NRC Joint Committee on Animal Care
Table of contents
Terms of reference of the NRC Joint Committee on Animal Care (JCAC)
A commitment to high ethical standards in research involving animals
NRC is committed to the ethical use of animals in research. In carrying out this commitment, NRC is guided by the policies and guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). To help maintain this high standard, NRC has created committees or participates in committees hosted by other organizations to review and oversee animal care and use programs used by the NRC researchers. NRC also conducts research using the animal facilities of other CCAC certified organizations. In these other locations, NRC institutes and programs may arrange to work under the terms of an indirect certification process as approved by NRC.
With the support of the NRC Secretary General’s Office (NRC-SGO), provide an effective liaison between NRC's animal care committees, representatives on external ACCsand NRC's Senior Executive Committee (SEC).
It is the responsibility of the JCAC to:
a) Facilitate harmonized practices amongst the animal care and use programs across NRC. This will promote information sharing , such as the circulation of ACC minutes, and institute specific policies and procedures.
b) Assist the ACC in its review of highly sensitive animal research protocols. Such protocols, such as those involving unusual laboratory animals or Level E category of invasiveness procedures will be reviewed by the JCAC following the ACC's review. The NRC-JCAC will remain receptive to ACC views on what constitutes highly sensitive research. Following ACC review of such protocols, the ACC Chair will send the protocol and the corresponding ACC comments to the NRC-JCAC Secretariat. Input from the NRC-JCAC will be provided to the appropriate ACC Chair for consideration by the local ACC. This process is not meant to serve as an appeal mechanism.
c) Facilitate and/or support educational opportunities on Animal Research Ethics at NRC.
d) Review annual updates from the ACCs and the NRC Senior Veterinarian. The format for these updates will be provided by the SGO.
e) Submit to the NRC SEC any proposed changes to its Terms of Reference and to the ACC Terms of Reference.
f) Submit to the NRC SEC an update on the activities of animal research at NRC, which will include a summary of the ACC annual updates. This reporting will be done on an annual basis or more frequently if required.
a) The chair of each of the NRC ACCs in an ex-officio capacity with no specified term;
b) NRC representatives from institutes that have indirect certification arrangements with external organizations.
c) NRC Senior Veterinarian
d) The Secretary General may appoint additional members as needed to a maximum of ten (10).
e) The Secretary General will nominate the Chair after consulting with SEC members, seeking formal SEC approval for the appointment if any specific concerns are raised.
a) There will be at least one meeting per year in a location agreed upon by the committee.
b) The NRC-JCAC Chair may call additional meetings to deal with protocol review, or other corporate matters that arise between meetings. In order to ensure these issues are dealt with in a timely manner, these meetings will be held either by email, teleconference or videoconference.
c) The Chair of the NRC-JCAC can invite guests with special expertise to the committee, should the need arise. This includes a community representative from one of the local ACCs when, for example, a protocol from an institute is submitted for review.
d) A reasonable quorum, such as a majority of the members, will be established in order to convene a meeting.
e) To avoid placing themselves in a potential, apparent or real conflict of interest situation, members of the Committee shall abstain from decisions pertaining to specific projects in which they have are involved. However, they will be allowed to provide information to the Committee on the project or on experimental results and procedures, if this input is sought by the Chair on behalf of the committee.
a) The NRC-JCAC has authority to advise NRC managers and staff on issues pertaining to animal ethics at NRC and to propose improvements in the systems and processes at NRC.
b) The NRC-JCAC reports to NRC’s Senior Executive Committee (SEC) via the NRC Secretary General.
a) The NRC Secretary General’s Office (SGO) will provide secretarial support to the JCAC.
b) The Secretary Generals Office will maintain NRC’s web site on animal research, which includes the Terms of Reference for the ACCs and the JCAC.
Travel and accommodation expenses for NRC-JCAC members will be covered by their respective institute or program.
a) Full certification
Institutes and programs responsible for their own animal care and use programs will enrol in the CCAC accreditation program as required by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NRC and CCAC (2010).
b) Indirect certification
Institutes using the animal facilities of other CCAC certified organizations may obtain indirect accreditation by meeting the following conditions.
i. Create a formal contract between the institute and the host organization.
The contract must comply with the conditions outlined in the CCAC Policy Statement on: the certification of animal care and use programs (2010) Appendix 3: Indirect accreditation.
ii. Provide a copy of the contract to the NRC Secretary General’s Office.
iii. The contract will include a provision for NRC representation on the host
ACC. It is expected that this representative will be formalized in the host organization’s ACC Terms of Reference.
iv. The NRC representative is expected to sit on the NRC JCAC.
CCAC Policy Statement on: the certification of animal care and use programs (2010)
Memorandum of Understanding between the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) (2010)
This version incorporates changes in regard to CCAC certification and clarification pertaining to protocol review that were approved by NRC’s Senior Executive Committee (SEC) in February 2011.
Prepared by the Secretariat, NRC-JCAC
NRC Secretary General’s Office
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