Bioresearch & Veterinary Services

Getting Started

Useful information for research staff using BVS services

Mouse cages on rack

These guidelines are provided to assist new staff in working out what needs to be done before beginning work in an animal facility as well as how to proceed once you are established. It is complicated but we are here to help!

In view of the significant legislation involved and the implications for legal compliance, animal welfare and your own health it is vital that you read the following carefully, follow all relevant instructions and ask questions if you need clarification.


Before Starting Work


Animal Facilities

  • Facility induction - In order to understand how the different units function all researchers must attend an Induction Session for each animal unit they plan to enter. All researchers must register for access to  CHPS prior to arranging an Induction session with the relevant facility manager. Contact details for BVS facility managers can be found in the BVS staff directory. (secured)
  • Health and Safety  All researchers need to be aware of the H&S risks within an animal facility for example risk of Laboratory Animal Allergens and the Code of Practice for the management of LAAs,
  • tick@lab Colony Management Software   All information regarding animals and experimental work is managed within the facility management software system tick@lab. All researchers must attend tick@lab training (secured)  to use this simple management tool – it will make your life much easier!!
  • Biosecurity & Health Screening There is a variation in health status of animals between our facilities. Please note that there is a compulsory 48 hour quarantine requirement if you are moving between units (or visiting from external facilities) to protect our animals and your science. This will be explained in detail at the induction but must be followed by all staff.
  • Grant Costings  If you require costings for grant applications please contact

Home Office & Training - UK Legislation & Compliance

  • Home Office (HO) Licenced Experimental work on animals in the UK can only be performed under the authority of an approved Project Licence (PPL) and can only be undertaken by a person holding a Personal Licence (PIL). Staff holding licences based at other Establishments should contact our Home Office Liaison Officer to ensure all paperwork is processed appropriately PRIOR to work proceeding.

  • NVS Induction (secured)  PIL holders will be contacted to arrange an induction when a new personal license is authorised - Please be aware you must NOT undertake any authorised procedures/training within The University of Edinburgh until you have attended a NVS Induction Meeting and received your Personal Licence (PIL) via email from BVS.
  • Veterinary & Training Advice The Named Veterinary Surgeons (NVS) and the Named Training and Competency Officer (NTCO) are there to guide and support you with various aspects of your animal research and can be contacted at any time for help and advice.
  • SOPs & Training Records (includes Schedule 1 killing techniques) -  All staff who hold Personal Licences or who undertake Schedule 1 killing of animals must have a training record in place prior to commencing any unsupervised work. This will be held in the tick@lab database. Training and supervision can be arranged by contacting our NTCO. (secured) 
  • Experimental Request Forms  An ERF or Study Request form (for Large animals/poultry) must be completed for all HO regulated studies and sent to at least 5 days prior to commencing work. ERF forms and other NVS guidance is available on the BVS Training SharePoint site.

When you are ready to start work

Resources & Costs

  • Animal purchases and movements  All commercial animal purchases and movements are co-ordinated through BVS. Please contact the relevant facility manager if you wish to bring in commercial stock, or to arrange imports of existing lines please contact our Imports and Exports Manager. Please note that the preferred option for imports is via sperm or embryos and CTC will undertake the required rederivations. BVS also operate a limited "breed to order" system for internal WT animal orders. (secured)
  • Research Equipment  All general small items of equipment will be available in the BRF. You do not need to bring items such as syringes, pipettes, centrifuges or ice buckets. Please ask the facility staff if you need anything specific that is not available. To discuss any large items of equipment that are required for your research please the contact the facility manager (secured) and we will make every attempt to accommodate but there are some space limitations. Equipment should not be moved in and out of the unit for biosecurity reasons, including ice buckets.
  • Technical & Specialist Services  BVS maintain a core of experienced staff, including Home Office licensed technicians, capable of providing a wide range of husbandry, technical, and veterinary services to support the research community.
  • Billing & Costs The running costs of all BVS facilities are charged back to research grants retrospectively on a monthly basis. Some services are included with the cage/tank fees whereas some may incur additional charges.


Named Veterinary Surgeon Inductions (secured)

Information on the NVS induction process for new Personal Licence holders.

SOPs and Training Records (secured)

Training Information for PIL holders

Veterinary and Training Advice

Information on the services offered by the NVS and NTCO team.

Billing & Costs

Information on how we recover our operating costs, what we charge for and why. We can also help you manage your budget.

Technical & Specialist Services

BVS maintain a core of experienced staff, including Home Office licensed technicians, capable of providing a wide range of husbandry, technical, and veterinary services, providing a professional service that prioritises animal care and welfare whilst supporting compliance and research requirements.

Biosecurity & Health Screening

Information on unit health status, maintenance of the barrier and observing the 48 hour period of quarantine.

Health & Safety

Essential health & safety information for users of BVS facilities.


BVS provides full costings for new applications, and can advise on study design, specialist equipment and logistics.

Internal WT orders (secured)

To place an order for BVS WT stock animals, please complete the following request form.

Procedure Rooms & Resources

BVS have a range of procedure rooms and specialist equipment, available for use by research staff and students.