AAALAC now using Three Primary Standards
During the Fall (September through November) 2011 trimester, AAALAC International's Council on Accreditation began using Three Primary Standards to evaluate animal care and use programs: the 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), NRC 2011; the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (Ag Guide), FASS 2010; and the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes, Council of Europe (ETS 123). The Council on Accreditation has used all three documents for several years and their adoption by AAALAC's Board of Trustees as primary standards signifies the importance of these performance based guidelines in the accreditation process. AAALAC has revised the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program Description to reflect the new and updated content in the Guide and to encompass principles and guidance in the Ag Guide and ETS 123.
You can download copies of the Three Primary Standards at the links below:
New Program Description now in use
AAALAC revised the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program Description to reflect the new and updated content in the Guide and to encompass principles and guidance in the Ag Guide and ETS 123
Institutions seeking to renew their accreditation or initially applying for accreditation are required to use the updated Program Description template. To assist institutions in completing the new Program Description template, expanded instructions have been developed, and references to relevant pages in the new Guide are included with most questions to assist in understanding and responding to the issues.
European versions are now available:
New Position Statements
AAALAC International’s Council on Accreditation has adopted six Position Statements to address several points in the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 2011) that required interpretation for institutions participating in the accreditation program. Draft versions of the Position Statements underwent a 30-day public comment period. The Council conducted a detailed review of the comments and made modifications to the Statements, as appropriate. The Council acknowledges the excellent input of the numerous colleagues and professional organizations which contributed additional insight and perspective to the development of the Position Statements. In accordance with AAALAC International’s Bylaws, the Executive Committee of AAALAC’s Board of Trustees subsequently ratified the six Position Statements.
The new Position Statements address:
- Selecting the Appropriate Standard(s) for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals
- Cage or Pen Space
- Social Housing
- The Attending Veterinarian and Veterinary Care (this updates and replaces the existing Position Statement on Adequate Veterinary Care)
- Safety Requirements for Walk-In Cage/Rack Washers and Bulk Sterilizers
- Definition of “Laboratory Animals” (this updates and replaces the existing Position Statement on this subject)
They have been posted to AAALAC’s website at: www.aaalac.org/accreditation/positionstatements.cfm
Additional FAQs to provide clarification
The Council on Accreditation also developed several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide clarification on AAALAC's interpretation of several potential scenarios derived from the new Guide. These FAQs supplement others previously posted on the AAALAC website.
Background on AAALAC International's
review and implementation process
As mentioned above, AAALAC's adoption of the Three Primary Standards and the new materials resulted from an in-depth analysis of the Guide, Ag Guide and the European Directive conducted by the Council on Accreditation over a two-day retreat during the Summer of 2010 and multiple face-to-face, web-based and teleconference meetings. A detailed explanation of how this review was conducted can be found here.
Education and training to support the transition to the new standards
In the months ahead, AAALAC International will also be offering a series of online webinars and other education sessions to discuss the new standards and AAALAC's expectations for accredited institutions. We will post and email announcements about these opportunities as soon as they become available.
For more information email email@example.com.
Our goal is to make the transition to the new standards as seamless as possible for our accredited units. Please feel free to contact the AAALAC International offices at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions about this information.