Quality Assistance Program

McGill University and its Affiliated Hospital Research Institutions (RI) are committed to the protection of animal subjects involved in teaching and research. In support of this commitment and the obligation to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), the Quality Assistance Program (QAP) was established in 2009, with the primary goal of ensuring animal welfare and assuring the integrity of the Animal Care and Use Program.

The aim of the QA Program is to work in collaboration with, and in support of research and teaching staff members as a collegial approach to achieving regulatory compliance. It serves to review procedures, educate researchers on best practices and facilitate the scientific needs of the researcher. In addition to animal welfare, the QAP also encompasses safe work practices, animal importation, biosafety, as well as controlled substance regulations.

The specific obligations of the Quality Assistance Program

  • Ensure animal well-being.
  • Ensure adherence to the Animal Use Protocol.
  • Ensure compliance with McGill and CCAC regulations, policies and guidelines.
  • Serve as a resource for the research and teaching community.
  • Identify educational and training needs.
  • Identify strengths and needs for refinement within McGill’s Animal Care and Use Program.
  • Keep the Facility Animal Care Committees informed of animal-based activities.

 

Role of the Quality Assistance Advisor*

*Quality Assistance Advisor is used as a generic reference to define the person mandated for post-approval monitoring in the McGill University and Affiliated Hospitals Research Institutes and does not reflect the actual position title.

The QAP assists the Facility Animal Care Committees (FACC) with its obligation to provide oversight of animal care and use as required by CCAC regulations. It is driven by Quality Assistance Advisors (QAAs)*, a team of qualified professionals dispersed throughout the various McGill and Affiliated Hospitals Research Institutes. The QAAs serve to review all animal-based activities, identify risks and report observations and concerns to the FACC. Suitable corrective action plans to manage any identified risks are communicated to the researcher and their implementation is ensured by the QAAs*. Timeline for the execution of corrective measures correspond the classified risk level as defined in the Definitions of Recommendations made in Quality Assistant Reports.

 

Quality Assistance Program Subcommittee

The Quality Assistance Subcommittee of the University Animal Care Committee convenes at least twice annually or as needed to share processes and knowledge among QAAs* and other key members.

Reports on trends are submitted to the University Animal Care Committee. The UACC will refine processes, revise or create guidelines and policies within its Animal Care and Use Program when applicable and in view of being proactive in preventing non-compliance.

For more details, see the Quality Assistance Subcommittee Terms of Reference.

 

Concerns

If researchers, staff or students have concerns about the care and use of animals or are concerned about a procedural or ethical breach, please complete and submit the “webform” . All allegations will be discreetly investigated.

Please refer to the Policy for Animal Welfare and Compliance Concerns for information on the responsibility and processes to report animal welfare concerns.

 

Coordinates of Quality Assistant Advisors*

For additional information on the Quality Assistance Program and its processes, please visit the following related links or send your questions/comments to the appropriate Quality Assistance Advisor*.

McGill University: animal.qa [at] mcgill.ca (Quality Assistance Advisor)

McGill University Health Centre Research Institute (RI-MUHC): ard.qualityassistance [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Compliance Administrator)

Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI): compliance.mni [at] mcgill.ca (Compliance Officer)

For more information, please visit theMNI Web site

Douglas Mental Health University Institute: Eve-Marie.Charbonneau [at] douglas.mcgill.ca (Quality Assistance Advisor)

Lady Davis Institute of the JGH: yvhans.chery2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Quality Assistance Advisor)

Shriners Hospital for Children: ard.qualityassistance [at] muhc.mcgill.ca (Compliance Administrator)