Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Review in a Convened Meeting vs Expedited Review

 Paragraph IV. C. 2. of the PHS Policy and Part 2, Section 2.31 (d)(2) of the USDA's Animal Welfare Regulations require that, as a minimum, all IACUC members be given for their review a list of proposed research protocols involving the care and use of animals and that written descriptions of the projects be available to them. Any member of the IACUC may then request full review of any protocol by the full committee. In the absence of such a request, the chairperson may appropriately designate at least one qualified person to review, approve, require modifications, or request full committee review. 

This process, protocol review by less than the full committee in a convened meeting, is often referred to as an "expedited" review. This does not correspond, however, to the expedited review process of the Institutional Review Board applicable to Human Subjects Protection. In order to comply with the PHS Policy, no animal work may begin before the full committee has either been given the opportunity to review the protocol and call for a full committee review or before the protocol has been approved by (1) the majority of a quorum of the members or (2) the designated reviewer in the absence of a call for full committee review. In this regard, it should be kept in mind that neither the PHS Policy nor the Animal Welfare Regulations recognize "provisional" or "interim" approval of any animal study proposal.