Training Program Standards Document

(July 2016)

The goal of training program recognition is to improve the quality and consistency of laboratory animal medicine training programs and to strengthen their ability to prepare trainees for the ACLAM examination and careers in laboratory animal medicine. Training program directors must submit the information requested in the Training Program Description form (accessible online at the ACLAM website) every 3 years, and provide annual updates describing changes in their programs.

Training Program Standards

Training programs participating in the recognition process must develop their programs to be consistent with the standards and clearly define how a program is structured to meet the standards. Training Program Description forms and Training Program Annual Reports are reviewed by the ACLAM Training Program Oversight Committee (TPOC), which recommends initial and ongoing recognition of programs to the Board of Directors (BOD).

  1. Programs must have at least one affiliated Diplomate per three residents in the program, and an ACLAM Diplomate must provide oversight of the program for at least 24 months of the program.
  2. The institution or affiliation of institutions that comprise the training program must provide the majority of the training components. If some elements of the training program will be provided at other institutions or venues (such as externships or short courses), there must be a mechanism to regularly assess the content and quality of these activities.
  3. Training programs must reside in institutions that are committed to the humane care and use of animals. This institutional commitment must include AAALAC International accreditation or a CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice for a majority of the biomedical research programs that support the training effort.
  4. Trainees must complete at least 24 months of formal training in laboratory animal medicine, and the training program must provide documentation (such as a residency certificate or a graduate degree) of satisfactory completion of the training program as described in the Training Program Description and Annual Report.
  5. The training program must provide the knowledge to safely and effectively perform the tasks of a laboratory animal medicine specialist. This knowledge, which is outlined in the ACLAM Role Delineation Document (RDD), will be conveyed by a combination of didactic instruction, supervised experience in the practice of laboratory animal medicine, and a mentored research project.
  • The training program must include a didactic component consisting of seminars or courses with at least 200 hours of direct faculty involvement during the course of the training program.
  • The training program must include at least 2000 hours of supervised experience in the practice of laboratory animal medicine, including participation in each of the following: disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention; clinical and diagnostic pathology; administration of the institutional animal care and use program; interaction with investigators; and animal resource management. Species exposure will vary among training programs and among trainees within a program; there is no minimum requirement for hours of contact by species.
  • The training program must ensure that each trainee has had a mentored research experience that involves the application of the scientific method to a basic or clinical research project; the mentored research experience may take place prior to the training program. Experience should include experimental design (to include scientific rigor, reproducibility, and transparency); data collection, management, and analysis; critical review of the literature; and manuscript preparation. The extent of trainee effort spent on research may vary among trainees, based on their prior research experience, and among training programs. However unless prior research experience is accepted, the training program must provide sufficient time and support for each trainee to complete a project with the goal of publishing a manuscript suitable to satisfy the credentialing requirement. In cases where research is performed but does not result in a completed manuscript, the training program should have alternative plans to determine how the trainee has met the program’s research requirement.
  1. Programs must have a mechanism in place to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the candidate selection process and the curriculum. The training program must also provide DEI and well-being/mental health resources to trainees.
  • Programs must describe the tools or mechanisms utilized to recruit a diverse pool of candidates for the training program and what steps will be taken to minimize bias from the candidate selection process and/or internal ranking of residency candidates.
  • Programs must describe the workplace mental health and well-being resources available to trainees that may need assistance addressing mental health and well-being concerns, including how trainees will be made aware of resources available.
  1. Programs must periodically evaluate effectiveness of training and implement programmatic changes, as appropriate.
  • Individual trainee performance must be evaluated, and the trainee provided feedback at least annually.
  • Programs must conduct a self-assessment at least once every three years, and the method used must include opportunities for trainee and faculty feedback.