ASSOCIATION FOR ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION OF LABORATORY ANIMAL CARE INTERNATIONALconnectionAAALAC International thankslab products incfor their support and fortheir sponsorship of AAALACConnection newsletter.Please visit them atwww.labproductsinc.com forinformation and connectionsto other resources importantto research and animal care.Q&A withAAALAC’snew SeniorDirectorWhere science and responsible animal care connect. Fall 2005Preparing for thesemiannual reviewHelp your team understand itspurpose and get the most outof the processWhen AAALAC International evaluators fi nddefi ciencies in laboratory animal programs,they most commonly fall under thecategory of “institutional policies” (seeChapter 1 of the Guide for the Care andUse of Laboratory Animals (Guide), NRC1996). This category encompasses awide range of topics—from protocol reviewprocedures to broader issues such as programoversight and the effectiveness of the Institutional AnimalCare and Use Committee (IACUC).The “semiannual review,” a process that’s required by regulationswithin the United States, is a responsibility that institutionscontinue to struggle with, and it continues to be cited as one ofthe top defi ciencies identifi ed by members of AAALAC’s Councilon Accreditation. Connection covered this topic in a 2002 article,“Avoiding the pitfalls of an inadequate semiannual review,” but it’sone worthy of revisiting. This article will take a fresh look at helpingstaff understand the process, explain what AAALAC expects, anddiscuss how you can use the semiannual review as a tool for continuousquality improvement.continued next page ...8 10 11AAALAC’seducationand traininginitiativeAAALAClaunchesTechnicianFellowship
Fall 20052Still a struggleWhether it’s because the purpose and process aremisunderstood, or the fact that some IACUCs areunderstaffed and overworked, semiannual inspectionsremain a major source of defi ciencies cited by AAALACInternational.“I believe a lot of IACUC members see their primaryresponsibility as reviewing protocols. They may beso overloaded that trying to tackle anything elseis perceived as an extra job that gets in the way ofreviewing and approving protocols,” says David DeLong,D.V.M., M.S., Chief of the Veterinary Medical Unit atthe Veteran Affairs Medical Center in St. Paul, MN, andformer offi cer of AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation.But focusing solely on protocol review overlooks thelarger picture.“Semiannual inspections, evaluations and reports area key part of the IACUC’s responsibility,” says Alan C.Rosenquist, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience and Chairof the IACUC at the University of Pennsylvania andformer member of AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation.“The purpose is to assure your Institutional Offi cial thatall animal care and use at your institution complies withall applicable regulations and guidelines.”Complicating matters are growing expectations aboutwhat the semiannual review should accomplish.“Expectations for the semiannual review havebroadened over time which makes the process evenmore intimidating,” DeLong says. “Years ago, it wasjust an inspection of the animal facilities, but now it“I believe a lot of IACUC members seetheir primary responsibility as reviewingprotocols. They may be so overloadedthat trying to tackle anything else isperceived as an extra job that gets inthe way of reviewing and approvingprotocols …”includes a review of the entire animal care and use program,including an inspection of research laboratories. What’smore, there’s a growing expectation that the semiannualreview process should help ensure that procedures areconducted as described in the approved protocols.”Understand that it includes a facilityinspection, a review of animal care anduse activities, and a “program” reviewPart of the reason institutions may still be strugglingwith the semiannual review is that the USDA and PHSPolicy regulations require it, but they fail to defi ne what a“program” is.AAALAC defi nes a “program” as encompassing all aspectsof an institution’s involvement with and activities relatedto: institutional policies for animal care and use; animalenvironment, housing and management; veterinary medicalcare; and all animal facilities. These elements correspondwith the main sections outlined in the Guide—themain reference used by AAALAC site visitors to assessinstitutions.“When you don’t understand what a program is, it’s hardto know how to begin evaluating it,” says Molly Greene, anIACUC advisor based in East Lansing, Michigan, and ad hocConsultant for AAALAC International.Greene, who helped develop the popular “IACUC 101”workshop series offered around the country, notes that formany institutions, inspecting the facilities is a big job thattakes a lot of time. When the inspection is done it’s easyto feel that the semiannual review requirement has beenmet. “People forget or may not be fully aware of the secondcomponent,” Greene says.Current regulations and the Guide don’t providespecifi cs on how to conduct the review. But there are afew key things to keep in mind: it must include a reviewof the animal care and use program and activities, andan inspection of all facilities where animals are housedand used. For programs that have USDA covered speciesor a PHS assurance, the resulting written report mustdifferentiate between “signifi cant” and “minor” defi cienciesand include a plan and timetable for correcting them. TheIACUC must review the fi nal report and it must be signedby a majority of members. The report must then be sentto the Institutional Offi cial and kept on fi le for at leastcontinued next page ...
