Return to flip book view

A Caring Career

Page 1

Animal Technologist A CARING CAREER Institute of Animal Technology

Page 2

Contents Our purpose is to advance knowledge and Description promote excellence in the care and welfare of Foreword 2 animals in science and to enhance the standards and status of those professionally engaged in the care welfare and use of animals in science The Institute recognises and supports Page Number What is Animal Technology 3 Why are animals still used 4 About the Institute of Animal Technology 6 Interested in joining the IAT 7 Working with research animals 9 The IAT Career Pathway 10 the application of the principles of the 3Rs Trainee Animal Technician Intermediate Apprenticeship in Animal Technology 12 Replacement Reduction and Refinement in Animal Technician 13 all areas of animal research Registered Animal Technologist RAnTech 14 Animal Technologist or Licenced Technologist 15 Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer NACWO 16 Senior Animal Technologist or Team Leader Supervisor 17 Facility Manager Specialist 18 Other Career Opportunities 19 Need Help 20 Contact Us 20 Institute of Animal Technology www iat org uk Animal Technologist A Caring Career 1

Page 3

Foreword What is Animal Technology The use of animals in science is regulated in the UK under the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012 commonly known as ASPA When animals are used for scientific procedures it must not only take place under the protective legislative framework but equally important the highest ethical standards including ensuring the animal s care and welfare The Institute recognises and supports the benefits of using animals in research and its members strongly believe that excellence in animal care and welfare goes hand in hand with excellence in science Animal Technology is a specialist profession primarily responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals used in science Animal Technology is a very rewarding career besides the moral and legal obligations that we have for the welfare of research animals it is important that the care is provided by dedicated career Animal Technologists Animal Technologists understand animal care and welfare they have dedicated their lives to not only delivering this care but also in Continued Professional Development to ensure that they are always seeking ways to provide better conditions for these important research animals The Institute of Animal Technology provides education training and CPD to support the delivery of excellence in Animal Welfare The IAT Career Pathway shows clearly the educational and promotional opportunities for people interested in a career in Animal Technology It is an essential and integral part of our science sector Animal Technology helps to enable high quality scientific research be carried out including fundamental research new treatments for diseases to be developed and new methods of diagnosis to be identified For Animal Technologists it is all about ensuring the highest standards of care and welfare for the animals are upheld The UK has strict welfare legislation and standards that protect animals used in research by ensuring that Animal Welfare is a priority The Institute of Animal Technology leads the way when it comes to high Animal Welfare standards That s why we have developed the IAT Career Pathway This Pathway is designed to promote the highest standards of training and development for Animal Technologists A career in Animal Technology allows you to work with animals every single day and be part of crucial advances in science and medical research Animal Technologists come from various backgrounds all you need to start is a keen interest in caring for animals For over 30 years I have been privileged to have held senior posts on various Animal Welfare committees and on the IAT Council It is my belief that Animal Technologists are in a unique position to make a significant impact on improving Animal Welfare by providing care and enrichment coupled with an informed understanding of animal behaviour and their wellbeing While animals continue be part of the process in the development of new treatments therapies and cures for both humans and animals including fundamental research it is essential they are cared for by professional and dedicated career Animal Technologists If you enjoy being with and have a keen interest in animals and want a career where you not only provide care and welfare to these important animals but also support scientific research then a career as an Animal Technologist may be for you Linda Horan BSc Hons MIAT RAnTech CEO and Chair Institute of Animal Technology 2 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 3

