The Evolution of RAT: Enhancing and Expanding Content


In late 2023, our training platform underwent a significant redevelopment.

We started out hosting a few training modules for research workers using laboratory animals, and included written course materials used by many UK training providers.

This evolved to include the implementation of a system to register course participants and monitor their progress, crucial for training providers as course completion in the UK is a legal obligation for all research workers.

The content also evolved and expanded, with the addition of more e-learning modules. These are in regular use by course providers and individual researchers in continental Europe, Australia, North America, and other regions around the world.

The redesign’s goal is to enhance accessibility to these materials, broaden the array of resources accessible to course providers, and soon offer content tailored to specific geographical regions.

Broadening Horizons: Access to More Courses

The heart of our web platform lies in the courses we offer. With the redesign, we have expanded our course offerings, providing access to more than 16 courses covering various aspects of laboratory animal research. Our original supporting material has been transformed into individual lessons for each training module, ensuring that participants can easily track and complete all content. Additionally, all the original text material is still available through a searchable knowledge base, allowing users to access specific information quickly and efficiently.

Meeting Regulatory Standards: Enhanced Course Content

As an essential resource for research workers, it is crucial for our platform to meet the required learning outcomes and regulatory standards. To fulfil this objective, we have revised and expanded specific courses. One such example is the course on Anaesthesia for Minor Procedures, which has been updated to fully meet the learning outcomes outlined by the UK Home Office guidance and the EU Education and Training Framework document. The course on the Humane Killing of Animals has also been updated, with separate UK and EU versions now available. These enhancements ensure that our users receive the most up-to-date and comprehensive training in compliance with regulations.

Expanding Beyond Courses: Webinars, Blog Posts, and Micro-learning

Our redesigned web platform goes beyond traditional courses. We have created a new area on the site to host recordings of our webinars, providing users with additional learning opportunities. These webinars cover a wide range of topics and showcase various ways the material can be utilised. Furthermore, we have introduced a blog section where users can access informative posts related to laboratory animal research. Looking ahead, we have plans to expand the platform further by introducing “micro-learning” modules on controversial topics, providing users with bite-sized learning opportunities.

The platform continues to host the materials for our workshops on Anaesthesia and Pain Management and Assessment. It also hosts the content used during the modules we deliver on behalf of CLAST.


We think the new site offers some great new tools and content for course providers and also an excellent set of resources for anyone working with laboratory animals. It also provides excellent opportunities for institutions to administer and monitor staff CPD.

We will soon be hosting an exciting series of free webinars to showcase the various ways the material can be utilised. More on that next time!

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