The Royal Veterinary College provides training courses for individuals seeking to apply to the Home Office for Personal or Project Licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Our programmes are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology; an essential requirement to gain Home Office licences. They are offered as modules, according to the type of license required and participants take part in lectures, practicals and workshops. We cover many species, including rodents, rabbits, farm animals, deer, minipigs, dogs, cats, ferrets and horses

We also offer:

  • Advanced training and refresher courses for individuals who already have Home Office licences
  • Modules for staff working in research organisations who would benefit from knowledge about legislation, such as Ethical Review Committee members

Module format

Home Office modular courses are now aligned to EU training modules.

For intending Personal Licence holders:

E1 & L: Ethical background to the Act, details on the Act's requirements and other related legislation.

PIL A & B: ‘Core’ modules 3 – 8 (mouse, rate, hamster guinea-pig, rabbit): General biology and care of research animals, health and safety, introduction to anaesthesia.

PIL C: 1-day course, covering basic Surgery and Anaesthesia techniques (EU modules 20 – 22)

For intending Project Licence holders:

PPL holder training: Preparation and management of the Project Licence, statistics and experimental design.

Course fees

Course fees are competitive (see application form for details) and cover online access to course resources, handouts and information booklets, refreshments and the Royal Society of Biology Certificate (this is required to apply for a Home Office Personal or Project Licence).

How to apply

For further information, course dates and price, and an application form, see

Advanced training and workshops

We also offer half-day courses and bespoke workshops at the RVC or at the client's facility.

Topics include:

  • Aseptic surgical techniques
  • Advanced anaesthesia and analgesia
  • Ethics in animal research
  • Refresher course on legislation.

Special surgical workshops are held at the RVC, covering intubation for anaesthesia, cannulation, suturing and ovariectomy and orchiectomy.

Please email hocourses@rvc.ac.uk for further details

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