Education and training

Dutch competency regarding animal experimentation

For the function ‘designing procedures and projects’ the Dutch government requires competency. On December 18, 2014 the new legislation regarding animal experimentation was implemented. Due to this implementation the course on Laboratory Science has been adapted. The course consists of two parts, a basic course and a species-specific course. These two will give the required competence. Per August 1, 2015 the competence is limited. You are not allowed to perform any act on animals, unless there is supplementary education. From now on you are competent when you are skilled (competence profile, species and act(s) stated). When you successfully complete the basic course with the integrated species-specific course rodents and rabbit you will be competent to design procedures and projects and to execute simple procedures on these animals.


  • For more information on the Laboratory Animal Science course at Utrecht University, go to
  • For more information on the Species specific courses at Utrecht University and other universities in the Netherlands, go to
  • For more information about competency, visit the 'qualified and competent' page on the website of the Animal Welfare Body Utrecht.


Continuing professional development (CPD)

In complying with Article 23 of Directive 2010/63/EU, persons engaged in the acquisition, husbandry, care and use of animals for scientific purposes shall be adequately educated, and trained under supervision until they have demonstrated the requisite competence and, furthermore, have access to mechanism(s) by which competence is developed and maintained through continuing professional development (CPD). 

In February 2018, the 3Rs-Centre ULS in collaboration with the Dutch Animal Welfare Body Platform drew up a guidance document for the practical implication of new laws and regulations in relation to CPD. In february 2019, this document was re-edited and published in cooperation with the Netherlands Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (NCad).

Download the (English and Dutch) guide to Continuing Professional Development in animal experimentation here.