Institute of Animal Technology launch innovative Career Pathway

The Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) have launched an innovative ‘Career Pathway’ which aims to improve standards and training for animal technologists across the industry.

The IAT believes that an industry-wide adoption of the Career Pathway will further cement the UK’s credentials of having highest global standards in the care and use of animals in science. They are calling on all organisations and institutions who employ animal technicians to promote this pathway, driving up standards and creating consistency across the board.

The IAT, the UK’s leading professional body for animal technologists, believes the implementation of a standardised, industry-wide approach to qualifying and certifying animal technologists will make it easier for organisations to meet the ‘three R’s’ criteria – Replacement, Reduction, Refinement – as mandated by the UK government and EU regulation. 

Founded in 1950, the IAT is the foremost professional body in the field of animal technology. With an organisational purpose of advancing knowledge and promoting excellence in the care and welfare of animals in science, the IAT has launched the Career Pathway for animal technologists in order to enhance standards in animal research.  

Animal technology is a specialist profession, and those working in animal research are responsible for the care and welfare of laboratory animals, often holding senior positions within their organisation. Animal technologists play a vital role within the research and development pipeline; for example, in assisting in developing treatments for diseases like diabetes, creating new methods of diagnosis, and carrying out scientific research. However, entry-level animal technologists are not currently required to have any professional qualifications, other than GCSEs. 

A benefit of having a standardised, industry-wide approach to qualifying animal technologists is that the status of those professionally engaged in the care, welfare and use of animals in science will be advanced. Furthermore, the IAT believes that creating a clear pathway for continued professional development within the field of animal research will increase the size of the future pool of talented and motivated individuals seeking to become animal technologists.

Steve Owen of the IAT Council, commented:  

In line with the 3Rs, animal technologists have a legal and moral obligation to promote and safeguard the welfare of animals in their care, and organisations that recruit animal technologists have a duty to ensure that all animal care staff have the requisite skills.  

“Our Career Pathway ensures that animal technologists receive robust training that enables them to conduct their professional duties with knowledge, responsibility and dedication.  

“Every organisation that uses animals in scientific research, drug development and safety testing has a responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards of animal welfare. Through the adoption of our Career Pathway, we as an industry can cement the UK’s position as having the best standards for animals used in science anywhere in the world.” 

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