Audits and Inspections

Audits and Inspections

Why does the IACUC visit my lab?
Both the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations (AWAR) and the PHS Policy require inspection of animal housing facilities and activity areas at least every 6 months. The UAB IACUC reviews all facilities and laboratories where live animals are taken on a rolling schedule every 6 months and reports these findings in the Semiannual Report of the Animal Care and Use Program. The IACUC may also visit your lab if you have been unresponsive to reminders to update your AUR eForm. This helps to ensure that any changes made related to your animal work are properly documented and approved to prevent noncompliance.

What are the inspection sheets that IACUC sends me about the ARP housing facility?
The IACUC inspects the ARP animal facilities on a rolling schedule every 6 months. When deficiencies are identified the responsible party is notified of the issue and given a timeline for correction. If you receive an inspection sheet for your space in the ARP facility, locate the deficiency on the sheet noted in the PI column. You are only responsible for deficiencies marked in the PI column. Determine if you are responsible for the deficiency and then respond back to the IACUC with how you have corrected the problem or will correct the problem. Note that recurring deficiencies of the same nature in the same area can be considered noncompliance so it is important to take steps to prevent recurrence.

How should I prepare for a lab audit?
There are no special steps to take prior to a lab audit, but here are some tips for having a successful audit:

  • Make sure the lab space is clean and organized.
  • Don't try to answer questions about lab procedures with which you are unfamiliar. It is ok to say I don't know or I don't do that work and direct the auditor toward the correct person.
  • Answer questions honestly. We can't help you fix a problem if we do not know about it. It is much easier for us to work with you directly to correct an issue than to find out about it indirectly as noncompliance.

Who needs to be present during my lab audit?
It is most important to have personnel present that are actually responsible for working with the animals and conducting procedures. Anyone is welcome to attend, but it is best to have the personnel actually doing the animal work answering questions about it.

What regulatory groups inspect UAB?
Besides the semiannual lab and facility inspections conducted by the IACUC, there are external groups that may visit various sites within the UAB animal program. The USDA inspects facilities and reviews IACUC records once a year on an unannounced visit. AAALAC inspects the enitre animal program every 3 years. The VA, OLAW, NIH, EPA, DEA and other various sponsors and agencies also inspect/audit various aspects of the animal program on a regular basis.