Assessment and Certification Program
The CCAC Assessment and Certification Program serves as a quality assurance system through assessment and certification of individual institutions and organizations that use animals for research, teaching, testing or for the production of animals or biologics for scientific purposes. CCAC surveillance protects animal welfare and enhances the quality of animal-based science. It provides assurance that the national standards (CCAC guidelines and policy statements, and other CCAC-recognized standards) are being met.
The Assessment and Certification Program is peer-based, and involves scientists, veterinarians, community representatives, administrators and animal health technicians, representing both institutions and the CCAC, who work together to ensure that animals being used in research, teaching and testing are being cared for and used appropriately. The keystone of the system is the institutional animal care committee (ACC), and the Assessment and Certification Program works directly with ACCs and senior institutional administrators to ensure that any deficiencies identified in institutional programs are corrected.
Scientists, veterinarians, community representatives and administrators also play a crucial role on the CCAC Assessment and Certification Committee, a standing committee that reviews all CCAC assessment reports and institutional implementation reports, and decides on certification of institutions and on the CCAC status of each institution participating in its programs.
Institutions that achieve a CCAC status of Compliance or Conditional Compliance are awarded a CCAC Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice®. This certificate provides clear evidence that an institution meets the high national standards for the care and use of animals, regardless of whether the institution is using laboratory animals, wildlife, fish or farm animals.