Compliance of licence holders and authorised employees with the conditions of their licences is assessed by departmental auditors. The audit program provides assurance to the department and the public that licensed animal care and use complies with legislation.
The audit program enables an organisation to evaluate and improve to ensure it consistently meets its legal responsibilities. Benchmarking against current best practice will be facilitated via a rating system applied to each audit. Processes and personnel contributing to best practice within an institution will be identified.
Audits measure the performance of licence holders, licence nominees, Animal Ethics Committees (AECs), investigators, teachers, animal facility managers, animal carers and students against the responsibilities outlined in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (the Act), the associated Regulations and three mandatory Codes of Practice, namely:
- The Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 2013 (the Australian Code);
- The Victorian Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits (the Laboratory Animals Code); and
- The Code of Practice for the Use of Animals from Municipal Pounds for Scientific Procedures
The audit program will assess:
- The licence holder’s application of the governing principles of the Australian code including the resourcing and effectiveness of the institutional program to promote and monitor compliance
- How all people, including the organisational representatives, AEC members, animal carers, investigators and teachers involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes are meeting the responsibilities identified in:
- the licence conditions and mandatory codes
- AEC processes, approvals and conditions
- internal policies and procedures
- Competency, training and competency assessment of all people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes
- Animal care and facilities.