Animal Ethics: Training

Provider business unit: Research Ethics Team »

As of April 2021, the ANZCCART online ComPass training commenced as the animal ethics training program for ANU.

Training is essential in ensuring high levels of animal welfare are maintained in both the biomedical and wildlife fields. Anyone working with animals at ANU must complete animal ethics training before commencing work with animals.

Primary Investigators are responsible for providing the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) with details on the training, competency and experience of all staff and students working with animals under their approved animal ethics protocols.


Compulsory animal ethics training

Updated Sept 2023

All ANU personnel who will be working with animals, including students, animal facility staff and researchers conducting observation-only wildlife studies, must complete animal ethics training prior starting any work with animals.

Investigators are required to indicate the course completed (ComPass or the prior course ANML03/ANML40) and completion date when adding investigators to new protocol applications and approved protocols( by request on REMS)


New ANU staff, students and animal care personnel

New ANU investigators and animal care personnel must complete Animal Ethics training the ANZCCART ComPass Animal Ethics Training prior starting any work with animals.

After completing ComPass, you must also complete a refresher training session at least every 5 years.


Existing ANU staff, students and animal care personnel

The ANZCCART ComPass Animal Ethics Training replaces the Biomedical and Wildlife Animal Ethics Seminars (ANML03, ANML40). 

Staff and Students who completed the Animal Ethics Seminar ANML03/40 must complete the ComPass course when their 5 year refresher training is due.


External Co-Investigators

While not mandatory, the ANU encourages all external co-investigators to complete the ComPass course prior to working with animals on ANU protocols.


Completing the ComPass Course

This is an online course divided into 7 modules and a final quiz. Completion can be self-paced over several sessions; it takes on average 3-4 hours to complete the entire course.

  1. Go to the ANZCCART website and complete the course in your browser. Please note that you only need to complete “Phase 1” training (7 modules and the quiz). After completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion.
  2. Upload your certificate to your profile in REMS. (You will need to ensure you have been added to a team in REMS).
  3. In your profile, select 'add competency' to add the details and upload your certificate.  


After completing ComPass, you must also complete a refresher training session at least every 5 years.


Specific training programs


Updated Sep 2020

Both biomedical and wildlife researchers must complete the below training prior to undertaking anaesthesia without supervision. We recommend all training be completed within 6 months, with practical training and assessment to be done in your own laboratory environment as per your approved ethics protocol.

1. Complete NC3Rs online theory modules

2. Complete APF course “Introduction to Anaesthesia” (ANML22)

3. Further practical training under the supervision of trained competent individuals

4. Competency assessment by one of the ANU vets

For more information, see the Anaesthesia Training material at Animal Ethics policies, procedures and guidelines.


Biomedical training programs

Depending on the nature of your work with animals, you may be required to complete some of the following training programs. Talk to your supervisor if you're not sure which requirements apply to you.



The Tasmanian Veterinary Surgeon’s Regulation 2012 requires that a responsible veterinary surgeon must assess the competency of any individual undertaking microchipping in animals annually. The ANU Vet Services Team can provide this assessment –  please contact them for details.

For further information please see the ANU Microchipping Training and Competency Assessment Framework.


Bird and bat banding

The AEC requires investigators conducting studies that involve the capture and banding of bats or birds to complete appropriate training and hold the correct banding authority as required by the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme (ABBBS). For further information on training and levels of authority contact the appropriate ABBBS regional organiser.


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