Programme info

Micro-credential: Laboratory Animal Science - Function B

Course content

PhD students, researchers, professionals, and post-graduate students working in life sciences often need knowledge, insights and skills in whether or not and, if needed, how to use laboratory animals in an optimal way in their research projects or to be able to provide accurate consults to clients.

Working with laboratory animals is only possible when you have a valid certificate. Therefore this micro-credential gives an opportunity to obtain a certificate that covers the core modules and the modules related to project design leading to a Function B certificate.

Learning outcomes

This micro-credential focuses on the following learning outcomes.

1. The participant understands the national and international (EU) legal and regulatory framework within which projects involving animals are constructed and managed. The participant understands the legal responsibilities of the people involved.

2. The participant understands, can apply, and discuss the principle of the 3 R's.

3. The particpant can identify, understand, respond appropriately, and discuss the ethical and welfare issues raised by the use of animals in scientific procedures and within their own study program and/or work.

4. The participant has a basic understanding of the behavior, care (including enrichment), biology (incl reproduction), and husbandry and the interplay between these elements of most frequently used species in experimental research.

5. The participant can describe the suitable routines, husbandry practices, and environmental and housing conditions of the most frequently used laboratory animals (including genetically modified animals) and how an animal facility is organized to ensure these. The participant can describe the different biosafety levels and measures to ensure a safe working environment for the people involved.

6. The participant can discriminate between the normal condition and behavior of an animal and one which is showing signs of pain, suffering, or distress. The participant can apply the severity classification system, assess cumulative severity and use humane endpoints.

7. The participant knows the principles of humane killing. The participant can describe the different methods available, provide details on for which species and ages these methods are suitable, and select the most appropriate method.

8. The participant can describe the most appropriate methods of handling, restraint and can describe the techniques (and material needed) for injection, dosing, and sampling for the most frequently used laboratory animal species.

9. The participant understands the concept of experimental design (and different setups). The participant can identify and respond appropriately to possible causes of bias and has a basic understanding of good statistical analysis.

10. The participant can develop, direct and control a project application for experimental work involving animals ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of any regulation governing the project.

11. The participant knows the different points of attention when applying anesthesia to laboratory animals (pre-anesthetic considerations, anesthetic agents, anesthetic administration, different modes of anesthesia, recovery, emergencies) for both minor surgical and prolonged procedures.

12. The participant knows the different points of attention when applying analgesia to laboratory animals (balanced anesthesia, pre-emptive analgesia, analgetic drugs, pain management scheme).

13. The participant knows the use of aseptic techniques and the principles of successful surgery. The participant can describe the healing process. Theparticipant knows and can use basic surgical instruments and methods of suturing (using non-animal models).


Upon completion of the course, you obtain a Function B (FELASA) certificate.

In addition, undergraduates in biology and veterinary medicine receive a Flemish and Wallon Categorie C certificate, whereas other undergraduates receive a Categorie B certificate.