Information Sessions for AAALAC International Site Visit


Office for Research Protections     |     IACUC  


Every three years, Penn State's animal care and use program undergoes an extensive site and program review by AAALAC International. To assist animal researchers in preparing for the upcoming AAALAC International site visit, the Office for Research Protections will be holding virtual information sessions in May. It is required that at least one representative from each laboratory/farm attend one session appropriate for the specie(s) used, but all are welcome.

AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. Penn State is one of nearly 1,000 universities, hospitals, government agencies and other research institutions in 49 countries to have earned AAALAC accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to responsible animal care and use. Participation in AAALAC's program is voluntary and occurs in addition to complying with the local, state and federal laws that regulate animal research. The University is proud to earn this accreditation and places high value on its continued maintenance.

This summer, Penn State will host an expert review team from AAALAC and gran them access to all aspects of our animal care and use program, including the administrative records, institutional policies, animal housing facilities, veterinary care, animal husbandry, and training procedures. As stakeholders in our animal care and use program, we ask that researchers actively participate in this process and show our visitors what we already know--that Penn State’s high level of commitment to quality animal care and use is not to simply satisfy the regulations or accreditors but is a part of our culture of excellence.

ORP's virtual information sessions will provide a basic overview of AAALAC International, the program description, and the anticipated site visit procedures. It is required that at least one representative from each laboratory/farm attend one session appropriate for the specie(s) used, but all are welcome. There is no need to attend more than one session; attendance will be noted at each session.

Registration is required by May 1. Please register for one of the following sessions here.

For Laboratory Animal users: 
1.    Tuesday, May 11, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
2.    Wednesday, May 12, from 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
3.    Monday, May 17, from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. 
Agriculture, Fish, Amphibian, Reptile, Cephalopod, and Wildlife users:  
1.    Monday, May 3, from  1 p.m.-2 p.m.
2.    Wednesday, May 12, from  9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
3.    Tuesday, May 18, from  1 p.m-2 p.m.
The sessions will provide an opportunity for researchers to ask questions; questions may also be submitted in advance by emailing   
As a reminder to those considering starting animal research:

  • Preparation material and updated information about the coming site visit can be found here
  • All personnel working with animals, including students, should be familiar with the procedures described in their protocols.  Animal use procedures must be conducted as described in the approved protocol.  Animals, including wild species, should not be used for research, teaching, or testing activities unless the use was first reviewed and approved by the IACUC.
  • Everyone must wear the appropriate attire for conducting animal use procedures while in the lab.
  • Enrollment in the Occupational Health and Safety Program for Animal Care Personnel is required for all employees, students, volunteers and/or visitors who work with or will be exposed to vertebrate animals and is used by the Department of Occupational Medicine to identify any health conditions you may have that could be aggravated or worsened by exposure to animals through your work, study or research at or under the auspices of Penn State. This enrollment is required every three years.
  • EVERYONE should know who to contact in the event there is an animal‐related emergency or to report an animal use concern.  They should be familiar with the emergency contact list posted in or near the animal facilities.