2AAALAC InternationalHistory, Programs and Process
3What is AAALAC?AAALAC stands for the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.Our mission: AAALAC International enhances life sciences by promoting the responsible treatment of animals used in research, teaching and testing through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.
4OriginsDuring the post-World War II science boom, leading veterinarians and researchers saw the need for an independent organization to encourage high standards for humane animal care and use in science.AAALAC was created to meet this need, and was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in 1965.
5GrowthAAALAC accredits universities, companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.In 1996, AAALAC changed its name to include “International” in order to reflect its growth outside the United States.Today, more than 700 institutions are accredited in 28 different countries.AAALAC now has offices in Rockville, Maryland (USA), Brussels, Belgium, and Waikoloa, Hawaii.
6International representation AAALAC has a multinational Board of Trustees, including representation from ICLAS and FELASA.Accredited organizations in 28 countries including: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, and the United States.
7Organization68 “Member Organizations” govern AAALAC, and are represented on the Board of Trustees.The 42-member “Council on Accreditation” carries out the accreditation program.The Council is comprised of North American and European Sections.180+ “ad hoc Consultants” help conduct program evaluations.
8Accreditation … Is completely voluntary and confidential. Is performance-based.Is a peer-review process.
9Standards Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 1996) EEC 86/609CoE ConventionNational legislationReference resources (“Ag Guide,” AVMA Panel on Euthanasia, etc...). Visit
10The process AAALAC accredits your entire “program” which includes: animal care and use policies and responsibilitiesanimal environment, housing and managementveterinary medical careyour physical plant
11The processRequest an application package or download it fromComplete the application and develop a “Program Description” – a document that details all aspects of your program. (An outline of what to include is included in the application package.)Receive an objective, peer-review evaluation from an AAALAC site-visit team.
12The processReceive immediate feedback during your site visit “exit briefing.”The site-visit team submits their report to the Council on Accreditation.Council deliberations take place.AAALAC accreditation is awarded.
13FeesFees cover the direct cost of the site visit plus administrative expenses.There is a one-time application fee.Accredited institutions pay an annual fee.Fees are currently based on animal facility size.
14Maintaining accreditation You must submit an annual program report to AAALAC. (The annual report form is mailed to you.)You must be revisited and re-evaluated once every three years.Major program changes or deficiencies must be reported to AAALAC in between site visits.
15Accreditation … Provides a confidential, third-party peer review. Promotes scientific validity.Represents quality.Demonstrates accountability.Assures funding sources.Helps recruit quality people.Shows a real commitment to humane animal care.
16What people value most about accreditation … “It assures the credibility of our program among funding sources.”“It provides the public with a positive image.”“It helps convince management of the need to commit resources to maintain a high-quality program.”
17What people value most about accreditation … “It conveys a high level of professionalism to the scientific community.”“Application of AAALAC standards ensures high-quality research and animal care, resulting in better science.”“Completing the Program Description helps us identify weaknesses and self-correct them.”
18What people value most about accreditation … “It assures our customers that we have a quality program.”“The rigorous peer-review evaluation ensures that we’re doing things right.”
19Accreditation also entitles you to: Receive AAALAC’s proprietary electronic newsletter, the “AAALAC E-brief.”A free subscription to AAALAC’s Connection newsletter.Telephone and consultations.
20Accreditation also entitles you to: Listing in the online “AAALAC Directory of Accredited Programs.”Access to AAALAC’s Members’ Only Web site:Materials to promote your accreditation“Keeping Connected” (a compilation of news articles and meeting announcements of interest to the animal care community)Tools for maintaining your accreditationPeriodic updates on the accreditation program and animal care and use issues.
21Program Status Evaluation Separate from the accreditation program.Familiarizes you with AAALAC standards and the accreditation process.Receive an in-depth, on-site assessment.Get specific recommendations.Advises you of your “accreditability” – often used prior to applying for accreditation.
22Contact us www.aaalac.org In the Untied States: AAALAC International Rockville Pike Suite 1211 Rockville, Maryland USA tel:In Europe: AAALAC International Avenue de Tervuren Brussels Belgium tel:Pacific Rim Office: AAALAC International Makana Aloha Pl. Waikoloa, HI tel: