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Home No. 21: Is It Necessary for Me to Repeat Training That I’ve Already Had?

Aug 30

No. 21: Is It Necessary for Me to Repeat Training That I’ve Already Had?

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Is It Necessary for Me to Repeat Training That I’ve Already Had?

Reader Question: I just transferred to a new animal-research institution and they want me to sit through hours of training — the same material I covered at my last organization. How can I get out of sitting through these boring classes?

Expert Comments: You can’t get out of it, nor should you. There are very good reasons why you need to take these classes again:

1. Institutions dealing with laboratory animals have standard operating procedures, and these can vary widely from place to place. That alone makes the need for retraining essential. You’ll need to learn the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) and be trained in different ways of doing things at the new institution. You'll almost certain to learn something new.

2. During the interview process, taking the training was undoubtedly one of the requirements for your position. While there may be some overlap, what’s new is essential to learn — and it can’t hurt to get a refresher on what you’ve already learned. You may hear something you knew presented in a different and interesting way, or learn a different approach to a technique. That said, if you don’t want to accept the training, don’t take the new job.

To take some of the pain out of it, find out if your institution has online courses where you can work on the material at your convenience and at your own pace. That will allow you to focus primarily on what's new — the new SOPs and new institutional duties — and get through the familiar material more quickly.

Expert comments by Lee Krulisch, executive director, Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW), Greenbelt, Md.

Comments (5)
Midwest university PI
written by Anonymous, August 27, 2010
I sympathize with the reader. I've gone through basically the same training regimen, not twice, but three times! Academic credits are transferred easily from one institution to another, so why can't our animal-lab training record be transferred as easily? Instead they treat me here as if I'm a novice grad student. Yes, I can learn a few new things, but I shouldn't have to take the same basic stuff over and over. It's not only a waste of time--it's demeaning!
PI in Oregon
written by "Experienced but still trainable", August 27, 2010
Sounds like Midwest "anonymous"(or she) has a bit of an ego problem. Demeaning? Come on, things are handled differently at almost every institution; if you switch places, you need the training, and anything that's repeated is a refresher. I've moved around a lot, and never found any retraining to be "boring." We're scientists; let's act like it.
written by PI, September 02, 2010
The animal training that I have taken at 6 different institutions are completely useless. The only parts that would be useful would be to learn what the local IACUCs particular bugbears are, but of course that is not covered. The courses exist to satisfy legal butt-covering requirements and nothing more.
A compliance perspective
written by Attending Vet, September 02, 2010
As the one who provides our IACUC training I sympathize with the investigator's position. I don't want to waste my time either. That's why ours is online. The problem is the nationally provided (providers will remain nameless) generic basic training used by many institutions is terrible - so generic and high level as to not be useful, particularly if you don't use the species the training is geared towards. We need to demand more of the national training providers so we can rely on them and gear institutional training to institutional level policies and procedures.
A Human Research Perspective on duplicative training
written by Professor, September 02, 2010
I just moved to a new institution and had to take a number of training courses again. In Human Research it is common to do projects or have affiliations at several institutions. I am currently part of 5 institutions and have to renew these each year with addditional, different, overlapping, and sometimes conflicting training. There should be reciprocity across institutions at a minimum.

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