Frequently Asked Questions

Animal Utilization Protocol FAQs

I have trouble accessing or using the electronic AUP system. What do I do?

Please refer to the User Manual – Principal Investigators, Assignees and Departmental Chairs or send an email to

How do I enter the AUP system as a new Principal Investigator (PI) to write an AUP?

A PI must be a University of Guelph faculty member. To register in the system to become a PI you select “Request to become a PI”. A PI may give another member of the research team access to write and edit an AUP by listing him/her as “assignee” on an AUP.  

How do I copy content of my existing AUP to a new AUP?

For an AUP with the status “Approved” a “Copy” tab appears at the top. “Copy” will create an identical AUP with a new number. Please note that the content of a new AUP created in this way must be updated and carefully edited to ensure all information is relevant and current before submission of the new AUP.

As a PI I wish to add a student’s name to the AUP, but the name does not appear in the system. What do I do?

The student must first enter into the AUP system. Students with a Central Login may sign in directly on the AUP system sign-in page. External individuals with no University of Guelph Central Login must email to gain access to the system.

How do I know where in the review process my AUP is?

You may check the AUP status at the top of your open AUP. The status definitions are as follows:

  • Approved: Your AUP is approved and no administrative activity is in progress. You may select “Renew” or “Amend” to edit your AUP.  The status will then change to “Not submitted”. 
  • Not submitted: The AUP is sitting with you (PI) and you can make changes to the AUP. When you are ready to submit please sign, date and select “yes” (that the PI agrees that all information in this AUP is correct and accurate) before saving on the review page. If the status is still “Not submitted” you did not successfully complete all required steps on the review page and must try again for successful submission.
  • Chair review in progress: Your AUP or Renewal is sitting with the Chair of your Department for review.
  • Initial – ACC – review: ACS staff is performing initial intake and review of your AUP, or review of your responses following ACC review.
  • Committee: Your AUP is being reviewed by the ACC or by an ACC subcommittee.
  • Final – ACC – review: Your AUP is undergoing final administrative review.
  • Expired: Your AUP has been expired and is no longer active. Animal use under an expired AUP is not permitted.

Can I submit multiple amendments for the same AUP simultaneously?

No. You must wait until your first amendment has been completed and approved for additional amendments to be submitted.

How long does the total AUP review take?

Please see AUP Review Process for information on review times. The total length of an AUP review depends on the quality of the submission, the invasiveness of the proposed procedures, complexity of the research project, and the dialogue between ACS, ACC and the PI.

How do I request animals in Section 6 for Renewals and for Amendments?

For renewals you must enter the total number of animals that you will use for the coming renewal period (12 months) irrespective of previously approved animals on the AUP. This number goes in section 6. The requested number of animals must accurately correspond with animal numbers in Section 8 and in Appendix 8.

In an amendment requesting additional animals, you must update the animal numbers in Sections 6 and 8 to correctly represent the new animal totals, i.e. add the newly requested number of additional animals to the existing number and clearly comment on the number change in the summary by your signature on the review page.

I’m using tissue samples obtained from euthanized animals. Do I need an AUP?

No. If the animals will be euthanized for reasons other than your research study, you do not need an AUP. If the animals, however, will be euthanized to obtain your data, or the disposition of the animals will change in any way to accommodate your research, you must submit an AUP. Please contact if you are uncertain if your study requires an AUP.

When is it required that I submit an Animal Incident Report (AIR)?

An Animal Incident Report (AIR) must be submitted to the ACC when a significant unanticipated incident involving the health and wellbeing of an animal or a group of animals occurs. The following criteria may assist in deciding when an AIR must be filed:

  • The number of animals involved
  • Emergence of a pattern or a trend
  • Whether morbidity/mortality is expected in terms of what has been approved for a given study
  • Whether morbidity/mortality is the result of spontaneous disease, unrelated to current experimental conditions

If in doubt, submit an AIR or contact the facility manager or facility veterinarian for guidance.

What is the purpose of Appendix 8?

