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Mark your calendars! UCLA’s triennial accreditation site visit with AAALAC International will take place October 5-9, 2020.

Though some may question why UCLA would proceed with a site visit during the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that we have already postponed the required triennial visit from the initial June dates and are obligated to proceed in order to maintain continuing accreditation. We want to assure you that the ARC and DLAM are working with AAALAC on a hybrid visit that transitions a portion of the site visit to a remote environment while decreasing personnel involved in on-campus activities. The site visit team is comprised of local individuals who will participate in all UCLA-mandated COVID-19 precautions, including completing the daily symptom monitoring survey, wearing face coverings, and maintaining required physical distance while in DLAM and laboratory space. We recognize that the research community is already stretched by current requirements to maintain an ultra-low on-site presence, and that an accreditation visit the second week of Fall quarter may present an added layer of stress.

We know that our animal care and use program is always “AAALAC ready” and appreciate your partnership as we demonstrate our excellence to AAALAC.

In the weeks leading up to the site visit, we will reach out to those of you who will be directly involved with the site visit, for example, in the context of a virtual meeting with the site visitors or hosting an in-person lab visit. If you do not have on-site research activities with animals taking place at this time, you will not be required to participate in the visit.

For those of you who have resumed on-campus research activities, this is a good time to remind your teams to be mindful of all applicable ARC and DLAM policies and procedures. To assist you and your staff, we encourage you to read the attached tip sheet. By adhering to the recommendations in the tip sheet, we demonstrate consistency and dedication to the site visit team; as a result, AAALAC is less likely to impose new mandates on our program.

Please do not hesitate to contact the ARC administrative team (arc@research.ucla.edu or 310-206-6308) or DLAM (Dr. Zahorsky-Reeves, jreeves@mednet.ucla.edu or 310-794-0255) if you have any questions regarding UCLA’s animal care and use program or to schedule a virtual or in-person pre-site visit meeting with your lab.

Thank you for your continued dedication to UCLA’s animal care and use program.