The University of Arizona

Laboratory Inspections

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Semi-Annual Inspections

Why am I Being Inspected?

Public Health Services (PHS) Policy IV,B,1; IV,B,2 and the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR) §2.31.c.1; §2.31.c.2 require that the IACUC inspect animal facilities at intervals of no less than six (6) months. 

Only certain activities are to be inspected.  This includes animal rooms that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Locations where survival and/or non-survival surgery are performed
  • Locations where animals are housed outside of University Animal Care for greater than 24 hours (satellite facility)
  • Locations where USDA-regulated species are used (includes greater than 12-hour housing)

If the type of animal-related activities performed in your location has changed (i.e., no longer performing surgery in that location), notify the IACUC Office so that, if appropriate, it can remove the room from their list of locations to be inspected.

When do Inspections Occur?

Semi-annual IACUC inspections generally occur in April and October.

Approximately three (3) weeks before the scheduled inspection, the Principal Investigators and individuals listed as contacts on the protocol will receive an email from IACUC staff announcing the inspection.

The Principal Investigator must notify the IACUC Office immediately if the proposed time and/or date is unsuitable. Please note that the IACUC inspectors have limited time available for the inspection. If at all possible, the Principal Investigator is asked to delegate senior laboratory personnel with good knowledge of the animal protocols to be present during the inspection, rather than request that the inspection be rescheduled.

What Should I Expect During the Inspection?

Inspectors will arrive at the animal use location within the time scheduled for the inspection. One or more IACUC inspectors may be present, along with additional inspectors or observers.

Inspectors will observe the animal use location and will ask questions of the personnel present. Principal Investigators are asked to ensure that at least one senior lab member who is both knowledgeable about and is listed on all the animal protocols is present in the animal use location before the inspection begins (Inspectors may have difficulty locating personnel if they are in offices or other work spaces, which delays the inspection).

Inspectors are required to complete an IACUC Facility Inspection Form during the inspection period.

Items that are commonly overlooked by the research staff when preparing for inspection are as follows:

Access to animal protocols Inspectors ask if all protocol participants have access to the approved protocols and amendments. Printed copies of all approved protocols and amendments can be maintained in the laboratory. It is important that these document are kept up-to-date. Remember that all approved protocols and amendments are available in eSirius and that all protocol participants have access to these documents in eSirius.

Emergency, weekend, and holiday care telephone contact numbers: These telephone numbers should be posted in a high traffic area, such as the near the lab door. A form that can be completed and taped to the door/wall is available here.

Animal husbandry SOPs and care logs (if the animals are housed for more than 24 hours): The inspectors will look to see if printed copies of animal husbandry Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and completed animal care logs are available in the laboratory. Sample forms are available on the IACUC Forms page.

Permits for wildlife protocols: Please have these available for inspection. If they are locked in an office or in a separate location, please ensure that you have the permit or a copy available at the time of the inspection.

Surgical and analgesia records: If your animal protocol lists surgery or requires palliative therapy for non-surgical procedures, please ensure that surgery and analgesia records are available for inspection. Sample forms can be found on the IACUC Forms page.

Drugs, including controlled substances: Inspectors will look at drugs listed on the protocol. Please ensure that keys to access controlled substances are available at the time of the inspection. This includes any keys required for access to offices or other rooms where the drugs are kept. Ensure that all expired drugs are discarded or, in the case of controlled substances, clearly marked and kept separate from the non‑expired drugs.

PAM Inspections

Post approval monitoring (PAM) of an approved protocol is an examination of the research facility and study documents to assure that animals are protected, and that the investigator is in compliance with applicable University and Federal regulations. The PAM monitor works with investigators to facilitate their animal research and to be proactive in identifying potential problems in the investigator’s compliance with active animal protocols.

The purpose is:

  • To ensure animal care and well being
  • To ascertain compliance with institutional, state and federal guidelines and regulations

PAM monitoring may occur during the approval period for any animal protocol.

AAALAC Inspections

AAALAC inspections occur once every three (3) years as part of the University's Animal Care and Use accreditation. The notification of and process for an AAALAC inspection is similar to that for the IACUC semi-annual inspection.

The last AAALAC inspection was conducted on October 3-6, 2016.