ETPLAS - Definitions of commonly used terms


Process in which certification of competency, or credibility is determined. In this context, an accredited course meets all the required criteria for course approval and also the additional criteria for accreditation


Process by which the quality of a course and its ability to deliver competence to the trainee is recognized by the Member-State or its delegated authority


A person that assesses a learner in a skill

Defined and assessed for his/her assessment skills.

Assessment criteria

Specific criteria used to assess a learners’ skill performance

Should be motivated and communicated to the learner before the assessment. Can be based on formal documentation such as an SOP or other Regulatory document.

Assessment task

A specific task used to assess a learners’ skill

Should be motivated and communicated to the learner before the assessment.


Continuous Professional Development;

A short pinpointed learning effort to improve or maintain knowledge and skills through Education & Training


Education and Training events directed at learning at a broader level than CPD.

Usually a longer learning effort of days/weeks/months with the same learning outcomes and a broad field of topics and tasks.

DOPS protocol

A protocol for Direct Observation of Procedural Skills. Used to assess skills live, as they are performed, by an assessor.


The delivery of knowledge

EU Function

EU Functions A to D describes professional tasks of people working with research animals:

  • EU Function A – carrying out procedures on animals;
  • EU Function B – designing procedures and projects on animals
  • EU Function C – animal housing and care;
  • EU Function D – animal euthanasia; .

EU Module

The building blocks of the EU Functions, and more

Modules can build courses and CPD. They have several learning outcomes which should be communicated to all persons involved in learning.


Intended Learning Outcome

The heart of all learning. Specifically states what is expected of the learner after completing a course or CPD.

Mutual acceptance

Agreement between stakeholders to accept a person’s training/competency records

Mutual recognition

Agreement between stakeholders to recognise each other’s processes or programmes (if they are in line with the recommendations of the EU E&T Working Document)

Quality assurance

The maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product, which might form part of an accreditation process


Standard Operating Procedure

A document/protocol which describes how to carry out a practical skill in a standardized way.


A person that trains a learner in a skill

Defined and assessed for his/her training skills.


The delivery of practical skills

Training and Education/Education and Training

The term “training” is often used, inaccurately, to mean both education and training. Consequently a training course may cover one or more modules as outlined in the EU E&T Working Document and may deliver just theoretical education or theoretical education and practical skills