IACUC16: Learning about Non-Compliance, CPIA, and More

The final day of PRIM&R’s 2016 IACUC Conference (IACUC16) was another great chance to learn. The breakout session Beyond the IACUC: Understanding the Bigger Compliance Picture, presented by Barbara Garibaldi, Christina Nascimento, and Gina Prochilo-Cawston, included case studies of non-compliance. The scenarios illustrated how even incidents of non-compliance that appear minor on the surface could have underlying roots that require further investigation and reporting by the institution that goes far beyond the IACUC. While IACUCs may serve as first-responders to a non-compliance event, there are potentially greater implications that must involve others, such as hazard/occupational health and safety personnel, or regulatory, accreditation, and funding agencies. Practical advice for when these types of issues arise included who to contact within the institution and some of the potential overlaps to look for.

Since I am currently preparing to sit for the Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA®) exam, I attended What Is the CPIA Credential? Is it for You, How Do You Prepare, and How Could You Benefit from Having the Credential?, presented by Deb Frolicher, Rebecca Henry, and Sally Thompson-Iritani. The presenters reviewed the history of the development of the credential program. Dr. Henry, who received her CPIA this past fall, provided some very practical suggestions on how to prepare for the examination. Many questions from the audience were addressed, such as a suggested timeline. Based on the information gathered during this session, I really need to sharpen my studying skills!

As the closing reception rolled around, my head was spinning with all of the amazing tools I had gathered during my attendance at the conference. Networking opportunities were plentiful, as I had the opportunity to meet others from varied backgrounds, institutions, and experience levels. We shared similar struggles, along with some workable solutions that I will be able to implement back at my home institution. I’ll certainly have some tools that will need to be sharpened by the time the 2017 IACUC Conference in New Orleans rolls around. In the meantime, I look forward to sharing a follow up blog with you in a few weeks to let you know how I implemented the knowledge gained at IACUC16 once I returned home. Whether I had an opportunity to meet you in Bellevue or not, I hope to see you in the Big Easy!