The AAALAC International accreditation program evaluates organizations that use animals in research, teaching or testing. Those that meet or exceed AAALAC standards are awarded accreditation.
The accreditation process includes an extensive internal review conducted by the institution applying for accreditation. During this review, the institution creates a comprehensive document called a “Program Description” which describes all aspects of the animal care and use program (policies, animal housing and management, veterinary care, and facilities). The Program Description is then submitted to AAALAC.
Next, AAALAC evaluators (members of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation) review the Program Description and conduct their own comprehensive on-site assessment. The site visitors’ report is then reviewed by the entire Council on Accreditation and accreditation status is determined. If deficiencies are found, they are outlined in a letter and the institution is given a period of time to correct them. Once the deficiencies are corrected, accreditation is awarded. The entire process is completely confidential.
After an institution earns accreditation, it must be re-evaluated every three years in order to maintain its accredited status. Currently more than 1,000 organizations in 49 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation.
Accreditation benefits an institution and the animals in its care in many ways. And each time a new organization becomes accredited, it helps to raise the global benchmark for animal well-being in science.