Wongaburra research Centre (WRC) is delighted to have achieved continued accreditation with AAALAC in early 2018. WRC was first granted full accreditation in October 2014 (when still operating as Vetx Research), the first CRO in Australasia to achieve such status, and reaccreditation confirms WRC’s commitment to animal welfare.
Chrissie Jackson, Senior Scientist with responsibility for driving AAALAC accreditation, commented that accreditation has been well received by Sponsors, and many are pleasantly surprised by the plaque hanging above the doorway. Ongoing accreditation requires maintaining our high standards of animal welfare and full commitment from the team at WRC.
Achieving accreditation involved submitting a comprehensive Program Description, then hosting a 3-day site visit by two international animal welfare specialists. They delivered an exit briefing, highlighting commendations, mandatory findings and suggestions for improvement. A ‘post-site visit communication’ was then prepared detailing actions (and evidence of actions) to the exit briefing report.
The renewal inspection highlighted further improvements required which were actioned as advised. We welcome the opportunity to be audited not just for AAALAC accreditation but also for animal research licensing requirements and by Sponsors for animal welfare and QA purposes. Each is an opportunity to continually improve how we operate at WRC.
Gaining full accreditation, without provisional status, puts WRC in the top 15% of accredited research establishments worldwide. An excerpt from the letter of approval received from AAALAC headquarters in the US reads:
‘The Council commends you and the staff for providing and maintaining a high quality program of laboratory animal care and use. Especially noteworthy were the institutional commitment to a high quality standard of care and animal welfare; the very knowledgeable and highly dedicated key personnel, particularly the veterinary staff; the highly committed Animal Ethics Committee; and the respect and compassion with which the institution treated the animals, evidenced in part by considering the dogs and cats as partners in research’.
AAALAC (the Association for the Assessment of Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International), has been operating for over 50 years. AAALAC evolved primarily from veterinarians driving an accreditation programme for laboratory animal care. For more information go to: http://www.aaalac.org.