Page 4

Why Are Animals Still Used Animals are only used in scientific research when we need to find out what happens in the whole living body which is far more complex than individual body systems Alternatives e g computer modelling tissue culture organoids are always utilised to reduce the need to use live animals the use of alternatives is required by law There are four main reasons why animals continue to be used in research 1 To advance scientific understanding Adding to scientific knowledge through basic or fundamental biological research helps us understand how living things work and apply that understanding for the benefit of both humans and animals The study of animals is a vital part of this research process Many basic cell processes are the same in all animals and the bodies of animals are like humans in the way that they perform many vital functions such as respiration digestion movement sight hearing and reproduction To treat disease doctors and scientists must first understand how processes work in the healthy body This in turn leads to an understanding of what happens to the body when we fall ill and how this can be treated 2 As models to study disease Humans and animals share many illnesses and consequently animals can act as models for the study of human illness Rodents and Fish are predominantly used as models to study disease However other species may be used for example Rabbits suffer from atherosclerosis hardening of the arteries as well as diseases such as emphysema and birth defects such as spina bifida and Dogs suffer from cancer diabetes cataracts ulcers and bleeding disorders such as haemophilia which make them natural candidates for research into these disorders From such models we learn how disease affects the body how the immune system responds who will be affected and more 3 To develop and test potential forms of treatment Once researchers learn more about a particular disease animals are used to develop and test potential therapies as part of the applied research process For example medicines for Parkinson s disease have been developed using Genetically Altered animal models such as mice with induced Parkinson s like symptoms Animal models such as these are an essential part of applying biological research to real medical problems allowing new targets for disease treatments to be identified Data from animal studies is essential and is legally required before new therapeutic techniques and surgical procedures can be tested on human patients 4 To protect the safety of people animals and the environment New medicines require testing because researchers must measure both the beneficial and the harmful effects of a compound on a whole organism A medicine is initially tested without the use of animals in vitro using computer models cellular tests tissues and isolated organs but legally and ethically it must also be tested in a suitable animal model before clinical trials in humans can take place Cosmetic testing is illegal in Europe it has been illegal to test cosmetics in the UK since 1998 and in Europe as a whole since 2013 Adapted from the Understanding Animal Research website for more information visit www understandinganimalresearch co uk 4 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 5

Page 5

About the Institute of Animal Technology Interested in joining the IAT Founded in 1950 the Institute of Animal Technology IAT is the foremost professional body in the field of laboratory animal science and technology The Institute welcomes applications for membership from Animal Technologists animal scientists researchers veterinarians and others engaged in the field of Animal Technology and its supporting industries It has a range of different membership grades to meet the needs of our diverse demographic of members Our purpose is to advance knowledge and promote excellence in the care and welfare of animals in science and to enhance the standards and status of those professionally engaged in the care welfare and use of animals in science Our 2 500 members have expertise across all aspects of Animal Welfare and technology and we actively support the 3Rs Refinement Reduction and Replacement Russell W M S and Burch R L 1959 The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique Methuen London ISBN 0900767782 To help support its members the IAT has a number of branches across the UK which provide a focus for local Animal Technologists to get together regularly to network and enjoy both educational and social events The branches often co organise larger events and benefit from getting to meet Animal Technologists from outside their own area We continually strive to advance and promote excellence in technology and the practice of laboratory animal care and welfare through qualification advice guidance and initiatives such as the IAT Career Pathway that is described in this document A grade for those with an interest in the field of Animal Technology This grade of membership is available to those who do not have a formal qualification in Animal Technology but whose interests and or profession are closely allied to those of the IAT It will also apply to technicians who are studying but yet to achieve the Level 2 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Husbandry Associate Member Membership grade for technicians who have gained their first qualification This grade recognises the achievement of those who have successfully completed the Level 2 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science Technology and have at least 1 year s relevant experience in Animal Technology They must also have completed the Practical Animal Handling Health Module Member MIAT A grade for experienced and qualified Animal Technologists at senior level This grade recognises the achievement of those who have completed the Level 3 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science Technology and have a minimum of 3 years relevant experience in Animal Technology They must also complete the Practical Animal Handling Health Module if not previously completed Members of the IAT and will be entitled to use the letters MIAT after their names Fellow FIAT Scotland West of Scotland Affiliate non voting Member Edinburgh Northern Ireland North West North East Ireland Midlands Wales Wales and The West England Huntingdon Suffolk and Norfolk Cambridge Oxford London West Middlesex Surrey Hampshire and Sussex The top level professional membership status obtained by qualification This grade recognises those who have achieved a Bachelor s degree BSc in Laboratory Animal Technology or a higher degree in Animal Technology and have at least 5 years relevant experience in Animal Technology They must also complete the Practical Animal Handling Health Module if not previously completed Fellows of the IAT will be entitled to use the letters FIAT after their names There are full details about how to join the IAT on the website www iat org uk 6 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 7

