The IACUC is required to conduct an annual review of studies involving the use of regulated species and activities that are DOD funded (regardless of species). Submission of an annual review progress summary will be required. Forms are distributed annually on a project specific basis by the AWO.
The IACUC has a risk based program of continuing review administered through the Animal Welfare Office to support and facilitate animal based research and foster a collegial environment of compliance. Continuing review is intended to secure the foundation of research by collecting evidence of good performance and compliance, serve as a resource and tool for all groups working with animals and provide an opportunity to communicate, educate, and build a relationship with the IACUC.
In order to verify that the procedures outlined in the IACUC-approved protocol are carried out as described, and to ensure continuing compliance, the Animal Welfare Office, acting on behalf of the IACUC, conducts continuing review and quality assurance assessments for active, IACUC-approved protocols at appropriate intervals. Assessments can be carried out at any time by either visiting a laboratory with an IACUC-approved protocol, or by visiting any of the program housing facilities and animal use areas (laboratories) outside the central vivarium. As part of this visit, an AWO Staff member will compare what is described in the approved protocol with the techniques and procedures being conducted on animals.
Reviews can occur in one or more of the following ways:
- Random selection
- Scheduled visit with a member of the AWO staff
- Follow-up on a past issue of non-compliance
- At the request or suggestion of the investigator or laboratory personnel
In addition to reviewing procedures, other aspects of the project and facility will be examined. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Training documentation
- Storage and expiration dates of pharmaceuticals
- Appropriate euthanasia methods
- Personnel and animal safety issues
- Appropriate record-keeping
- General laboratory maintenance
- Compliance with program participation requirements