Animal Technology Project

Menu: Click across the green arrows to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

Case for change

The need to review animal technology qualifications and units was identified as a priority skill area in the 2018-2021 Animal Care and Management IRC Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (see pages 41 – 42).

It followed feedback from the Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Association (ANZLAA), the peak body for the Animal Technology industry, that the current training package components (qualifications and units) require review to ensure:

  • High standards of husbandry, health and care for animals used in research and teaching and;
  • High ethical conduct in research and teaching involving the use of animals.

 

Skills Impact and the Animal Care and Management IRC will manage this project, consistent with the 2012 Standards for Training Package Development.

Download the IRC Skills Forecast (see pages 41 – 42)

Project Plan

Project Scope

This project will review existing qualifications and units of competency for animal technology. They will be updated to reflect current industry practices, regulatory requirements and codes of practice, to support quality training and ethical conduct for people whose work involves the use of animals for scientific practice. The potential for new skills sets and units will be investigated as part of the review process.

Animal technology is a specialist profession responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals. It helps develop treatments for diseases, new methods of diagnosis and other benefits arising from scientific research methods.

Relevant Occupations
  • Animal technician
  • Laboratory animal technician
  • Technical officer
  • Field technician
Key deliverables

Review two existing animal technology qualifications and 12 existing units of competency to be included within the ACM Animal Care and Management Training Package. The potential for new skills sets and units will be investigated as part of the review process.

Project Team

To contact the project team, please email any enquiries or feedback to AnimalTech@skillsimpact.com.au


Timeline

August 2018
Initial scoping

September – November 2018
Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

February 2019
Drafts available for broader consultation

March – April 2019
Validation of final drafts

May 2019
Finalisation of Training Package components

June 2019
Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

May 2019
IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations is being developed for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications and units.

The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur in February 2019, and again for validation of final drafts which is expected in March 2019.

It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualifications, skill sets and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would appreciate your input and help.

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised units, skill sets and qualifications.

The Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee (IRC) will oversee this project, as part of their responsibilities to support engagement with the sector, and to ensure projects meets industry stakeholder needs.

Development

Summary

Initial consultation with industry stakeholders has helped to define the skills requirements specific to job roles in the animal technology sector.  Relevant qualifications and units of competency will be revised to ensure they reflect current industry standards for training including:

New units of competency are proposed for development in the following areas:

  • Assist researchers with aseptic animal surgery
  • Assist with review of ethics in an animal research proposal
  • Monitor and contribute to ethical treatment of animals in research facilities

The following skill set is also proposed for development:

  • Animal research ethics committee skill set

Click the ‘Project Plan’ menu above for more information about the project scope, timeline and deliverables.

Consultation Workshops – Registrations Open

The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur in February 2019 when the drafts are made available for review and feedback. There is the option to provide feedback on the documents as part of a workshop or webinar during this time. Please feel free to register for a workshop near you or a webinar by clicking the corresponding link.

Face-to-Face Consultation Workshops

Mon 04 Feb 19, 1pm to 3pm – Hobart – register here

Mon 11 Feb 19, 1pm to 3pm – Brisbane – register here

Wed 13 Feb 19, 1pm to 3pm – Canberra – register here

Mon 18 Feb 19, 1pm to 3pm – Perth – register here

Wed 20 Feb 19, 1pm to 3pm – Adelaide – register here 

Mon 25 Feb 19, 10am to 12pm – Melbourne – register here 

Tues 26 Feb 19, 1.30pm to 3:30pm – Sydney – register here 

Consultation Webinar

Mon 25 Feb 19, 1:30pm to 3:30pm – Webinar – register here

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Drafts Available

Thank you to all those who provided feedback on the draft qualifications, skill set and units of competency that make up the Animal Technology Project. The drafts were made available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review from 24 January – 4 March 2019.

They have been revised and developed to reflect current industry practices, regulatory requirements and codes of practice, and to support quality training and ethical conduct for people whose work involves the use of animals for scientific practice.

Final drafts incorporating the current round of feedback will be available for industry validation in April 2019.

Summary of consultation to date

Feedback on the draft documents was collected via the online feedback hub, face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars. To view the draft documents, including comments that were made on them from people using the feedback hub, please click on the expandable document menus below.

Consultation with industry stakeholders who have broad experience and knowledge of Animal Technology occurred during the latter part of 2018. This has informed the development of new and revised draft units of competency, qualifications and a skill set that identify skills required for individuals undertaking these roles.

