The audit program enables an organisation to evaluate and improve to ensure it consistently meets its legal responsibilities. Benchmarking against current best practice is done through a rating system as part of each audit. Processes and people contributing to best practice within an institution are identified through the program.
Audits measure the performance of:
- licence holders
- licence nominees
- Animal Ethics Committees (AECs)
- animal facility managers
- animal carers
They are measured against the responsibilities outlined in the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (the POCTA Act), the associated Regulations and 2 mandatory Codes of Practice:
- Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 2013 (the Australian Code 8th edition)
- Victorian code of practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits (the Laboratory Animals Code)
The audit program assesses:
- 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.