The development of new, or the revision of existing, CCAC guidelines documents is prioritized by the CCAC Standards Committee and approved by the CCAC Board of Directors according to established criteria:
- ethics – number of animals, an increase in particular types of animals, and the potential for pain and distress
- relevance – informed by assessment panels, animal care committees, the CCAC Assessment and Certification Committee, animal data, and advances in laboratory animal science
- timeliness – review of guidelines on a regular basis, taking into account legislation, regulation, and current interpretation of scientific evidence
- achievability – based on the availability of research evidence and guidance material from other jurisdictions
Additional factors taken into consideration include discussions with CCAC-certified institutions and other stakeholders.
For the development or review of a guidelines document, a subcommittee of subject matter experts is established according to the CCAC’s process on the Formation of a guidelines subcommittee. The subcommittee members work together to produce a CCAC guidelines document that is informed by expert advice, current interpretation of scientific evidence, and the values of Canadians, and has received extensive peer review.
The Standards Committee reviews draft guidelines documents at strategic points in the process to ensure that the guidelines are consistent with the CCAC’s fundamental principles and other CCAC guidelines. When a draft guidelines document has received input from the Assessment and Certification Committee and has been completed to the satisfaction of the subcommittee and the Standards Committee, the final draft is presented to the CCAC Board of Directors for publication approval.