Fall 20054“The bottom line is that IACUCsare responsible for what goes on ininvestigators’ laboratories...”dosing, can be evaluated differently—perhaps througha random sample of evaluations of those areas. “It maybe helpful and appropriate to have compliance peopleinspect routine activity areas, and have the IACUCmembers focus on the more complex areas” Rosenquistsays.You must also make sure you inspect all centralfacilities and all offsite facilities where your institutionowns animals. (For more information on what isconsidered an offsite facility, see the Spring 2003issue of Connection and the article “Who’s responsiblefor offsite animals” at www.aaalac.org/publications/newsletter.cfm.)For the facility inspection, it is acceptable to divideup the task. In fact, the Animal Welfare Regulations(AWRs) state that only two IACUC members need toparticipate in the facility inspection (AWRs apply whenspecies covered by the Act are used—animals otherthan rats, mice and birds bred for research). Both theAWRs and PHS Policy allow the use of non-IACUCmember consultants to assist in the inspection processand state that the IACUC may “determine the bestmeans of conducting an evaluation of the institution’sprograms and facilities. This applies to both facilityinspections and program reviews.” This is why somelarge universities have moved toward using complianceoffi cers to help out with the inspection. (Wheninspecting USDA-covered species, be sure to follow allUSDA requirements.)“Often compliance people will act as a liaisonbetween the labs and the IACUC. The IACUC isultimately responsible for the fi nal report that goes tothe Institutional Offi cial, but the committee can useprofessional staff to help alleviate some of the burdenon the IACUC,” DeLong says.Others are creating facility subcommittees on theirIACUCs that are responsible for the inspections.“When you have too many people inspecting one areait can slow the process down,” DeLong says. “It’s betterto have a couple of well-trained people who know whatthey’re looking for.”It’s critical to have the right people reviewing the rightareas. And to avoid confl ict of interest, it’s best to makesure committee members are not reviewing their ownlaboratories or facility areas.“The bottom line is that IACUCs are responsible forwhat goes on in investigators’ laboratories,” Rosenquistsays. Whatever system is in place for inspectingfacilities, the IACUC needs to ensure that facility andanimal activity areas are thoroughly reviewed by peoplewho are well trained and capable of taking a fresh,critical look at those areas.Be sure to reviewother “activities”The semiannual review needs to include all animal activities,including those that sometimes might be overlooked duringthe program review or facility inspection.This includes activities such as dosing, tattooing,transporting animals using institutionally-owned vehicles,and routine procedures using agricultural animals such asdehorning and castration.Ongoing or twice yearly?To make it more manageable, some institutions are makingthe semiannual review an ongoing process.“I recommend that the major review areas be discussed atevery monthly IACUC meeting,” Greene says. “You may nothave anything to say about some of the areas, but the factthat they are brought up keeps key issues at the forefrontall the time.”Greene cites occupational health and safety as anexample. If there’s an opportunity to talk about it everymonth, rather than just formally review it every six months,committee members are more likely to remember thingsthey’ve observed in the labs or heard in the corridors.“I especially encourage institutions that are in the modeof rebuilding their program to consider this type of ongoingreview process,” Greene says.Others still recommend the twice-yearly approach.“The hesitation I have with an ongoing review process isthat it doesn’t give you a complete picture at any givenpoint in time,” DeLong says. “If you do a little every month,you may not be sure where you are in the process. On theother hand, big universities may fi nd that it’s the only waythey can get the semiannual review done—especially thefacility inspection part.”Note that you can use your institution’s triennial AAALACsite visit to fulfi ll your semiannual review requirement forthat time period. PHS advocates doing this, and providesguidance on the OLAW web site at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-fi les/not-od-00-007.html.Designate significant vs. minordeficiencies, and develop a systemfor following upA common mistake is failing to categorize defi cienciesidentifi ed during the semiannual program review andfacility inspection as “signifi cant” or “minor.” You must alsoestablish a schedule for correcting them, as well as a followupplan to ensure that the scheduled corrections are met.A signifi cant defi ciency is one that poses a threat to thehealth of animals or people. A minor defi ciency does not.AAALAC evaluators will review semiannual reports to verifythat defi ciencies have been categorized, and that there is aplan in place to correct them.continued next page ...