 

Qualification Code & Title Proposed Changes Link to Qualification
ACM302X9 Certificate III in Animal Technology This qualification will supersede ACM30217 Certificate III in Animal Technology.

Changes have been made to packaging rules. Some core units have been removed or moved to electives. (18 units of competency proposed to be 12 or 16 TBD / 12 core units proposed to be 8 core units / 6 electives proposed to be 4 or 8 electives TBD).

ACMWHS201 replaced with ACMWHS301.

Imported unit codes have also been updated.

View qualification
ACM501X9 Diploma of Animal Technology This qualification will supersede ACM50117 Diploma of Animal Technology.

Changes have been made to core and elective units to better reflect activities, responsibilities and AQF level. Imported unit codes have been updated and packaging rules have changed (23 units of competency proposed to be 20 / 15 core units proposed to be 14 core units / 8 electives proposed to be 6 electives).

View qualification

 

ACMSS0000X Animal Technician Ethics Committee Skill Set View skill set

Unit Code & Title Proposed changes Link to Unit
ACMATE301 Work within an animal technology facility

 

Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. New element 4 on euthanasia; revised element 5 to address compassion fatigue. Revised performance evidence to reduce duplication with performance criteria. View unit
ACMATE3X8 Follow containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities Previously ACMATE302 Carry out institution containment and exclusion procedures.

Changes have been made throughout the unit for clarity and to reflect level of tasks and responsibility. Code and title have been updated. Element 5 has been removed.

View unit
ACMATE4X1 Prepare for and monitor anaesthesia in animals Previously ACMATE303 Prepare for and monitor anaesthesia in animals.

Code has been changed to reflect indicative AQF level. Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria.

View unit
ACMATE4X2 Conduct euthanasia of research animals Previously ACMATE305 Conduct euthanasia of research animals.

Unit has been recoded to better reflect the level of activity and responsibility. Minor changes have been made to performance criteria and knowledge evidence for clarity. PC1.6 has been removed. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria.

 

View unit
ACMATE501 Manage compliance in animal technology Changes have been made to performance criteria and assessment requirements to clarify intent of unit. Element 4 has been revised and the original element 3 has been deleted.

 

View unit
ACMATE502 Manage and maintain the health of research animals Minor changes to performance criteria and assessment requirements have been made to improve clarity.

 

View unit
ACMATE503 Carry out post-mortem examination of a research animal Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria.

 

View unit
ACMATE504 Administer anaesthesia and perform surgery on animals for scientific purposes Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria. View unit
ACMATE505 Carry out advanced breeding procedures Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria. View unit
ACMATE506 Assist to collect and transfer embryos of mice Minor changes to performance criteria, foundation skills and knowledge evidence for greater clarity. View unit
ACMATE5X7 Perform caesarean rederiviation of mice or rats Previously ACMATE507 Manage the parturition of transgenic mice or rats Title of unit changed to reflect intent of unit. Minor changes to performance criteria for clarity. View unit
ACMATE5X8 Monitor and maintain containment and exclusion procedures in animal technology facilities Previously ACMATE302 Carry out institution containment and exclusion procedures.

The code and title have been changed. There are changes throughout the unit to improve clarity and to reflect higher level of tasks and responsibility than updated ACMATE3X8. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria.

View unit
ACMATE5X9 Conduct non-surgical procedures on animals Previously ACMATE304 Conduct non-surgical procedures on animals.

Code changes have been made to reflect level of tasks and responsibilities. Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence have been made to improve clarity. New PC1.5 & 2.2 and merged PC4.3 & 4.4. Performance evidence has been revised to reduce duplication with performance criteria.

View unit

ACMATE4X3 Assist researchers with aseptic animal surgery View unit
ACMATE5X1 Assist with review of ethics in an animal research proposal View unit
ACMATE5X2 Monitor and contribute to ethical treatment of animals in research facilities View unit

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Validation

Thank you to those who participated in the validation process for the final draft qualifications, skill set and units of competency for animal technology. The final drafts were available on this webpage for feedback and comment from 25 March – 7 April 2019.

