Competences for the VETCEE accredited Laboratory Animal Science and Medicine programmes

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European Directive 2010/63/EU (replacing the Directive 86/609/EEC) has introduced new requirements for the protection of laboratory animals / animals used for scientific purposes across the European Union. In particular, it requires that establishments that breed, supply or use laboratory / animals have a designated veterinarian (DV) with expertise in laboratory animal medicine, or a suitably qualified expert where more appropriate, charged with advisory duties in relation to the well-being and treatment of the animals (ESLAV/ECLAM/ LAVA/EVERI recommendations, 2015). Laboratory animal veterinarians are key persons to ensure health and welfare of animals and therefore to contribute to the advancement of medical and scientific knowledge.
The aim of this document is to provide a dossiers of competences in the field of Laboratory Animal Science and Medicine, that can be used by national postgraduate programmes to certify the level of knowledge, skills and competences (KSC). Definition of minimum standards that should be met will allow the VetCEE accreditation of those programmes and facilitate mutual recognition of professional qualification across EU Member States (MS). VetCEE is a joint initiative of EAEVE, EBVS, FVE and UEVP aimed to develop a standard for structured continuing professional development (CPD) in collaboration with European Veterinarian associations.
Laboratory animal science and medicine (LASM) is a broad veterinary discipline covering several areas of concerns and various species from mouse to non-human primates, including also aquatics and farm animals (Turner P et al, 2009). Due to the variety of establishment, it is acknowledged the roles and therefore the knowledge and skills of the veterinarians should be tailored to the needs, complexity and purpose of the establishment (ESLAV/ECLAM/LAVA/EVERI recommendations, 2015).
Post-graduate programmes are already in place in various European countries, such as those approved by ECLAM. Accreditation by VetCEE of components of these programmes will allow for wider mutual recognition. In case of accreditation of national programmes or courses delivered by European bodies it is also expected that ECTS-credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits) can be transferred into other programmes (e.g. an accredited course in anaesthesiology worth 5 ECTS and delivered by University in Spain would be accepted as sufficient training in anaesthesiology worth 5 ECTS by any national body awarding a postgraduate certificate in LASM [or equivalent] in a country other than Spain).
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