“...a plan andtimetable don’t domuch unless youclose the loop...”Be firm aboutfollow-up“I see people discussingprogram concerns andpossible improvements andgiving verbal updates, butthey won’t decide exactly what they’ve got to fi x and howthey’ll go about it,” DeLong says. “As a result, correctionsmay not get done.”You must have some type of action plan that identifi eswhat needs to be done, who is responsible for making sureit gets done, and target a deadline for when it will be done.“It has to be documented. Categorizing the defi cienciesas signifi cant or minor and writing an action plan is a way tomake sure something happens—that the needed changesare made,” DeLong says.“But a plan and timetable don’t do much unless you closethe loop,” Rosenquist adds. “The IACUC is responsible formaking sure that issues get resolved. Follow-up is a majorIACUC responsibility.”At the University of Pennsylvania, Rosenquist explainsthat they track progress in correcting defi ciencies through amulti-layered database that can be accessed by laboratoryanimal research staff, facilities staff, and the IACUC. Thissystem works well because it keeps everyone on the animalcare and use team up-to-date.The importance ofpost-approval monitoringFailure to adequately monitor protocols after they areapproved is another defi ciency that comes up often atmeetings of AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation.“Post-approval monitoring of protocols is an importantissue,” says John G. Miller, Executive Director of AAALAC.“Too often protocols are approved then put away untilthe next time they are up for review. In the interim, whathappens in the lab may not precisely match what wasapproved on paper. Institutions need to fi nd ways to ensurethat the research process is a refl ection of the approvedprotocol.”In their September 2003 article in Contemporary Topics,“Post-Approval Monitoring of Animal Use Protocols,”Douglas Stone, D.V.M., and Barbara Garibaldi D.V.M. (whohave both served on AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation),“Too often protocolsare approved then putaway until the next timethey are up for review.In the interim, whathappens in the lab maynot precisely matchwhat was approved onrefer to this as“protocol drift.” Thearticle discusses theimportance of postapprovalmonitoring(PAM), and explainsthat PAM programs canbe active or passive(a passive program isone where no one isresponsible for activelymonitoring research thathas been approved).The authors state that a passive program maybe acceptable for institutions that are alreadyextremely committed to compliance. But mostinstitutions are better served by taking a proactiveapproach to post-approval monitoring. The articleconcludes that “While there is no one-size-fi ts-allsolution regarding PAM, it behooves all institutionsto closely monitor all protocols through a PAMprogram in an effort to ensure the public’s trust. ...”Including some type of protocol check as partof the semiannual review is one way to institute anactive PAM program. Other ongoing measures, suchas monitoring by compliance offi cers or regularchecks conducted by veterinary staff or IACUCmembers, can also be implemented. A PAM programcan take many different forms, but the ultimategoal should be ensuring that the research is beingconducted the way it was proposed and approved.Educate your IACUCAn effective semiannual review starts with aneducated IACUC.“A lot of IACUCs see the semiannual reviewas a burden because, let’s face it, it’s a lot ofwork,” DeLong says. “It helps if IACUC membersunderstand that doing the semiannual review wellcan help keep the institution out of trouble andhelp them anticipate things that may becomeproblems, instead of just reacting to problems.”Before the inspection, make sure that the peopledoing the inspection know what to look for, so theprocess is effi cient and effective. The non-affi liatedmember of the IACUC or any non-scientist mayneed some extra briefi ng. Materials includingthe OLAW Checklist (previously cited) can bevery useful in educating and guiding new IACUCmembers, especially the community and nonscientistmembers.“IACUC members who don’t know what to lookfor will get frustrated and bored,” DeLong says.“Tell them what to look for in terms of the animals,identifi cation, expired drugs, the rooms, and so on.Then they don’t feel like they’re just wanderingaround.”DeLong adds that one of the hardest challengesis to get committee members to participate in the“program” part of the review.“Don’t make the vet responsible for the entireprogram review,” Rosenquist advises. “Get theentire committee involved or create subcommitteesto spearhead different parts.”IACUC members must be aware of the scope oftopics they should cover in the program review,what facilities need to be inspected, and whatadditional activities should be addressed. WhenIACUCs have a weak semiannual review process,it’s often because they simply aren’t aware of whatneeds to be included.paper...” continued next page ...aaalac connection5