Page 6

Benefits of Joining the IAT Working with Research Animals There are many benefits from joining the IAT visit our website to find out more but the images below provide an overview If you enjoy caring for animals every day one of the most rewarding careers is Animal Technology because it offers opportunities to develop skills gain qualifications and has an established career pathway m eet fellow Animal Technologists and network at IAT training conferences and seminars a ttend local IAT branch events tour facilities and develop wider research understanding h ear about the latest technology and services through trade events and meetings website resources and e Newsletter m onthly Bulletin with news updates upcoming events and job vacancies r egular official journal Animal Technology and Welfare www atwjournal com keep up to date members only website section welfare and research sector news and guidance documents access bursaries and discounts to attend events For more great reasons to join the IAT visit http www iat org uk membership html For more great reasons to join the IAT visit http www iat org uk membership html FOR EMPLOYERS FOR EMPLOYERS f un and informative scientific and social events join the wider welfare community RESOURCES Institute of Animal Technology RESOURCES MEET Institute of Animal Technology MEET Institute of Animal Technology h elping employers to maintain the highest standards of Animal Welfare and global best practice s upporting cutting edge research with highly skilled professional and committed Animal Technologists s tructured internationally recognised qualifications Register of Animal Technologists and CPD a ccess into the wider research community including government legislators and other professional bodies c orporate membership network support and social opportunities for Animal Technologists For more great reasons to join the IAT visit http www iat org uk membership html As an Animal Technologist you would be responsible for the dayto day needs of animals in the facility helping to care for them ensuring their welfare and assisting scientists with their research There are all sorts of places which need committed and caring professional Animal Technologists for example at Universities Government Agencies Medical Charities Contract Research Organisations Pharmaceutical Companies and Research Animal Breeders Typically an Animal Technologist will look after mice as they are the most common specie used 97 of research in the UK is conducted on mice rats fish and birds whilst dogs cats and primates altogether account for less than 0 2 of research animals Looking after animals in a research environment is a 365 day per year job which means that Animal Technologists have to work weekends and bank holidays including Christmas day on a rota system to ensure that the animals are cared for Day to day activities include the following l animal handling including welfare checks l feeding and watering l cleaning cages REPRESENT affiliation to the IAT gives Animal Technologists a voice c areer progression maximise your potential through globally recognised qualifications m aintain momentum through Continual Professional Development opportunities Animal Technology learning resources support and mentors N amed Animal Care and Welfare Officer and Registered Animal Technologist development opportunities access to bursaries for professional and career development For more great reasons to join the IAT visit http www iat org uk membership html 8 Animal Technologist A Caring Career REPRESENT DEVELOP Institute of Animal Technology DEVELOP Institute of Animal Technology o pportunity to influence future policy by joining the IAT Council p rofessional source of information and advice regarding animal care welfare legislation and guidelines a ccess to the wider research and Animal Technology community s takeholder liaison on new legislation and regulations relating to animal care and welfare l monitoring environmental conditions e g temperature and humidity l maintaining a hygienic environment l animal breeding and sexing l using databases to record activities l assisting researchers Working as an Animal Technologist can also provide fantastic training opportunities allowing you to develop your skills and advance your career Through the IAT s Career Pathway you can work your way up from a Trainee to a Facility Manager If you enjoy caring for animals have an interest in science and would enjoy working in a laboratory environment for the benefit of human and animal health this could be the job for you For more information and to hear from current Animal Technologists visit the IAT website and watch the Animal Technologist A Caring Career video http www iat org uk animalwork c145z For more great reasons to join the IAT visit http www iat org uk membership html Animal Technologist A Caring Career 9

Page 7

The IAT Career Pathway The IAT ensures that every single Animal Technologist has access to the best training and opportunities to develop their capabilities This Pathway is designed to guide you through the different stages of a career in animal technology and ensure these high standards are upheld across the UK and abroad Please note that timelines can vary depending upon the organisation and the promotional opportunities Career Opportunities Entry to Master s Degree Facility Manager Specialist Level 6 LAS T Diploma or 1st Degree Fellow of the Institute of Animal Technology FIAT The following pages describe each of the roles in more detail Level 5 LAS T Diploma Senior Animal Technologist Level 4 LAS T Diploma Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer NACWO Animal Technologist Animal Technologist Apprenticeship Level 3 EU Modules 3 2 7 8 9 23 requirement Level 3 LAS T Diploma for ICARE Registered Animal Technologist RAnTech Member of the Institute of Animal Technology MIAT Animal Technician Level 2 LAS T Diploma EU Function Group C animal carers Modules Level 2 Lab Animal Husbandry Diploma 1 2 3 1 4 5 6 1 3 2 Trainee Animal Technician Alignment to Directive 2010 63 EU Core Career Pathway including Continuous Professional Development 10 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Local Induction Health Safety etc Alignment to Education Framework Alignment to Professional Recognition Animal Technologist A Caring Career 11