The final draft units and qualifications that were available for industry validation are listed below. The two qualifications were revised to better reflect current industry requirements and alignment with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Thirteen units of competency related to practices in animal technology were reviewed to take into account current practices, developments in science and technology and mental health awareness. Three new units of competency were developed; one with a specific focus on aseptic surgery and two ethics units that focus on animal welfare and an increased awareness of the ethical design of experiments and research. One new ethics skill set was created to empower animal technicians to perform their job with a greater understanding and awareness of the importance of sound experimental design

The final drafts will shortly progress through to the Finalisation stage of the project which includes quality assurance of the documents and review and feedback from the State/Territory Training Authorities. They will then be forwarded to the Animal Care and Management Industry Reference Committee for consideration and sign off, before being submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to consider and approve for publication on training.gov.au.

Validation  means checking and confirming that the documents are logical and factually accurate

Summary of consultation

Prior to the Validation period, the draft units and skill sets were available on this webpage for broad stakeholder review, from 24 January – 4 March 2019, under the ‘Drafts Available’ stage menu above. During this time, feedback was collected via the online feedback hub, national face-to-face consultation workshops and webinars. The units were drafted with guidance from Subject Matter Experts, made up of workplace experts and industry.

A description of how this feedback has been considered and applied in these final drafts can be downloaded below.

 

Click here to download a zipped folder of all qualifications in this group.

Qualification code and name Proposed changes Link to Draft Document
ACM30X19 Certificate III in Animal Technology Changes to the packaging rules. Proposal for 13 units of competency, including 9 core units and 4 elective units. ACMGAS202 Participate in workplace communications, added to the core. ACMWHS201 has changed to ACMWHS301 and imported unit codes have been updated where necessary. View final draft qualification
ACM50X19 Diploma of Animal Technology Changes to the packaging rules. Proposal for 20 units of competency, including 15 core units and 5 elective units. ACMGAS308 Communicate effectively with clients and team members, added to the core. Some changes to units to better reflect activities, responsibilities and AQF level. View final draft qualification

Skill Set code and name Proposed changes Link to Draft Document
ACMSS0000X1 Animal Technician Ethics Skill Set Reflects work undertaken to interpret ethical components of an animal research proposal and contribute to ethical treatment of animals in research facilities according to Animal Ethics Committees, relevant legislation and the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. View final draft skill set

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit of competency code and name Proposed changes Link to Draft Document
ACMATE301 Work within an animal technology facility (Release 2) Minor changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. New element 4 Identify and observe approved euthanasia or humane killing practice. Revised element 5 to address mental health awareness. View final draft unit
ACMATE3X8 Follow containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities Element 5 removed. View final draft unit
ACMATE4X1 Prepare for and monitor anaesthesia in animals No specific feedback requiring action. View final draft unit
ACMATE4X2 Conduct euthanasia or humane killing of research animals Humane killing and humane endpoint included in order to use correct terminology; the language of the Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. Indicators of death added to knowledge evidence. Removed performance criteria 1.6. View final draft unit
ACMATE501 Manage compliance in animal technology (Release 2) Humane killing and humane endpoint included in order to use correct terminology; the language of the Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and to ensure the differences are known. View final draft unit
ACMATE502 Manage and maintain the health of laboratory animals (Release 2) The differences between ill health and phenotypes of genetically modified animals added to knowledge evidence. Research animal has been replaced with laboratory animal within the unit. View final draft unit
ACMATE503 Carry out post-mortem examination of a research animal (Release 2) Biosecurity, biohazard and quarantine regulations included. View final draft unit
ACMATE504 Administer anaesthesia and perform surgery on animals for scientific purposes (Release 2) To be discussed at Validation. View final draft unit
ACMATE505 Carry out advanced breeding procedures (Release 2) Additional points on basic genetics added to knowledge evidence. Details to be confirmed at Validation. View final draft unit
ACMATE506 Assist to collect and transfer embryos of mice (Release 2) GMs are now covered as is cryo preservation and recovery. View final draft unit
ACMATE5X7 Perform caesarean rederivation of mice or rats (Release 2) Title changed to reflect intent of unit. Minor changes to performance criteria for clarity. View final draft unit
ACMATE5X8 Monitor and maintain containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities Key concepts of containment and exclusion including level and areas of biosecurity and quarantine classifications included. View final draft unit
ACMATE5X9 Conduct non-surgical procedures on animals No specific feedback requiring action. View final draft unit

Click here to download a zipped folder of all units in this group.