Fall 20056“When you talk to investigators aspart of the review process, make iteducational—make it an opportunityfor the committee to learn about theirresearch, and for the investigators togain a greater understanding of thepurpose of the IACUC and how its goalis to create a better program that willultimately benefi t them...”Prep staffAs mentioned in the 2002 Connection article onsemiannual reviews, when front-line staff are unawareof the purpose of the semiannual review, they mayperceive the process as confrontational—as a judgmenton their individual abilities and expertise, or as justanother form of regulatory burden.A way to avoid this is to educate animal care andfacility staff as well as help them understand thatthe purpose of the review is not to assign blame forany defi ciencies, but to fi nd out how the entire teamcan continue making improvements to the largerprogram—improvements that will benefi t the animals,the research, and the staff.This can be done in a number of ways, through e-mails, memoranda, meetings, brief seminars—anymechanism that educates them on the process andpurpose and helps them feel part of a team instead offeeling under attack. A simple memorandum to staffand investigators explaining the semiannual and why it’simportant—and letting them know it’s not designed tocatch people doing things wrong—can go a long way inmaking it a collegial, problem-solving process.It may also be productive to spend extra time withinvestigators to educate them on the IACUC’s role, andalso to get a better feel for what’s happening in thelaboratories.“When you talk to investigators as part of the reviewprocess, make it educational—make it an opportunityfor the committee to learn about their research, andfor the investigators to gain a greater understandingof the purpose of the IACUC and the fact that thecommittee’s goal is to create a better program that willultimately benefi t them,” Greene says.This approach is not only more collegial, it can alsobe used as a way to fi nd out if the animal care and useprogram is meeting the needs of the researchers.“For example, you can ask investigators who userodents in their research for feedback on the rodentcare and use program,” Greene says. She notes thatyou can also get helpful feedback from investigators onother program areas such as environmental enrichment.Use the review as an opportunityA lot of information is gathered during each semiannualreview—facts that can be used to spot trends or areas thatcontinue to generate defi ciencies. Identifying and keepingtrack of repeat defi ciencies can be useful in zeroing in onchronic problems. Capturing this information and reviewingit regularly can help you identify systemic issues.“The semiannual helps develop an ‘institutional memory’about the animal care and use program,” DeLong says. “Itprovides some continuity and ensures that progress is madeevery six months.”Pay attention to the “qualitative” information collectedas well as the quantitative data. Talking to lots of peopleduring the program review and inspection is a great wayto get a real feel for how your program is operating. Areinvestigators satisfi ed with the animal care? Are thetechnicians familiar with the research protocols? Do themanagers feel that things are running smoothly? Theverbal feedback you get through conversations can provideimportant insights.“The semiannual provides a venue where issues can beraised, discussed and dealt with systematically,” DeLongsays. “It takes a lot of time, but done well, it’s worthwhile.”§RESOURCES• “Avoiding the pitfalls of an inadequate semiannualreview,” Connection, Winter/Spring 2002. Availableonline at http://www.aaalac.org/publications/newsletter.cfm• “Post-Approval Monitoring of Animal UseProtocols,” by Douglas Stone, D.V.M., and BarbaraGaribaldi, D.V.M., Contemporary Topics, Volume 42,No. 5/September 2003.• OLAW Semiannual Program and FacilityReview Checklist. Available online at: http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/olaw/sampledoc/chek1a.htm• OLAW-sponsored IACUC 101 workshop schedule.Available online at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/iacuc101s.htm• The IACUC resources section of the AAALACInternational web site: http://www.aaalac.org/resources/iacucinfo.cfm• The IACUC Handbook, CRC Press, informationavailable online at: www.crcpress.com• The Institutional Animal Care and Use CommitteeGuidebook (2002) published by ARENAand OLAW: ftp://ftp.grants.nih.gov/IACUC/GuideBook.pdf• www.iacuc.org
