• Continuing Education at ITR: The Learning Campus & AALAS Learning Library

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Continuing Education at ITR: The Learning Campus & AALAS Learning Library

In the wake of the development of the internet and our modern global communication technologies, many businesses today are forced to compete globally for customers and employees. As a result, both businesses and employees have needed to improve what they can offer in the job market. Business professionals today will change careers far more often than their parents and grandparents, these career changes will often require re-training.

While formal education used be sufficient for a long and successful career, todays technology has radically changed the education and employment landscape. Business professionals can now find a litany of education options to help round out their resumes and to acquire more specific skills for specific jobs. With many available online education options, those who have completed formal university education now also have the opportunity to continue their education from the comfort of their own homes at their leisure. In todays competitive job market, those who continue to educate themselves and acquire new skills after completion of their formal education will maintain an edge over those who neglect continuing education.

ITR understands the necessity of continuing education and is dedicated to offering our employees options to continually improve their knowledge base. In this newsletter, we will discuss ITRs commitment to continuing education through our Learning Campus and access to the American Association for Laboratory Animal Sciences (AALAS) Learning Center.

ITR’s Learning Campus

In order to improve all our employees knowledge and understanding of our operations, all employees have access to our Learning Campus. When logged in, employees have access to information from all our departments, including: Immunology, Clinical Pathology & PK, Pathology, Pharmacy, Veterinary Services and Toxicology. Information related to all ACC/CCAC guidelines and our Animal Enrichment Subcommittee can also be found.

All our SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are also listed for browsing, as are presentations from our training group. The Learning Campus also provides new employees with the information they need related to new employee orientation, the CCAC, and the Animal Care Committee.

The Learning Campus offers ITR employees the opportunity to diversify their industry knowledge base regardless of their position in the company. Through presentations such as “Toxicology for Non-Toxicologists”, all employees can learn about the types of studies ITR performs, study designs, regulatory bodies & the drug development process.

AALAS Learning Library

The AALAS Learning Library offers courses and multiple programs to those looking to further their education in the field of laboratory animal sciences.

The Library offers courses to help prepare for examinations to earn well recognized American certifications, such as Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) and Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG). Managers can also earn Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR) certification. Canadians can earn similar certifications such as RLAT (Registered Laboratory Animal Technician) through CALAS, the Canadian equivalent to AALAS.

Certified Laboratory Animal Technicians & Managers (RLAT, ALAT, LAT, LATG & CMAR) are required to partake in continuing education activities in order to maintain their certifications. These activities include, in-person training courses, symposia or online courses through AALAS. Each of these activities confer CEUs (Continuing Education Units) upon completion. In order to maintain certification, a set number of CEUs must be earned. ITR employees in the toxicology department have scheduled time to use the AALAS Library to help ensure that they are up to date with current industry standards, maintain their certifications and to further their qualifications in the industry.

  • The Learning Library offers a large selection of courses from the Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE). These can be completed to earn CEUs.
  • In addition to the individual courses, the Library also offers course packages. These packages are designed as training programs and offer a comprehensive breakdown of a subject.
  • The Library offers Management and People Skills courses as well, so access is valuable to all ITR staff

Conclusion

ITR encourages pursuing RLAT certification conferred by CALAS, the Canadian equivalent to AALAS. This certification is widely recognized in the industry.

ITR schedules time for our technicians to engage with AALAS in order to help them perform their roles more effectively, our training staff assigns specific courses based on the individual technicians role and training history. These courses then confer certificates to be added to the technicians training record. All ITR staff also have access to AALAS courses in management and people skills such as Active Listening, Time Management and Team Building.

ITR is committed to continual improvement across all our departments both in terms of technology and continuing education. Access to the AALAS Learning Library and our own Learning Campus helps our staff stay up-to-date on the latest industry developments and regulations as well as our own internal developments across all our departments.

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