Unit code and name Proposed changes Link to Draft Document
ACMATE4X3 Assist with aseptic animal surgery Recovery surgery referred to in place of survival surgery. View final draft unit
ACMATE5X1 Assist with review of ethics in an animal research proposal Humane endpoints and approved methods of euthanasia added to knowledge evidence. The three Rs referred to specifically in performance criteria; replacement, reduction, refinement. View final draft unit
ACMATE5X2 Contribute to ethical treatment of animals in research facilities Element 3 now reads Take action on animal welfare issues. Feedback will be sought at Validation as to whether to place this new unit in core or electives. View final draft unit

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.

 

Finalisation

Animal technology is a specialist profession responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals. As a field, animal technology supports scientific research, including the development of new medical treatments and diagnoses.

It is imperative that qualifications stay up to date and relevant to support an ethical standard of practice, with a strong focus on animal welfare. There was also a need to streamline the qualifications to ensure they matched specific job roles and complied with the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Thanks to the input of stakeholders across Australia, Animal Technicians will soon have access to updated qualifications and a new skill set, along with associated units of competency.

“What is an animal tech today? Our industry is under a constant state of change with progressing technologies and better understanding of its effects on our staff. We need to ensure the future generation of technicians are prepared for a growing industry and all its challenges.”  Mathew Salzone, Florey Neuroscience Institutes

Summary of consultation to date

My position within the ANZLAA committee allowed me to reach out to over 300 members around Australia to encourage involvement with the review process to assure that only current and best practices are included in the qualification. The response from the industry was overwhelming with many people assisting in the review process, offering their knowledge in their areas of expertise.  Paula Porter, TAFE SA

Consultation has taken place with stakeholders across Australia, including registered training organisations, Government bodies, and industry representatives. The broader industry was consulted on the draft documents at two different stages – the ‘Drafts Available’ and ‘Validation’ stages.

During these stages, 43 stakeholders attended workshops and/or meetings with Skills Impact and/or provided feedback via email, telephone or online surveys, and/or forwarded project information on to their networks.

The ‘Finalisation’ stage includes the development and publishing of a validation summary for each project. A summary of feedback and how it has been considered and applied at each stage can be downloaded below.

The final draft units of competency, skill sets and qualifications, along with a Companion Volume Implementation Guide, have now been submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) as part of a Case for Endorsement for the ACM – Animal Care and Management Training Package Version 3.0.

The Case for Endorsement provides the AISC with a rationale for approving the final draft units, skill sets and qualifications. It provides information about what changes have been made to the training package including, where relevant, information on new or updated units, skill sets and qualifications. It will also outline who has been consulted and provided feedback throughout the project, why the changes were made, and what the implications of the changes are. Once endorsed, the AISC will issue a communique. The units, skill sets and qualifications will then be published on training.gov.au and available for use by registered training organisations (RTOs). Note that this Case for Endorsement also includes units, skill sets and qualifications that have been developed as part of the Animal Incident Management Project and Horse Education Project.

The Companion Volume Implementation Guide contains key information to help registered training organisations (RTOs) implement the units, skill sets and qualifications, including the key work and training requirements in the industry; regulation and licensing implications for implementation; pathways advice; industry sectors and occupational outcomes of qualification; and advice on workplace health and safety implications.

Please find below copies of the final draft documents that were submitted to the AISC.

 

Download qualifications as a zipped folder

ACM30219 Certificate III in Animal Technology
ACM30317 Certificate III in Captive Animals
ACM50119 Diploma of Animal Technology

 

Download Skill Set as a zipped folder

ACMSS00017 Animal Ethics Skill Set

 

Download all Units as a zipped folder

ACMATE306 Follow containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities
ACMATE307 Work within an animal technology facility
ACMATE401 Prepare for and monitor anaesthesia in animals
ACMATE402 Conduct euthanasia of research animals
ACMATE403 Conduct non-surgical procedures on animals
ACMATE404 Prepare for and assist with aseptic animal surgery
ACMATE501 Manage compliance in animal technology
ACMATE502 Manage and maintain the health of research animals
ACMATE504 Administer anaesthesia and perform surgery on animals for scie..
ACMATE505 Carry out advanced breeding procedures
ACMATE506 Assist to collect and transfer embryos of mice
ACMATE508 Monitor and maintain containment and exclusion procedures in animal facilities
ACMATE509 Perform caesarean procedures on mice or rats
ACMATE510 Review and monitor research proposals for an Animal Ethics Committee
ACMATE511 Carry out post-mortem examination of a research animal

 

Register your interest in the project

Subscribe to the Skills Impact newsletter to keep informed about project updates and opportunities to provide input and feedback. Make sure to select ‘Animal Care and Management’ as your industry of interest on the subscription form.