Common deficiencies notedby AAALAC evaluatorsHere are some of the most commonsemiannual review defi ciencies noted byAAALAC International evaluators:• Absence of a timetable to correct identifi eddefi ciencies.• Inadequacies in the occupational healthand safety program.• Inadequate IACUC procedures.• No indication of signifi cant vs. minordefi ciencies.• No record of minority opinions presentedby committee members.• No documentation that the review wasprovided to the Institutional Offi cial.• Failure to ensure that corrections are made.• Failure to inspect all facilities includingcentral, satellite and off-site facilities.Excerpted from Connection, Winter/Spring 2002What does AAALAC look for interms of the semiannual review?So exactly what is the AAALAC Council onAccreditation looking for in terms of your semiannualreview? Hilton J. Klein, M.S., V.M.D., a member ofAAALAC’s Board of Trustees, Executive Director ofComparative Medicine at Merck Pharmaceuticals andpast Council president says the Council is primarilylooking to see that your IACUC is diligent andresponsible in conducting the review.“In my experience, Council typically looks fordocumentation that the process was completed inan effective manner,” Klein says. But he notes that,ultimately, the Council is looking at the outcomes ofthe reviews.“It’s not just about documentation,” Klein says.“The Council also wants to know that there aremechanisms that allow the institution to effectivelydetect and correct problems.” Klein adds that theCouncil recognizes that every institution is going tohave problems from time to time. “What Council reallywants to see is that the IACUC has the authority andthe resources to address issues and correct them in away that improves the welfare of the animals.”AAALAC’s onlineStudent Information sectionoffers links and resources on animals in researchVisit www.aaalac.org and click on “Resources” to fi nd the Student Information section.To suggest additional resources e-mail email@example.com connection7
Fall 20058Q&A withAAALAC’s newSenior Director,Dr. JamesSwearengenIn February 2005, AAALAC International expandedits executive offi ce staff and welcomed James R.Swearengen, D.V.M., as Senior Director. Dr. Swearengenis directing the expansion of AAALAC’s education andoutreach activities into a formal program, as well asoverseeing the growth of the accreditation program byidentifying and developing new markets. Instead of thetypical list of “new staff member” questions, Connectionasked Dr. Swearengen to share his thoughts on somebroader issues ...Q. Why AAALAC?A. “After serving several years as an ad hoc consultantand three years as an AAALAC International Councilmember, I was thoroughly convinced of the benefi ts ofaccreditation and the tremendous positive impact ithas on all species of animals used in research, trainingor testing. As a native Missourian, I tend to put intopractice the state’s motto of “show me”—I was notconvinced of the benefi t of accreditation by what I hadread or been told, but by what I had seen. I saw howa peer review system and a partnership approach canlead to continuing improvements in an institution’sanimal care and use program. I was always impressedwith the common sense displayed and resultant levelingeffect that occurred during Council deliberations. Afterspending nearly 15 years at the institutional level oflaboratory animal medicine and research support, Iwanted something that would be just as rewarding andchallenging. When I decided to retire from the Army,I looked at a wide variety of opportunities; but whenI heard about a Senior Director position at AAALACInternational, I have to admit that my pulse racedjust a little. I feel truly blessed that I was given theopportunity to contribute to this great organization,and work with such a thoughtful and incredibly talentedteam.”Q. Do you see AAALAC’s role changingin the next decade?A. “I think AAALAC International’s goal of helpingorganizations that use animals for research, teaching ortesting maintain the highest standards for animal careand use will always be its mission fi rst and foremost.James R. Swearengen, D.V.M.AAALAC Senior DirectorAlthough I see the roleremaining constant, I do seea need for the expansionof that role further intothe fi eld of agriculturalresearch. A recent reportby the Agricultural ResearchProgram AccreditationAdvisory Committee broughtout several misperceptionsamong the agriculturalcommunity regardingaccreditation, and I think wehave the challenge of bettercommunicating the benefi tsof accreditation and differentapproaches to assessment taken between biomedicaland agricultural programs and facilities. Another role thatI see expanding is the role of AAALAC International ineducation and training. As a former attending veterinarianof two different accredited animal care and use programs,I remember the thirst I had for information from AAALACon a whole variety of topics. I think AAALAC Internationalcan provide a tremendous