Animal Ethics Training

It is expected that all new University of Adelaide animal users will undertake training in animal ethics and welfare if they are to obtain clearance to work with animals.

All applicants to the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) should read the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for scientific purposes (8th edition, 2013) and also familiarise themselves with the content of the University's Animal Ethics website: University of Adelaide animal user's handbook, University policies & guidelines, application and annual reporting forms, and other information.

The Animal Ethics Committee also requires:

  • University staff, students, titleholders and other applicants that have not completed an AEC approved training course between 2016 and 2021 complete the currently approved training (ComPass);
  • refresher training in animal ethics and welfare be completed by all animal users at least every five years, in accord with requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) in the Australian Code;
  • all animal users renew their animal ethics and welfare training when the Code or relevant regulations change, as may be determined necessary by the AEC;
  • all applicants completing the currently approved training (ComPass) also successfully complete the online assessment before commencing work with animals.

Effective 1 March 2021, the AEC has approved the Australian & New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching online training course, ComPass (ANZCCART Competency Passport) as the required training for all animal users applying to the AEC. ComPass is a free online course covering the Australian Code and the NZ Guide and welfare issues relating to animal use in research and teaching, and is suitable for researchers, teachers and animal ethics committee members. The course is the product of input of Animal Welfare Officers from across Australia and New Zealand. ComPass includes an online quiz to demonstrate your competency. The course currently includes 7 core learning modules:

  • Module 01 – Ethics, animal use and the legislation
  • Module 02 – The Animal Ethics Committee and what they want
  • Module 03 – Research project and teaching activity planning
  • Module 04 – Animal wellbeing and the 3Rs
  • Module 05 – Unexpected Adverse Events and what to do
  • Module 06 – Are my animals well?
  • Module 07 – The end of life – humane methods of killing
  • Module 08 – Final quiz for modules 01-07

The course, and instructions for registering, is available at: To enrol and register for the course click on the button ‘ComPass Animal Welfare Training – Phase One’ which is below the course instructions. Once enrolled you can login at your convenience as the training is self-paced.

Phase 2 has stand alone modules, each with an individual certificate of completion so you can choose those topics relevant to your needs. Three modules are available now with another five still to come:

Modules to come soon:

  • Anaesthesia for major procedures
  • Surgical principles and materials
  • Performing a post-mortem examination
  • Managing a breeding colony
  • Behavioural testing in rodents

Certificates demonstrating successful completion of the online quiz should be forwarded to for recording in the AEC Training Register. If the training does not appear for an individual on the Expertise Report generated from within an online Animal Ethics application, the certificate of course completion will need to be uploaded to the page ’11.5 Attached Documents’ of the application.

 Further information

Contact us

Animal Ethics team - Research Services



  • Amanda Camporeale