Poster Spotlight: Post-Approval Monitoring Programs Across Canada: Building on Strengths, Facing Challenges

by Avery Avrakotos

With the 2012 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Conference right around the corner, I invite you to join me as we revisit the work of Amanda La Plante, one of the poster presenters from the 2011 IACUC Conference.

In 2011, Amanda shared her institution’s work on post-approval monitoring (PAM) programs. By conducing a survey of Canadian institutions, Amanda and her colleagues at the University of Saskatchewan assessed institutional PAM programs. The results of the survey illuminated the importance of fostering a collegial environment between all parties involved in the care and use of animals. To read Amanda’s full abstract, please visit our website.

Avery Avrakotos (AA): It’s been a year since you presented this abstract at the 2011 IACUC Conference.  How has your research since evolved?
Amanda Plante (AP): The University of Saskatchewan Post-Approval Review Program now focuses more specifically on continuing education and evaluation during the post-approval review of animal use protocols (AUPs). The university veterinarian conducts the post-approval review, visits with principal investigators and members of their research team, which creates a much more collegial environment. The university’s post-approval review is an opportunity for learning, improving upon practices, and highlighting changes that benefit both the animals and the research. The review process also includes participation from a trainee observer (generally a graduate student), expanding upon the education component of the program. 

AA: What challenges have you faced in implementing this research?
AP: The most significant challenge is the scheduling of meetings to correspond to active animal use or that is convenient for the individual conducting the post-approval review, the trainee observer, the principal investigators, and the research team members. The cyclical nature of the animal usage in protocols and the use of off-campus animal facilities creates challenges with respect to coordination of meetings.

AA: What is one principle that has guided you in your research?
AP: The development and maintenance of cooperative and collegial relationships are key to supporting an effective and open communication strategy. Such interaction strengthens both the post-approval review program and interactions that relate to the University Committee on Animal Care and Supply (UCACS). It is also important that the UCACS and the research ethics office provide fair and consistent best practices and procedures across campus to all animal users.

Thank you for sharing, Amanda! We hope that you will have the opportunity to enjoy the dynamic poster presentations at the 2012 IACUC Conference.