service to both accredited andnon-accredited organizations and put to excellent useAAALAC International’s 40 years of experience in the fi eld.I really feel that there needs to be another mechanismfor interaction, other than the triennial site visit, thatorganizations can use to get the AAALAC Internationalperspective and training on a focused topic or topics.”Q. What will be the biggest challengesfacing laboratory animal professionalsand researchers in the years ahead?A. “I think one of the greatest challenges that bothprofessions will face is a shortage of people. Experiencedlaboratory animal veterinarians, technicians, and animalcaregivers are becoming harder and harder to fi nd, andscientists have predicted for several years a shortage ofPh.D.s as well. The challenge will be to recruit and thenretain qualifi ed and experienced people in these fi elds, whileknowing that many of these positions will require workinglong hours until the shortage is relieved. As most peoplein these fi elds know, this is no revelation. I do know thatrelated professional organizations are aware of the situationand are working to bring the brightest and the best intothese fi elds.”Q. What are you most looking forward toin your new position?A. “Every day I come to work, I can’t really believe that I’mhere. I recently made the comment that I must be enjoyingmy position because I even fi nd myself smiling while sittingin the large parking lot known as Interstate 270 South. Icontinued next page ...
guess the thing I enjoy most is working in an environmentof such incredible professionalism and dedication. Forthe future I am looking forward to seeing the AAALACInternational program grow by reaching out to all arenasof animal research around the world and grow in its abilityto be more accessible through providing education andtraining to the research community.”Q. What should folks in thefield know about you?A. “Other than not to getme started talking aboutmy family, I guess one ofthe things that I wouldlike people to know is thepassion I have for AAALACInternational and what itdoes to help ensure thatthe highest standards aremaintained for animals usedin research, teaching or testingand subsequently what it does tohelp scientists get the absolute bestresults from their incredibly importantwork. Although I hope that people whoknow me are already aware of this, but forthose who don’t know me, I also want tomake sure they know I am very approachableand always willing to take whatever amount oftime they need to discuss an issue or helpin any way I can.” §Congratulations to theseorganizations for earning accreditation!Aves Labs, Inc., Tigard, OregonAWA R&D, Amgen, Inc.,Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaBiomodels, LLC,Cambridge, MassachusettsCell Genesys, Inc.,South San Francisco, CaliforniaCreighton University,Omaha, NebraskaCrucell Holland BV,Leiden, The NetherlandsElm Hill Breeding Labs,Chelmsford, MassachusettsExelixis, Inc.,South San Francisco, CaliforniaHarlan Baltimore BiotechCenter, Baltimore, MarylandHarlan Production Center,Haslett, MichiganHematech, LLC, Hull, IowaIna Research Inc.,Testing Facility, Nagano, JapanLouisianaAgriculturalExperiment Station,Reproductive Biology Center,St. Gabriel, LouisianaMDS Pharma Services,Lyon, FranceMorehouse School of Medicine,Atlanta, GeorgiaNovartis Institutes for BiomedicalResearch, Inc., Cambridge, MassachusettsPhenomix Corporation,San Diego, CaliforniaPraecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,Waltham, MassachusettsSun Health Research Institute,Sun City, ArizonaTaconic Anmed, Rockville, MarylandThe Rogosin Institute, Xenia, OhioThe University of Hong Kong,Hong Kong, ChinaUniversity of Miami,Coral Gables, FloridaAAALAC seminars andworkshops at AALAS ...Attending the National AALAS meeting in November?The AAALAC International-sponsored seminar atAALAS will cover “Contracts, Collaborations andCo-Ownership: Roles and Responsibilities of theInstitution,” and isscheduled for Tuesday,November 8, 2005,from 8:00-10:45 a.m.AAALAC will also host aworkshop “Preparing foran AAALAC InternationalSite Visit” from 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. on November 8,2005, (registration withAALAS is required).Don’t miss these greateducation sessions!aaalac connection9