Page 8

Trainee Animal Technician Intermediate Apprenticeship in Animal Technology Brief Duties An interest in caring for and working with animals is essential preferably with some experience of animal science veterinary or animal care You will be aware of husbandry routines for common laboratory animals having a basic knowledge of standard operating procedures and the regulations that ensure the welfare of animals used in research You will understand the requirement for effective cage room and facility hygiene and cleanliness procedures Qualifications None required but 5 GCSEs including English Maths and Science would be preferred and or an animal care related qualification Salary Up to 17k depending on location I studied animal care and welfare at College but did not know that there were career opportunities in laboratory animal science Being able to take my interest in animals into a job where the research is also saving lives was a great opportunity From day one I have been made to feel welcome have interacted with the mice and learned the basics of husbandry and animal observations There are a lot of opportunities for training and further development and my training records are filling up already Animal Technician Steve Trainee Animal Technician Brief Duties Will have had a minimum of 2 years experience in a laboratory animal environment be familiar with the care welfare and husbandry of the laboratory animal species within their facility They will have experience with the day to day routines involved in experimental or breeding facilities including genetically altered GA animals and be able to record data accurately Although not Licensed under The Animal Scientific Procedures Act 1986 ASPA they will know the requirements of the Act and understand routine experimental procedures Likely Qualifications Level 2 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science and Technology Salary 19k 28k depending on location I left college with science A Levels and worked in a veterinary practice for a year before seeing an opportunity to become an animal technician I have completed my initial animal science and technology qualifications and work closely with the researchers looking after their mouse breeding colonies I am very interested in the cancer research taking place as it has affected my family and knowing that well qualified and dedicated technicians like me are looking after the welfare of the animals means that their dayto day care is in good hands Julia Animal Technician 12 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 13

Page 9

Registered Animal Technologists RAnTech Animal Technologist or The Register of Animal Technologists was established in 1985 to promote professionalism in laboratory animal care and enhance standards of animal welfare Licenced Technologist For inclusion on the Register applicants must hold by examination the Membership or Fellowship Diploma of the Institute of Animal Technology or equivalent In addition they must have a minimum of five years relevant experience including two years post qualification experience Registration is usually attained at Animal Technician level or higher to meet the qualification and experience levels required Brief Duties The Register of Animal Technologists demonstrates to the public to employers and to the regulatory authorities the high ethical standards and qualification of career Animal Technologists Individuals are included on the Register who by qualification experience and personal conduct are considered suitable to promote a culture of care and hold posts of great responsibility in laboratory animal facilities Suitable applicants will be asked to attend a formal interview to demonstrate that they understand the legal and moral responsibilities placed on being a Member of the Register Registered Animal Technologists may be identified by the designatory letters RAnTech The skills and qualifications of the Animal Technologist working closely with the researchers to support the day to day planning of research project tasks and will be competent at both performing regulated procedures and may be involved in the training of other members of staff Licensed technologists have a more detailed knowledge of the research protocols and welfare implications Likely Qualifications Level 3 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science and Technology Membership of the IAT MIAT Registered Animal Technologist RAnTech Home Office Modular training and computer literate with knowledge of databases Salary 23k 30k depending on location GUIDE to Professional Conduct Conduct Conduct 3rd Edition April 2016 I have worked with laboratory animals for nearly 8 years and have been promoted 3 times I work as part of a large dedicated team and am responsible for the day to day care of laboratory animals I also assist scientists with their experiments involving the animals in my care My job role is really varied and I also help with the daily running of the animal facility and mentoring and training junior technicians As my career developed through training and gaining Institute of Animal Technology qualifications my role became more varied and I was given more responsibility and independence to work without supervision I was granted a Home Office personal licence and began helping scientists with the experiments Louise Licenced Animal Technologist www iat org uk 14 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 15

Page 10

Senior Animal Technologist or Team Leader Supervisor Named Animal Care Brief Duties Welfare Officer NACWO The skills and qualifications of the Licensed Animal Technologist with excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to interact with researchers responsible for line managing other Animal Technologists ensuring daily routines are undertaken to the required standards may be appointed as a Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer NACWO training in management and supervisory skills Research organisations are required by law to have named people responsible for the care and welfare of the animals these are often experienced or senior Animal Technologists Likely Qualifications NACWO Introductory Course Levels 4 6 Diploma in Laboratory Animal Science and Technology evidence of active Continued Professional Development CPD Promoting a professional understanding and responsible attitude towards the care and welfare of laboratory animals through training qualification and experience Salary 25k 35k depending on location A very high percentage of Named Animal Care and Welfare Officers are members of the IAT The Institute s Register of Animal Technologists is in most instances referred to when identifying individuals of suitable quality and status to fulfil posts of responsibility in laboratory animal facilities My animal behaviour degree was pretty relevant The skills I gained in animal handling and care skills husbandry and an understanding of the behaviour and biology of different species really helped I started my Animal Technologist career working in a mouse breeding room and quickly progressed to working within a level 3 containment area where I began to oversee the research animals progressing to sample taking and overseeing a team of 3 junior technicians as well as starting my IAT Level 2 and Home Office Licence training Over the years I went on to gain my NACWO training and developed more specialist skills involving regulated procedures sample taking and supervisory skills It is our belief that persons named as NACWO within the requirements of the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986 should be appointed from the list of Registered Animal Technologists Effective communication is vital I encourage the techs that I supervise to ask as many questions as they can show a genuine interest in the work they are involved in and never stop learning no matter how long you have been in the industry Rachael Team Leader By adopting such a policy establishments using or breeding animals for biomedical research would demonstrate to all that they take matters of animal welfare seriously and that the interests of the animals are properly served Smaller research facilities may only have one or two NACWOs whereas large organisations may have many opportunities to carry out this role may be restricted not only by the level of experience required but also on the availability of a post NACWO Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer Guidelines Guidelines 3rd Edition March 2015 www iat org uk 16 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 17

