The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) conducts triennial audits of licences and Animal Ethics Committees (AEC) to assess compliance with the relevant legislation and Codes of Practice. Audit panel members are suitably qualified veterinarians and/or animal welfare officers. Aspects examined for legal compliance include:
- AEC composition and functioning
- Animal use applications
- Researcher/teacher qualifications and activities
- Premises conditions, and
- Animal husbandry
Breaches are reported to the DEDJTR Licensing and Audit Branch for further action.
The audit protocol describes the broad outline of the audit process, while audit templates for the Scientific Procedures Premises Licence (SPPL), Scientific Procedures Fieldwork Licence (SPFL) and Specified Animal Breeding Licence (SABL) provide additional assessment detail. Record keeping by investigators is expected to reflect the level provided in the Guidelines for Record Keeping (link).
In addition, an optional Annual AEC Self-audit document is available for AECs to work through each year as a means of monitoring their own functioning. Copies of self-audits should be kept for inspection during auditing and may be a useful alternative to traditional annual reports to the to the institution for which it acts.
Audit templates and related documents
Audit forms underpin the DEDJTR assessment of compliance with relevant Victorian legislation. These may provide a useful tool for inspections by AECs, as well as a resource for internal review of the AEC's operation.