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IACUC - Post Approval Quality Assurance Program at Cornell

The goal of the Post Approval Quality Assurance Program at Cornell is to review active animal protocols to ensure animal based research and teaching is being conducted in accordance with what is written and approved. The Program:

  • Provides an ongoing mechanism for ensuring compliance with applicable animal care and use policies, guidelines and laws.
  • Serves as an opportunity for constructive interaction and education for the PI, PI staff and animal care personnel.
  • Helps prepare for visits by outside evaluators, such as USDA inspectors, the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) staff, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) site visitors.

Protocols are selected for the Assurance Program both randomly and purposefully. Random selection over-samples protocols with UDSA category D or E animals.  Purposeful selection may be as a result of a request by veterinary staff, animal care staff, or the IACUC.  Once a protocol is selected, the ORIA office schedules a visit with the PI and PI staff.  Prior to the visit the ORIA office prepares protocol summaries, and a protocol specific checklist which are shared with the PI.  (View the checklist template here)  An ORIA Compliance Analyst and CARE veterinarian visit the laboratory or animal facility, discuss the procedures on the selected protocol(s) with the PI and PI staff and/or observe them, review experimental treatment and medical records, and note any drift away from the approved protocol. The PI then has the opportunity to correct any deviations by improving techniques or by submitting an amendment to the protocol.  Serious deviations that constitute non-compliance with IACUC policies will be reported as Incidents to the IACUC.

The visit is as informal as possible and is an opportunity for the PIs and their staffs to request any help they may need, and to provide feedback on the protocol process. Findings are verbally reported at the next IACUC meeting. Laboratories may receive a brief follow up visit to document that any deficiencies highlighted in the first visit, or concerns expressed by the IACUC, have been rectified. The completed checklists and follow-up reports are attached to the protocol record in eSirius.

Any questions or concerns regarding the PAQA Program should be addressed to:
iacuc-mailbox@cornell.edu