Page 11

Other Career Opportunities Facility Manager Specialist Brief Duties The skills and qualifications of the Senior Animal Technologist may be responsible for a number of animal areas facilities controlled by senior technical staff will have overall responsibility for the day to day operations including budget control implementation of policy staffing and appointments helping to promote and maintain a culture of care within their organisation Likely Qualifications Fellowship of the IAT FIAT or graduate qualification management experience and or qualifications extensive Continued Professional Development CPD possibly working towards a Master s Degree Salary 30k 55k depending on location I manage a medical research facility with responsibility for the animal facility as well as research laboratories I work closely with a team of technicians to ensure the care and welfare of the rats and mice within the facility On a typical day I start by working with the team to check all of the animals and environmental conditions I then meet with the research teams to discuss their ongoing projects and assist with their work I perform health safety audits of the laboratories and carry out any facility inductions for new team members I also provide training in procedures and the use of equipment for facility users I enjoy playing a full role in the Ethical Review Processes and participating in the Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body as well as hosting unannounced inspections by the Home Office who are responsible for inspecting to ensure that the requirements of the Animal Scientific Procedures Act 1986 ASPA are applied in all designated research facilities Mat Facility Manager Whilst individuals become Animal Technologists to work with animals many find opportunities to develop their careers along different pathways within the research sector there are many opportunities to change or enhance your career and some examples are below Training Training and Competency Officers ensure the competency of people working with research animals this role has become more important in recent years to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements People who are skilled at training people and assessing skills often choose this career route and undertake additional Train the Trainer training and may lecture at colleges and on the Home Office Licensee training courses Research Individuals who progress through to Senior Animal Technologist or degree level education may also have the opportunity to get involved in the research projects working within research groups having a high level understanding of research animals and their behaviour is an advantage in developing a research career Laboratories Most research facilities have associated laboratories that handle blood tissue and test materials Opportunities exist in laboratories such as dispensary or formulations chemistry metabolism necropsy histology and pathology Larger research facilities will have many of the associated laboratory facilities that human hospitals have Compliance Many research organisations have facilities to conduct quality assurance Home Office compliance or monitoring of the research that is conducted Specialist roles to undertake these duties and interact with the Home Office are very important Archiving Once the research is concluded all that is left is the data and tissues these are often stored in a secure archive area which is an extremely specialised function that also offers career opportunities in information storage record keeping and retention 18 Animal Technologist A Caring Career Animal Technologist A Caring Career 19

Page 12

Need Help The IAT website has a number of free resources and useful careers advice documents to help kick start your career in Animal Technology they include l CV savvy l body talk l letter writing techniques l evaluating what s on offer l making references work for you l telephone techniques l understanding selection interviews l discussing salaries l job searching l interviewing skills l adjusting to your new job Useful Resources Institute of Animal Technology https www iat org uk welfare Understanding Animal Research UAR http www understandinganimalresearch org uk National Centre for the Replacement Refinement Reduction of Animals in Research NC3Rs http www nc3rs org uk Home Office https www gov uk guidance research and testing using animals Contact Us For more information you can write email or phone the IAT using the details below or ask a question via our website Address 5 South Parade Summertown Oxford OX2 7JL E admin iat org uk T 44 0 800 085 4380 www iat org uk Institute of Animal Technology A Caring Career first published May 2016 revised October 2017 this edition March 2022 20 Animal Technologist A Caring Career

Page 13

www iat org uk

Page 14

Page 15

Page 16

Page 17

Page 18

Page 19

Page 20

Page 21

Page 22

Page 23

Page 24