Fall 2005AAALAC to launch educationand training initiative10In April 2005, AAALAC International asked 670+contacts at AAALAC accredited institutions toparticipate in an online survey to gauge interest in anAAALAC education program. An overwhelming numberof completed surveys—421—were received. (Thanksto all who took the time to respond!)The results of the survey included these fi ndings…• Of the 421 people who responded, 154 were fromcolleges and universities, 71 from governmentagencies, 74 from pharmaceutical and biotechcompanies, 54 from contract laboratories, 31 fromhospitals, and the remainder were from some othertype of research institution.• Of the 421 people who responded, 66% expressed“extremely high interest,” or said they are “veryinterested” in participating in education programsoffered by AAALAC International. Only 7% said theyhave little or no interest.• We asked respondents to rank the educationalareas that interest them the most. “Animal carecommittee issues” was the clear leader, followed by“occupational health and safety,” “animal environmentand husbandry issues,” “veterinary care,” “facility(physical plant) issues,” and “the accreditationprocess” in that order.• Respondents said that veterinarians, animal carecommittee members, and facility managers are most likelyto participate.• “Web-based, self-paced online training” ranked thehighest among preferred formats. Following closebehind was the option to have “workshops offered atmy institution.” Also ranked fairly high were “workshopsoffered in various locations across the country (not heldin conjunction with another conference)” and “workshopsoffered in conjunction with other conferences.”• If AAALAC were to offer workshops in conjunction withother conferences, the conferences that received thegreatest number of responses were: National AALAS,PRIM&R, and OLAW workshops.Training and education servicesto be offered later this fallBased on the survey results, AAALAC is moving forwardwith an initial program that will offer on site training andeducation in topical areas ranging from protocol review,personnel training, and other IACUC issues, to animalhusbandry, animal housing, and facility-related topics.The customized training program will provide the AAALACperspective on these issues in order to help institutionsachieve and maintain AAALAC International accreditation.The training will be conducted at the host facility(the organization requesting the training) and led byAAALAC experts who have an in-depth knowledge ofthe accreditation process and current issues. A menu ofdifferent training modules are currently in development.Each module will be highly fl exible and tailored to thespecifi c needs and objectives of the host institution. Feesfor the training will be negotiated in advance and based ontraining requested and the travel costs.AAALAC’s training and education program is designed toprovide the information institutions need to proactivelymanage animal care and use issues in ways that meetAAALAC International standards. Modules are expected tobe ready later this fall and early 2006.In the meantime, if your institution is interested inparticipating in the AAALAC training and educationprogram, or to discuss future training opportunities in moredetail, please contact Dr. Jim Swearengen, Senior Director,at 301.231.5353 or firstname.lastname@example.org. §
AAALACInternational launchesa “TechnicianFellowship Award”AAALAC International has launched a new awards program,the “AAALAC International Technician Fellowship.” Theprogram is made possible through a grant by Priority OneServices, Inc. (POS) and in cooperation with the AmericanAssociation for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), theInstitute of Animal Technology (IAT), the Medical ResearchCouncil (MRC), the National Centre for the Replacement,Refi nement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs),and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).The Fellowship recognizes two outstanding technicians—one IAT Registered (RAnTech) technician and one AALAScertifi ed (ALAT, LAT, LATG, or CMAR) technician—whohave made (or have the potential to make) signifi cantcontributions to the fi eld of laboratory animal care and use.As part of the Fellowship, the IAT Registered recipientwill participate in a week-long educational internship atan animal care and use program within a U.S. institution,then attend the National AALAS meeting. The AALAScertifi ed recipient will participate in a week-long educationalinternship at an animal care and use program within aninstitution in the United Kingdom or the Republic ofIreland, then attend the IAT meeting. Both recipients willwrite an article about their experiences for the AAALACInternational Connection newsletter.Nominations for AALAS Registered Technicianswill be accepted through September 31. Nominationpackages must include:1. One nomination letter2. The nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume3. Three letters of supportNomination Packages should be sent to:AAALAC Internationalc/o The AAALAC International Technician FellowshipSelection Committee11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1211Rockville, MD 20852-3035If you have any questions about the FellowshipAward contact John G. Miller at AAALAC International+301.231.5353 or email@example.com. §Cathy Godfrey, FIAT, RAnTech, 2005 U.K. Recipient,AAALAC