Laboratory Inspections

IACUC Semi-Annual Self-Assessment (SASA)

In order to adhere to Federal regulations governing the use of animals in medical research, the IACUC must review the animal care program and inspect animal facilities and animal study areas (research laboratories) at least every six months. 

I.   Purpose
II.  Scheduling
III. Preparing for Inspection
IV. The Inspection Process


The Purpose ofInspections is to ensure:

  • animal and personnel safety
  • general laboratory maintenance
  • the study area meets Guide standards based on procedures being performed
  • the IACUC has approved all procedures conducted, agents administered, and rooms in use
  • euthanasia methods are in accordance with the IACUC protocol and AVMA Guidelines
  • all individuals working with animals are listed as Key Study Personnel on the IACUC proposal
  • all individuals working with animals are qualified and have completed all training requirements


Laboratory inspections are announced ahead of time. Each Fall and Spring, the IACUC Office contacts Principal Investigators and sets a tentative date and time for the inspection. The IACUC Office will also email IACUC proposal ("protocol") summaries for any active IACUC proposals. The Investigator is not required to be present for the inspection, but a knowledgeable representative must be available to answer questions. Due to the nature of the inspection process, it is not possible to provide an exact arrival time. The IACUC Office makes every effort to accommodate special requests. Please email the IACUC Office promptly if you have time constraints so that suitable arrangements can be made. 

Note: The list of laboratory locations is generated directly from proposals. It is important that researchers review proposals to ensure that all locations are correct. If corrections need to be made, please notify the IACUC Office promptly and submit a modification in iRIS to amend your study sites. 

Preparing for Inspection

The IACUC Office has created this Inspection Checklist to help laboratories prepare for inspection. Laboratories should also review previous findings to ensure that all items have been resolved and individuals have been trained to prevent recurrence. 

A knowledgeable representative, or representatives, should be available during the laboratory inspection. The representative(s) should be: knowledgeable of all animal activities conducted in your laboratory, able to provide the site visitors with access to your areas of use, and prepared to address any questions the site visitors may have.

Items to Prepare:

  • All medical, procedural and post-operational records should be available for review
  • Drugs, including Controlled Substances, should be available 
  • All Drug/Controlled Substance Logs should be available for review
  • All materials should be labeled to indicate the substance and expiration date (any expired items must be discarded or appropriately labeled "EXPIRED - Not for Use in Animals" and stored separately)
  • Animal use areas (include benchtop areas) should be clear of all clutter and debris
  • Satellite Housing Records should be available for review (see the IACUC policy "Laboratory and Satellite Rodent Housing" to review record keeping requirements)
  • IACUC Participant Training Logs: all personnel should have updated their logs with pertinent procedures they have training/experience with
  • OHSP Enrollment: all personnel must be current in their Occupational Health and Safety Enrollment

Signs to Post:

The following signs should be posted in all animal use areas -- even locations where only euthanasia occurs. 

The Inspection Process

The site visit team is composed of at least two members of the IACUC, one of which will be a CMRU veterinarian. Site visitors will ask questions about animal use as it relates to each project. Site visitors will review:

  1. Procedures Performed
  2. Record keeping (Drug Logs, Anesthesia/Surgery Records, Satellite Housing Records) 
  3. Agent Use and Storage
  4. Survival Surgery Areas and other Animal use Areas
  5. Aseptic Technique
  6. Posted Signs
  7. Any other items or information deemed pertinent

Principal Investigators will be notified of any inspection findings/deficiencies with a deadline for correction via email by the IACUC Office. It is the responsibility of the Investigator to ensure that any deficiencies are corrected by the deadline and notify the IACUC Office of the corrective measures taken.