Education and Assessment of Competence in Laboratory Animal Science

The terms competence/competent are used in Directive 2010/63/EU as a requirement for persons carrying out procedures with animals. Several initiatives have started to address the question of competence is to be assessed in order to guarantee that future animal users are skilled enough to be authorized to work without supervision. This, in fact, requires access to assessment strategies which can verify knowledge as well as capturing performative and behavioural dimensions of assessment.

Following the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) approach, we have developed an Objective Structured Laboratory Animal Science Examination (OSLASE) to assess students’ ability to perform handling and key procedures with rodents (restraint and two types of injections).

Our research provides guidance for those who need to develop and assess proficiency in laboratory animal procedures by setting out a method that can be used to create the required tools and illustrating how competence assessment strategies can be implemented. We also share the developed Global Rating Scales supporting raters’ decisions in the OSLASE.

Costa, A, Lamas, S, Costa, MJ, et al. Global rating scales to assess the competence of researchers in handling and performing substance administrations in laboratory rodents. Repositório Aberto da Universidade do Porto,

  • Costa A, Lamas S, Costa MJ, Olsson IAS. The assessment of researchers’ competence in experimental procedures with laboratory animals: A three-step methodology to develop a global rating scale. Lab Anim. 2021 Oct;55(5):463-471. doi: 10.1177/00236772211017767. Epub 2021 May 29. PMID: 34053360.
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