UACC Theory Course - General Information


Theory Course of the University Animal Care Committee at McGill University


The McGill University Animal Care Committee (UACC), in conjunction with the Office of the Vice Principal (Research and International Relations), offers training in animal use for research and teaching as part of our institution's commitment to animal welfare when there are no alternatives but to include them in projects having scientific merit.

Although our institution has been offering training since the 1970s, it is in January 2003, that the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has made training mandatory for all individuals who are, or intend to, work with animals. This includes all research and teaching personnel from McGill and Affiliated Hospitals: investigators, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, technicians and students.


Everyone listed in an Animal Use Protocol form, is required to successfully pass the test for this THEORY course. The participant will need to know the material covered in this Web site and successfully pass a multiple choice test. If training was obtained from another institution, successfully passing the test is sufficient.

If handling live animals, the person also needs to successfully pass the PRACTICAL course (workshop) specific to the species he/she intends to work with. The participant will be asked to perform the procedures covered in the workshop and to pass a 10 multiple choice test at the end of that workshop.



THEORY course:

All the material is on this Web site.

There are two levels:

· A Basic Level: which everyone must fully understand (+ practical training if handling live animals)


· An Advanced Level where additional material is required for those who will have a high level of invasive contact with the animals (such as injections, performing surgery or collecting blood) (+ practical training if handling live animals). Please note that Principal Investigators MUST be certified for the ADVANCED Level.


And a section specific for working with :

· Wild animals and domesticated amphibians, fish, birds and reptiles section: which is for those who intend to do field studies or work with certain species in a laboratory setting.


The test for both levels and the wild animals and domesticated amphibians, fish, birds and reptiles section is requested by email and done on-line.



There are Animal Methodology Workshops regularly for each of the following species: rat, mouse and rabbit. Workshops for other rodent species and specialized ones for more advanced techniques are available on demand. The workshops demonstrate many procedures done on that species and requires the participant to adequately perform all the procedures during the workshop. They are given by the Comparative Medicine Animal Resources Centre or research institute of affiliated hospitals.

Training from another institution may be submitted to be evaluated for equivalencies to McGill’s practical training.  A valid certificate and course syllabus (if techniques and species not indicated on certificate) may be sent via email to the animalcare [at] (Training Coordinator).

For more information, see the main Training Web page

For those working with fish:

All fish users should take the Canadian Aquaculture Institute’s Online course “The Experimental Fish" at
to provide theoretical background for fish handling



· Read the material included in this Web page under "Basic Level"


· If you will have invasive contact with the animals (such as injecting, survival blood collection or surgery), or if you are the principal investigator: read the material included under "Advanced Level"


· If you will be doing field studies, read the material under "Wild animals and domesticated amphibians, fish, birds and reptiles" and specify that you need the wildlife questions to be added to your test


Send ananimalcare [at] ( email to the Training Coordinator) requesting a test, a Weblink and code will be sent to you. * * * Please note that EACH participant must make the request using his/her own email account. 


If handling live animals, register for the practical course appropriate to you (see Workshop section for details on the main Training Web page.

The theory course is not a prerequisite to the practical training.

If you have any questions or problems, please email the animalcare [at] (Training Coordinator).



Click here to go to the BASIC LEVEL COURSE MATERIAL.