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Workshop – June 2021

June 2021 Online Workshop - Recognition, prevention and alleviation of pain and distress in laboratory animals


This workshop will be held over a 10-day period (from 28th June – 8th July 2021) and delivered using a combination of pre-recorded webinars, “live” webinars and e-learning modules. Course tutors will be Professor Paul Flecknell and Dr Matt Leach. The workshop will be hosted via the Research Animal Training web site (www.researchanimaltraining.com). The registration fee for the workshop is £200 GBP and registration can be made at the bottom of this page. The number of participants will be restricted so that the interactive sessions remain manageable.
The workshop is based on the “live” workshops held previously in Newcastle, and is aimed at animal technicians, veterinarians, research workers and others who want to improve their understanding of this topic. Our aim is to make the material accessible to colleagues with a range of different backgrounds, and supplemental reading materials will also be provided. This workshop will include a series of three e-learning modules introducing the topic of severity assessment, structured to meet the learning outcomes of the new EC module on Severity Assessment. 


Participants will be required to complete 3-5 webinars and/or e-learning modules every 3-4 days, over a 10-day period. To assist in the scheduling of the pre-recorded materials, we will present each of these as a series of 3-4 short (10-15 minute) video sequences which can be viewed independently. The 4 e-learning modules are each broken up into a series of lessons so that participants can break and resume their studies at their convenience.

Live sessions will be run at 15.00 BST (UK) time.


  • Pre-recorded webinars will be 45 – 80 minutes in total, each comprising 3-4 shorter sections
  • Live webinars will last 45 – 60 minutes of teaching followed by a 15 minute Q and A. Tutors PAF (Paul Flecknell), ML (Matt Leach).
  • Additional reading and reference material will also be provided.

Following feedback from attendees of the first workshop, all of the pre-recorded content will be available immediately, but we provide a suggested timetable for completion below. Participants will be able to access the content (after its release date) for a period of 3 months. All “live” sessions will be recorded, although viewing the recordings will not enable full appreciation of the content of the webinar, as we will be using additional interactive tools during the webinar.


The pre-recorded material and e-learning modules will be delivered via www.researchanimaltraining.com and the live sessions using the Zoom video platform (zoom.us). We will also use Mentimeter (mentimeter.com) and Padlet (padlet.com) for the interactive sessions, and access to some of the video material for pain scoring via the Research Animal Training web site.

Although not essential, it may be easier to have a smartphone as well as a laptop for the interactive sessions.

Each pre-recorded webinar will be followed by a short online quiz related to the content of the webinar. The e-learning modules contain self-assessment questions throughout and an “end-of-module” quiz.

Block 1 (28th June - 2nd July)

Course datesContent Date for completion
All pre-recorded content available from 25th June
28th – 30th JunePre-recorded webinar - What is pain and distress (ML)30th June (15.00h)
Pre-recorded webinar - Why we need to assess pain and distress, and how to do it (ML)
30th June 15.00h-16.30hCage-side methods of pain assessment (part 1) (“live”, ML)Live webinar
1st July 15.00h-16.30hCage-side methods of pain assessment (part 1) (“live”, ML)Live webinar
2nd July 15.00h-16.30hCage-side methods of pain assessment (part 3) (“live” ML)Live webinar
Additional written material to download (including pdfs of pre-recorded webinars)

Block 2 (2nd - 5th July)

Course datesContent Date for completion
All pre-recorded content available from 5th January
2nd - 5th JulyE-learning module - How the severity of procedures is classified. 5th July (15.00h)
E-learning module - The nature and value of the severity assessment framework.
E-learning module - Applying the severity assessment framework.
5th July 15.00h-16.30hSeverity assessment, using scoresheets and refining procedures (“live”, problem-solving webinar, PAF)Live webinar
Additional written material to download (including pdfs of pre-recorded webinars)

Block 3 (6th - 8th July)

Course datesContent Date for completion
All pre-recorded content available from 5th January
6th - 8th JulyPre-recorded webinar - Pain, nociception and how analgesics work (PAF)8th July (15.00h)
Pre-recorded webinar - Analgesics - what to give, when and how (PAF)
Pre-recorded webinar - Analgesics - what to give, when and how – larger mammals and nonmammalian species (PAF)
Pre-recorded webinar - Using analgesics in a research environment - problems and pitfalls (PAF)
E-learning module - Post-operative care – minimising pain and distress
8th July 15.00h-17.00hPractical exercises in avoiding and minimising pain and distress (“live” PAF)Live webinar
Additional written material to download (including pdfs of pre-recorded webinars)

Seminar Details

This webinar will discuss what we know about pain and distress in people and animals and explain some of the concepts relevant to assessing animal welfare.

This webinar will give an overview of how methods of assessing pain and distress have evolved, and provide an up-to-date summary of the methods that can be used in a range of different species.                   

This series of webinars will enable participants to practice the pain scoring techniques described earlier, focusing on assessing animal behaviour, assessing pain faces in rats and mice and assessing pain faces in non-rodent species.

These e-learning modules address the learning outcomes of a new EC module dealing with assessing the severity of procedures. They explain the legal, ethical and practical issues surrounding assessment of severity. The modules also include an explanation of prospective, on-going and retrospective assessment of severity, and include a series of examples of severity assessments.

This webinar will explain how different types of analgesic act to reduce or eliminate pain. It will link this information with our understanding of nociception and pain in animals.

This webinar will review the practicalities of managing pain in a research setting. Part two of this webinar will give a brief overview of pain management in non-mammalian species and give some additional information on analgesic use in larger mammals.

This webinar will review some of the reasons for the low level of use of analgesics in research animals and explain how some of these barriers to effective pain relief can be overcome.

This e-learning module outlines methods of reducing, avoiding or alleviating pain and distress by improving perioperative care, providing high standards of animal care, and by the refinement of research procedures.

This interactive session will enable participants to apply all the information given during the workshop to “Refine” some examples of research techniques. This will be a longer session to allow for a more extensive final Q and A session.

Workshop Registration

Workshop Live Sessions start on June 28th 2021
£ 200
  • 5-year access to Research Animal Training included
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