International Technician Fellowship AwardCongratulationsCathy Godfrey!AAALAC International TechnicianFellowship Award – 2005 U.K.RecipientCathy Godfrey, FIAT, RAnTech, is Technical Managerof the Biomedical Services Unit at the University ofSheffi eld, one of the U.K.’s leading universities. Inthis position she’s responsible for 14 technical staff,training, and ensuring that her department meetsthe highest possible standards as well as budgetarytargets.Cathy has 33 years experience working inbiomedical research programs involving all of thecommon species of laboratory animals. Throughoutthe past 28 years her main roles have beenmanaging animal facilities and, more recently, caringfor genetically altered mice.In addition to her professional duties, Cathyis an active member of the Institute of AnimalTechnology (IAT) and has served on its Council formore than 20 years. She currently serves as IAT’sHonorary Secretary and as part of the Institute’sContinuing Professional Development Group.Cathy is also a Registered Animal Technician,demonstrating her commitment to animal care andthe welfare of laboratory animals.As the very fi rst U.K. recipient of the AAALACTechnician Fellowship Award, Cathy hopes to“exchange ideas with others, including training anddevelopment techniques, to compare the differentsystems employed in the U.S. and U.K.” She adds,“By furthering my knowledge and sharing skillsand ideas, I feel I can better promote good animalwelfare and practices. This award will provide anexcellent opportunity to do so.” §aaalac connection11
Fall 200512connectionConnecting science and responsible animal care.Connection is published by the Associationfor Assessment and Accreditation ofLaboratory Animal Care International(AAALAC), a private nonprofi torganization that offers accreditationand assessment programs for biomedicaland agricultural research programs. Morethan 680 institutions in 26 countrieshave earned AAALAC accreditation,demonstrating their commitment toresponsible animal care and use, and goodscience.Comments and submissions forConnection are welcome and should bedirected to the editor.Articles and information in Connection canbe duplicated with attribution.Staff:John G. Miller, D.V.M.Executive Directorjmiller@aaalac.orgKathryn A. Bayne, M.S., Ph.D., D.V.M.Senior Directorkbayne@aaalac.orgJames Swearengen, D.V.M.Senior Directorjswearengen@aaalac.orgLori Wieder, Editor/Designerlwieder@aaalac.org© 2005 AAALAC InternationalNot yet accredited?AAALAC’s “Program StatusEvaluation” service can be the firststep toward earning accreditation ...The Program Status Evaluation (PSE) service is a completelyconfi dential peer review that helps assess the quality of allaspects of your animal research program, including animalhusbandry, veterinary care, institutional policies, and thefacilities where animals are housed and used.Because good science demands quality animal care, theevaluation will not only promote the well-being of laboratoryanimals, it will help validate the results of research usinganimals. It can also serve as the fi rst step toward achievingAAALAC accreditation, a distinction earned by hundredsof research institutions that are upholding the higheststandards for research animal care.The objective of the PSE service is twofold. First, it’s meantto assist institutions in determining if their animal careand use programs meet AAALAC standards by identifyingweaknesses and suggesting ways to improve or correct them.Second, it’s meant to familiarize institutions with the AAALACaccreditation process and encourage them to participate.As part of the service, your institution will receive a writtenreport from the PSE evaluation team. The report will identifyareas that need improvement in order to meet AAALACstandards, and suggest other modifi cations to considerto further improve your program. Your evaluation reportis completely confi dential. Fees for the PSE service arenegotiated in advance and based on the cost of conductingthe evaluation visit plus administrative expenses.The PSE service is available to companies, universities,hospitals, and other research facilities around the world whohave never participated in AAALAC’s accreditation program.More information is available at www.aaalac.org, by calling301.231.5353 in the United States, 32.2.761.6678 inEurope, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. §ASSOCIATION FOR ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATIONOF LABORATORY ANIMAL CARE INTERNATIONAL11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1211Rockville, Maryland, USA 20852-3035301.231.5353 • email@example.com • www.aaalac.orgEuropean Offi ce:Avenue de Tervuren 4021150 Brussels, Belgium+32.2.761.6678Pacifi c Rim Offi ce:570 Ka’anini StreetHilo, HI 96720+808.935.4269Presorted STDU.S. PostagePAIDPermit No. 3344Southern, MD