small groups to produce educational modules that incorporated these techniques. These modules are now available for general use at primr.org/icare, and are intended to be used and adapted by IACUC trainers who are seeking to refresh their curricula. Each module contains a PowerPoint presentation with learning objectives to be reached through the use of active learning techniques. Some presentations also include supplements such as facilitator guides.
- And finally, tune in on May 3 for PRIM&R’s complimentary webinar, Incorporating Active Learning into IACUC Training, which will provide support for those seeking to incorporate active learning elements in their education programs. During this webinar, two TTI participants will provide examples of successful implementation of these techniques, and will facilitate a discussion on the barriers and challenges to the use of active learning methodology in IACUC education.
We’re very pleased to support those working in animal care and use oversight. We’ve created these initiatives in response to feedback from the IACUC community, and we want to continue to hear your thoughts on these programs and other resources that you would find useful.