What Happens to Semi-Annual Inspection Findings

March 25, 2019

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With Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) semi-annual facility inspections concluding and individuals following up on any eRAM Action Items, you may be wondering what happens to all of the information the Animal Care & Use Office (ACUO) collects.

  • Do findings get reported directly to AAALAC?
  • Will granting agencies be notified of inspection results?
  • Who reviews the data gathered by the IACUC?

The semi-annual inspection process is used by the IACUC to ensure that U-M continues to operate within the policies, standards, and guidelines that govern animal care and use.

If inspectors discover issues that are inconsistent with these rules and regulations, they are noted in their inspection findings.

Categorizing Findings

Findings are logged in the eResearch Animal Management (eRAM) system and categorized as either a Deficiency (DEF) or Suggestion for Improvement (SFI).

Deficiency is a finding that is an opposition to a regulation or University policy. An SFI is a recommendation to upgrade an already acceptable or even commendable program. Categorization is determined by a variety of factors and may or may not require additional follow-up by the lab or group of labs (if a shared space) responsible.

Individual and collective group responses to eRAM Action Items are received by the ACUO, who logs and reviews each item. All responses are then reported back to the IACUC via a comprehensive report of findings from that specific round of inspections.

As part of this report, overall trends are assessed to determine whether additional training or attention should be given to specific areas, or if a broader programmatic change should be considered.

Sharing Findings

Federal regulations require the IACUC to report on the status of the Animal Care & Use Program twice a year, which includes pertinent findings from facility inspections. The University’s Institutional Official, S. Jack Hu, PhD, is the recipient of the semi-annual report and provides feedback and recommendations for improvement, where necessary.

Regulatory bodies may also request and review inspection findings when conducting a site visit. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts inspections of U-M facilities once per USDA fiscal year (October 1 – September 30).

AAALAC International conducts a full re-accreditation site visit once every three years. The U-M’s last site visit was in July 2017, and the next site visit is scheduled to occur in Spring/Summer 2020.

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Feedback Welcome!

We hope that the semi-annual inspection process offers us all an individual and collective opportunity to assess the strengths and areas of continued improvement in our Animal Care & Use Program.

Please contact the Animal Care & Use Office at (734) 763-8028 or acuoffice@umich.edu with questions, comments, or concerns about these processes; we welcome and appreciate your feedback.