The University of Iowa

Post-approval Monitoring of Animal Protocols

Once an investigator receives IACUC approval of their Animal Protocol, continued review by the IACUC will be performed by several different means1, 2 :


  • Semi-annual inspections of the following areas:
    • Animal housing facilities and support space
    • Satellite housing outside OAR facilities (defined as >12 hours for USDA regulated species and >24 hours for non-USDA regulated species*)
    • Surgical spaces
    • Core Facilities where vertebrate animals are used

*Non-USDA regulated examples include birds, mice (mus) and rats (rattus) bred for research, fish, amphibians, and reptiles.


  • Site visit performed* to:  
    • Discuss updates to IACUC/OAR policies and guidelines
    • Facilitate compliance with currently approved Animal Protocol
    • Provide recommendations for amendments to an approved Animal Protocol
    • Evaluate any non-surgical animal procedural spaces

* every 1-2 years depending on species utilized and nature of study


  • Annual usage form for USDA-regulated species protocols:  
    • Seeks required feedback from the PI regarding federal fiscal year usage and USDA pain categorization.


 What should I expect during a facility and surgical site inspection?

The PI and the lab designee (if known) will be notified twice a year (i.e. semi-annually) when their facility is scheduled for inspection.  During inspections the IACUC members (or IACUC designee) will evaluate:

  • appropriateness of space
  • overall cleanliness
  • appropriate disinfection/sanitation practices
  • proper storage of agents, supplies, etc.
  • proper recordkeeping (surgical and post-surgical monitoring, special husbandry logs, etc.), as appropriate

Following the inspection, the lab will receive notification of any concerns identified.


Checklists for preparing for inspections can be found here


What should I expect during my site visit and protocol review?

The PI and the lab designee will be contacted to schedule a time to conduct the site visit and protocol review.  During the site visit the IACUC designee will perform:


  • Inspection of the non-surgical animal procedural spaces which will involve the same general criteria mentioned above
  • Review of:
    • Updates to IACUC and/or OAR policies and procedures
    • Currently approved Animal Protocol procedures and personnel
      • If there are any recommendations (e.g. amendments, best practices)

Following the site visit, the PI will be provided with a summary of the results of the visit.


Compliance questions, animal welfare concerns, or to self report a non-compliance please contact

  1. Public Health Service (PHS) Policy IV.B.1-8 (administered through Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, OLAW)
  2. Animal Welfare Regulations 9CFR. 2.31(c)(1)-(8) and 2.31(d)(5)(6) & (7) (administered through USDA-APHIS)