Requirements for Residency Programmes

Criteria for residency training programmes

Standard and Alternate

A residency programme must be approved BEFORE the applicant begins.

  • Have satisfactory moral and ethical standing in relation to the practice of veterinary medicine
  • Be licensed or eligible to be licensed to practise veterinary medicine in a European country, unless specifically exempted from this obligation by ECLAM Council.
  • Be a veterinary graduate of an EAEVE-approved veterinary school, unless exempted from this requirement by the Credentials Committee
  • Have completed one year in a rotating internship or equivalent as defined by the College
Duration of training

Residency training period of at least 3 years, no more than 6 years, in an approved training programme (standard or alternate).

Residents must be active in laboratory animal medicine for at least 60% of their time, based on a normal working week of 40 hours.

Director and Supervisor

Must be directed by an ECLAM Diplomate, who should be based at the sponsoring institute, unless exempted from this by the Training Committee.

A non-Diplomate may co-supervise under the condition that the person's training and expertise in the area in which they supervise should be equivalent to a European Diplomate. They must pass the ECLAM re-certification process.

A Diplomate shall supervise no more than 2 residents in a standard residency. In exceptional cases 3 residents can be allowed for a restricted time.

Core elements

Laboratory animal medicine is the specialty of veterinary medicine which deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in animals used in biomedical research. Its major functions are listed below and form the list of core training elements. 

1. Provision of advice and veterinary services regarding transport, import and export of animals

2. Provision of advice regarding animal husbandry, housing and care

3. Surveillance of health status; prevention, detection, treatment and control of disease (including zoonoses) and disaster planning in case of outbreaks

4. Advise researchers, person(s) responsible for the project and the AWB on study related matters of animal health and welfare, animal models, experimental design, implementation of the 3Rs and severity assessment of procedures

5. Recommendations for non-surgical and surgical interventions. Provision of advice and guidance for anaesthesia, analgesia, surgery, peri-operative care and alleviation of pain, suffering and distress in relation to experimental protocols

6. Assess the well-being of animals and assign severity classification

7. Regulations, Ethics, Training, and Facility Design

Animal species

Minimal number of species that must be included in the training and experience:

  1. Two rodent species AND
  2. Two species amongst the following: rabbit, cat, dog, primate, ferret AND
  3. One farm animal species (ruminant or non-ruminant) AND
  4. One non-mammalian species (e.g. fish, amphibian, reptile, bird)

In order to ensure breadth and depth of experience, sufficient numbers of animals should be available at the establishment(s) where training and experience are obtained.

Didactic training The applicant must provide evidence of at least 200 contact hours of didactic training (classroom instruction, seminars, formalised clinical rounds including problem solving components, or formal training courses and workshops).

A range of scientific projects must be running at the establishment(s) where the residency training takes place. Training must include the application of the scientific method as applied to a basic or clinical research project relevant to laboratory animal medicine. The trainee can fulfil this requirement through the conduct of an independent project, or in collaboration with an established investigator.

The trainee must author at least two original articles (of which one must be as first or primary author) which demonstrate the application of scientific methods on topics that are relevant to laboratory animal medicine and science. The articles must have been published or accepted for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal at the time of application for eligibility to undertake Board examination. Publications may be submitted to the Credentials Committee for advance approval, ie during the residency training period. 

Facilities and veterinary care
  • The facilities used should be constructed and maintained in accordance with accepted standards and the European Directive.
  • The facilities should be accredited/authorised by the local authorities. Other accreditations should be mentioned, although this is not mandatory for approval of the training programme.
  • Veterinary and animal care staffing should be appropriate to the range and number of animal species to provide the necessary care. Provisions for emergencies should be detailed.
  • The veterinary care programme should be in accordance with accepted standards (e.g. the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, AAALAC, FELASA/ ECLAM/ ESLAV working group report).

Documentation of training completion is required.

For standard residents, the documentation must be signed by both the Programme Director and a senior administrative official of the facility hosting the Training Programme.

For alternate residents, documents confirming the required training and experience must be provided by the candidate when seeking eligibility to sit the exam.