Before you read the checklist, please note that it is only the "tip of the iceberg" of PREPARE. Each topic on the checklist has its own section on the website, where the topics are described in much more detail, with links to the latest resources on the subject. These sections are to be found in the menu at this top of this page.

The PREPARE guidelines include a two-page checklist (see below for downloading), which summarises the 15 topics in PREPARE, with the key recommendations for each point. The checklist is available below as pdf files for free downloading and use. Each of the 15 topics has its own webpage (see the menu at the top of this page):

Formulation of the study

  • Literature searches
  • Legal issues
  • Ethical issues, harm-benefit assessment* and humane endpoints
  • Experimental design and statistical analysis

Dialogue between scientists and the animal facility

  • Objectives and timescale, funding and division of labour
  • Facility evaluation*
  • Education and training*
  • Health risks, waste disposal and decontamination*


  • Test substances and procedures
  • Experimental animals
  • Quarantine and health monitoring*
  • Housing and husbandry
  • Experimental procedures
  • Humane killing, release, reuse or rehoming*
  • Necropsy

*These are topics which are frequently not mentioned in reporting guidelines, but which are also critical to the validity and reproducibility of research. Many are also vital in the discussion about how to improve the culture of care at an institution.

We have also made a suggestion for a contract between the animal facility and research group, to aid division of labour, costs and responsibility. The webpages above include practical suggestions on how to check whether an animal facility is ready for the experiments you plan.


The checklist is available for free downloading below.
Please note: the English-language version of the checklist is the version which is considered to be the definitive one by the authors of the PREPARE guidelines paper, if there are doubts as to the meaning of a translation.

Simplified Chinese
Bahasa Indonesia
Persian (Farsi)
Portuguese (Brazilian)

Do you have comments on the quality of the translations, or would you like the checklist to be translated into another language? Please let us know!

Thanks to Allkopi Kristiansand for constructing the checklist files; FastTranslator for most of the translations; the Danish 3R Center for the Danish translation; the Swedish 3R Center for the Swedish translation; Fitriya N. Dewi and Imelda L. Winoto, Indonesian Association for Laboratory Animal Science; and to many other colleagues for valuable comments.

In many cases, there may be a need to develop additional checklists, or standard operating procedures, to cover items on the PREPARE checklist.
The principles embodied in the WHO Guidelines for Safe Surgery are highly recommended for this purpose. See also The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande about the development of the guidelines. The book also contains a useful checklist for constructing checklists.

This page was updated on 11 May 2021

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