Essentials of IACUC Administration: An Alternate St. Patrick’s Day Parade Route

PRIM&R is pleased to share a piece from the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2012 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Conference. The Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who are devoted to blogging live from our conferences. This is Farah Moulvi’s second year serving as a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad.

Essentials of Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) Administration is a not-to-be-missed course for those seeking the knowledge and skills necessary to manage an animal care and use program. Although I have been involved with IACUCs for more than 10 years, I always learn something new in this engaging course. And, many others must agree: Despite gorgeous spring weather, and Boston’s renowned St. Patrick’s Day parade taking place nearby, the course had a solid turnout with almost 100 participants. 

The famous “3Ms” (Marky Pitts, CPIA; Molly Greene, BA, CPIA; and Mary Jo Shepherd, DVM, CPIA) possess a wealth of information, with a collective 75 years of experience in the IACUC field. This day-and-a-half workshop was segmented into eight modules for attendees, who took home a range of tools and templates that will be helpful for managing an animal care and use program. Presenters gave examples of key components of a quality program, and suggested ways to integrate these components at individual institutions.

The presentations cover a broad range of topics, including protocol review and inspections, policies and procedures, post-approval monitoring, noncompliance reporting, semiannual reviews, IACUC training, and occupational health programs. Information provided included the requirements from sources such as the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition, Public Health Service policy, U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

Prior to the workshop, the faculty solicited questions from registrants to foster discussion at the breakout sessions. Eighty-five attendees formed smaller groups by professional affiliation, among them, academic IACUC administrators, industry and governmental (Department of Defense and Department of Veteran’s Affairs) IACUC administrators, veterinarians, institutional officials, and IACUC chairs. With a smaller group, the breakout session served as a platform to network and discuss solutions that have been implemented by various institutions.

The breakout group I attended was led by Marky Pitts and Mary Beran, MA, CPIA. They discussed various methods of enhancing training and tracking experience, as well as certification strategies to align with the requirements in the Eighth Edition of the Guide. Other topics in the breakout session included specific challenges of dealing with non-traditional biomedical research models such as agricultural and wild animals in field investigations.

Even though the session was filled with copious amounts of information the course moderators provided a broad spectrum of resource documents including articles, frequently asked questions, and standard operating procedures that will serve as invaluable resources to attendees. In an effort to go “green,” many of these resources were made available in a digital format this year. Although I didn’t take part in the parade, I am sure that my colleagues will be green with envy over the resources I just landed at this pre-conference program. Must be the luck of the Irish!