FAQ: Recommendations made in CCAC assessment reports

Date of publication: December 2016

The following is a selection of frequently asked questions (and their respective answers) concerning the CCAC policy: Recommendations made in CCAC assessment reports (2016).

What Is in a CCAC Assessment Report?

A CCAC assessment report includes general information on the institution’s animal ethics and care program; findings of the assessment visit on key areas (i.e. animal care committee functioning; animal husbandry; health and safety; facilities); recommendations for improvement; and commendations of best practices.

What Is a Recommendation?

A recommendation identifies an element(s) in the animal ethics and care program that requires improvement in order for the institution to continue to meet high standards. Recommendations are developed based on the findings from the assessment visit and in collaboration with the CCAC Assessment and Certification Committee.

Why Are Recommendations Needed?

Scientific knowledge and societal values are constantly evolving. CCAC policies and guidelines are based on expert peer advice, current interpretation of scientific evidence, and reflect current Canadian values; therefore one would expect that they change over time. Continuous improvement is the cornerstone of the national animal ethics and care system. As such, recommendations are made to guide institutions to continually improve their animal ethics and care program.

How Does an Institution Address a Recommendation It Does Not Agree With?

Every effort is made to ensure that concerns identified during an assessment are specific and accurate. An exit meeting is conducted at the end of every visit to review the strengths and weaknesses of the animal ethics and care program with the animal care committee members and senior administrators. Any miscommunication or concern can be addressed at this time or in the implementation report the institution sends to the CCAC in response to the recommendations in the assessment report.

When Does the Institution Receive the Written Report from the CCAC?

The institution should receive the CCAC assessment report approximately 10 weeks following the visit.

What If a Recommendation Requires Facility Upgrades?

Where a recommendation may take several months or years to address (i.e. renovating or building a new animal facility), a timeline with target dates for the various stages of work must be included in the implementation report. Interim measures to address the situation temporarily should also be included.

Are Assessment Reports or Recommendations Made Public?

Assessment reports and recommendations are not made public by the CCAC. However, individual institutions may decide to release information related to their animal ethics and care program.