Two new programs have taken the "train the trainer" concept to a whole new level. Last week, you learned about the Performance Improvement Partners program – or PIP for short. This week, we'll introduce you to the Animal Research Coordinator (ARC) certification program. This program is another great example of how to support our strategic plan's emphasis on innovation.
Animal Research Coordinator (ARC) certification program
This program was crafted to help improve efficiencies and strengthen compliance within the world of animal-based research. Due to launch this fall, the certification program will enhance an employee's knowledge of important animal research topics and facilitate smooth and efficient animal-based research in the laboratory.
Individuals who become certified in this program will be able to serve as their laboratory's expert – comprehensively trained on federal regulations, institutional and industry policies, and animal care and welfare principles. Certification signifies advanced training and knowledge. This training and knowledge is currently housed primarily within the Office of Animal Welfare.
"We have limited staff in our office, so it's a challenge to keep up with the number of studies taking place," said Scott Bury, Ph.D., director. "So through the ARC program, we're essentially cloning our office's depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise. This exchange of knowledge will help streamline the research process from start to finish on any study or project so by the time the studies reach our office, they should be in pretty good shape."
Those who successfully complete the program will be certified as a coordinator within their laboratory, empowered to disseminate knowledge, provide training, speed up protocol processing, and ensure animal welfare and protocol compliance within their labs. As a certified ARC, individuals will have a greater overall knowledge of animal research and a clear understanding of how to efficiently conduct compliant research.
The first class will roll out by September and will include five lab technicians or postdocs. Training consists of two phases. Phase I will include expectations and required training modules. This training will be approximately 80 percent web-based, and the remaining training will occur in small group seminars with animal program leadership. Phase II will focus on animal species-specific training and will include 12 hours of lecture and hands-on training provided by the Laboratory Animal Resources veterinary staff. The first class should graduate before the end of the year.
"During a time of lean resources, programs like the PIP and ARC symbolize ways to creatively make the most and best out of the resources you already have," Scott said. "These programs are becoming an industry trend because they don't cost a lot of money, but they save a lot of headaches. We will be the first to have a program like this in the Midwest – so we're ahead of the game."
If you are interested in starting a train the trainer-type program in your area and need help getting started or just want more information, contact Scott Bury at 913-588-5492.
Pictured: Scott Bury, Ph.D., director in the Office of Animal Welfare and creator of the ARC program; and Priscilla Reckling, director in the Organizational Improvement Office and creator of the PIP program.