PREPARE (Planning Research and Experimental Procedures on Animals) offers a guideline for animal experiments. Using PREPARE is helpful for making a good work protocol design, which supports refinement of animal experiments.

In this article

A group of experts from the UK and Norway developed a set of guidelines for planning animal experiments: PREPARE (Planning Research and Experimental Procedures on Animals: Recommendations for Excellence). These guidelines are meant to reduce waste and increase reproducibility.


The PREPARE guidelines complement reporting guidelines, such as ARRIVE. According to the expert group resposible for the guidelines, improvements require better planning from the start, in close collaboration with animal care staff. Better reporting alone is not enough to improve the quality, reproducibility and translatability of animal studies.

PREPARE is relevant for all stages of quality assurance, from individual procedures to managing an animal facility. The experts who are involved have experience in running animal facilities, collaborating with researchers, serving on advisory and regulatory committees and planning animal studies. The guidelines and checklists are developed upon the experiences of the authors during the last 30 years. PREPARE focuses on factors that can dramatically influence the validity and outcome of animal studies.

Always use the PREPARE guidelines when planning a project that may involve animals. The guidelines should be used from day one of planning, in close collaboration with the animal facility where the project is executed. PREPARE consists of a checklist with all the topics that should be considered during planning, and a website with further information and links to global resources for each topic.


PREPARE can be applied using the following 3-step approach:

  1. Implementing the PREPARE guidelines and checklists from the start of planning an experiment, while closely collaborating with animal care staff.
  2. Using reporting guidelines, such as ARRIVE, for ensuring the quality of the to-be submitted manuscript.
  3. Highlighting the advances in 3R that were made during the study in the manuscript.


The guidelines consist of two equally important parts:

  1. checklist that summarises the topics to be considered. This checklist is available in over 20 languages.
  2. A website with detailed information and links to resources. This website is updated continuously.