Appendix 8 must be completed in full for each annual AUP Renewal. The information is critical for the ACC reviewers in understanding the progress of the study and events occurring in the study that may change animal use. The ACC reviews this section to ensure that continuous efforts are made to abide by the principles of the 3Rs.

How does the application and approval of a Biohazard Permit relate to the approval of an AUP?

If you, as a PI, plan to utilize biohazardous materials, you must apply for a Biohazard Permit through Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).  For relevant AUPs, ACS staff checks if a Biohazard Permit exists. Final approval of an AUP involving biohazards requires an approved Biohazard Permit. Please contact EHS directly for further inquiries. 

Do I need an AUP for an observational study?

Yes. Observations of animals where the observer has a presence of any kind in the animal’s environment may affect the animals involved and therefore requires an AUP.

How do I know when renewal is due?

At the bottom of your AUP the “Next review date” is listed along with previous approval dates. Please submit your renewal 4-6 weeks in advance of the “Next review date”.

I collaborate with another (external) university/institution and do most of the animal work there. Do I need an AUP?

You must submit a copy of your collaborator’s approved AUP to be kept on file with Animal Care Services. In some cases you will be required to submit your own University of Guelph AUP for the study. Please contact to discuss individual cases.

Core Module FAQs

I just registered for the Core Modules but haven’t received login information. What do I do?

Allow 48 hours from the time of registration until receipt of login information in order to gain access to the modules. If you do not have access to the modules on Courselink within that time frame please email

As a Principal Investigator I will not conduct hands-on work with live animals; I leave this to my students and the animal technicians. Must I complete the online Core Modules?

Yes. As the Principal Investigator you are ultimately responsible for the use of animals on your protocol. For this reasons it is expected that you are knowledgeable in the principles of humane experimental science presented in the Core Modules. You cannot obtain approval for an AUP without completing the Core Modules.

I have completed the Core Modules. Do I need to contact someone to receive confirmation of successful completion?

No. At the end of the cohort you will receive an email of successful completion of the Core Modules. From the course, you will already know whether you received the passing score of 70% on each quiz and you will be able to pass that information on to your supervisor. Records of your completed course will be added to the ACS training database.

I completed two of the Core Modules in the past cohort. Can I register for the new cohort and just complete the remaining three?

No. You must complete all five modules within the same cohort.

I have worked with live animals in the past at a different institution. Do I still need to complete the Core Modules?

Yes. Completion of the Core Modules is mandatory for all individuals working with live animals at the University of Guelph regardless of previous training.

Animal Handling FAQs

What is an AUP? Why am I asked which one I’m listed on when I register for an Animal Handling Workshop?

An Animal Utilization Protocol (AUP) is the document approved by the Animal Care Committee to allow live animal use in a study/project at the University of Guelph. All personnel working with the animals on a project must be listed on an AUP. It is the responsibility of your supervisor to add the names of personnel on to an AUP. You may be asked which AUP you are listed on to confirm your role and to see which animal species and which procedures you require training in. Please contact your supervisor to find out which AUP you are listed on.

I am a student who wants to start working with animals. What should I do?

  1. Have a University of Guelph supervisor and be in the process of being added to their Animal Utilization Protocol (contact your supervisor for more information). Proceed with the following steps only when you have a supervisor,
  2. Register for and complete the online Core Modules.
  3. Register for and complete a facility orientation for the facility you will be working in (may not apply to field studies).
  4. Register for and complete the Animal Handling Workshop(s) which are specific to the species you will be working with and procedures you will be performing.

All registration for core modules, facility orientations, and hands-on animal handling happens on Eventlink.

I have extensive experience in working with live animals. Do I still have to take the Animal Handling Workshop(s)?

The Animal Handling Workshops are intended to ensure that all personnel are familiar with the same basic techniques. If you have documented training from a different institution, please submit this to with a brief explanation and it will be evaluated on an individual basis.

I have extensive experience in working with live animals. Do I still have to take the Animal the Facility Orientation(s)?

Yes, in all instances you will be required to attend the Facility Orientation relevant to the facility in which you will be working.