Facilities and Program Review


Semi Annual Self Assessment (SASA)

At least once every six months, the Committee reviews the Institutional program for the humane care and use of animals and inspects facilities for compliance with local, state and federal regulations and standards. All animal facilities and research laboratories in which animals or animal tissues are used are included in the review. In the case of individual laboratories, the review process begins with the distribution of an informational letter and a proposal summary information sheet(s) to project directors. The letter explains the purpose of the semi-annual laboratory inspections, defines areas or issues that are of special concern to the Committee, and sets a tentative date and time for site visitors to inspect the laboratory. The IACUC office contacts the project director to finalize site visit details. The site visit team is composed of at least two members of the IACUC; one must be an RRF veterinarian. Animal use as it relates to each project is discussed with the project director (or a project director-appointed associate) and an inspection checklist that addresses important program areas such as rodent surgery and the use of hazardous agents is completed. Site visitors may have suggestions to improve project conduct, in which case they are recorded on the checklist. In addition to reviewing project conduct, semi-annual inspections are used to verify the accuracy of the IACUC database and brief scientists and laboratory technicians regarding regulations and/or IACUC concerns related to the use of animals or animal tissues.  Action(s) taken to improve project animal care and use are monitored at subsequent semi-annual inspections.

In addition to facility inspections and laboratory review, the IACUC also performs a semi-annual programmatic review using a standard checklist of institutional policies and responsibilities. This checklist includes the following areas:

  • IACUC membership and functions
  • IACUC records and reporting requirements
  • Veterinary care
  • Personnel qualifications and training
  • Occupational health and safety of personnel

The findings of the IACUC during the facility inspection and programmatic review are compiled into a report and presented for Committee approval, which is signified by a quorum of the committee; minority views are included. Once approved, the report is submitted to the Institutional Official.