M-2 – English

Education for Persons Responsible for Directing Animal Experiments (study directors)

Upcoming Course Dates
September TBC
Full week course - from 08:30 to 17:30 every day
Homework to be completed before the course - Written exam after the course
Online course with Zoom

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M-2 – English

Education for Persons Responsible for Directing Animal Experiments (study directors)

5 days
Learning Objectives, Form, Scope, Content and Target Audience

This course is the basic education course to be recognised as study director in animal experimentation. The training consists of a theoretical part and a part that is geared to the experimental objectives. Each part comprises of at least 20 hours.The aim of this advanced training as defined in the Swiss Legislation is to ensure that study directors plan and lead animal experiments in the appropriate methodologically correct manner and apply the 3R principles.

A written exam must be taken at the end of the course to validate the acquisition of knowledge. This examination is required by Swiss law.


Art 28 and 29 of the Ordinance of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) on Training in Animal Husbandry and in the Handling of Animals – 455-109)

Theoretical part
a. animal welfare regulations regarding animal experiments and laboratory animals;
b. national regulations on the registration of medicines, biologicals and chemicals as well as the basic features of corresponding international agreements;
c. research and analysis of scientific publications with regard to the planning of experiments and verification of possible alternative methods, knowledge of the most important sources of alternative methods;
d. biometrics and use of statistical methods in the planning of experiments and the analysis and interpretation of results;
e. selection of suitable animal species, strains and lines depending on the experimental design;
f. pain assessment and recording of constraints;
g. possibilities for reducing constraints on the laboratory animals, especially possibilities for administering analgesics and the use of criteria for euthanasia;
h. basic principles of good laboratory practice;
i. prevention and diagnosis of diseases, influence of infectious diseases or medication on the results of the experiment;
j. gnotobiology;
k. methods, studies and possible complications during and after anesthesia, including the measures needed to remedy them; and
l. pharmacological properties of the most commonly used anesthetics and analgesics, their selection with regard to animal species, the nature of the surgical procedure and design of the experiment, as well as species-specific reactions to anaesthetics.

Part geared to experimental objectives
This part of the course teaches the method specific and species-specific knowledge needed to ensure that the planned animal experiments are carried out properly.

Criteria for the Participation

There no criteria for participation. However the recognition of this education by the authorities in Switzerland requires:

1) the basic education in laboratory animal science (Module 1 or 20 or a similar course)
2) at least 3 years experience in animal experimentation (in Switzerland or abroad)
3) a university degree that provides a basic knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Zoology and Behavioural Science, Genetics and Molecular Biology, as well as Hygiene and Biostatistics. If you do not have these topics in your university degree, they must be completed separately. In this case, please contact your cantonal authorities.

Accreditation and Recognition

This course is approved by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office  as official education in Switzerland for study directors.

Please note that this course is not recognised as continuing education but only as qualifying education.

Course Fees

Universities in Switzerland: CHF: 1'400.-
Industry, external person and institutions from abroad: CHF 1'900.-

Please note that we will charge you the full fees in case of a late cancellation of the course (within 3 weeks before start of the course) or in case of absence. It is the responsibility of the participant to inform the organizer of the course about the cancellation before the deadline of 3 weeks before the course to avoid the billing of the course. To charge for cancellations is common practice by other providers, too. The new proceedings for education courses became necessary due to an increasing extent of short term cancellations in training modules.


Insurance is responsibility of each participant.