Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (AWERB)

 

Aberystwyth University is committed to supporting the best quality scientific research in terms of ethics, conduct and impact.  It strongly supports the intention of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA) 1986, as modified by EU Directive 2010/63/EU, which, under supervision by the Animals in Science Regulations Unit Division of the Home Office, rigorously controls experimental work involving animals. As part of our commitment, we fully endorse the ARRIVE guidelines produced by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) which focus on improving the design and reporting of animal studies.  Each research project involving animals, whether covered by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or not, is subject to an ethical review process by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) which includes lay members, external members and representatives from across the University.

 

Statement on Use of Animals

Aberystwyth University is committed to supporting the best quality scientific research in terms of ethics, conduct and impact.  It strongly supports the intention of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (ASPA) 1986, as modified by EU Directive 2010/63/EU, which, under supervision by the Animals in Science Regulations Unit Division of the Home Office, rigorously controls experimental work involving animals. 

As part of our commitment, we fully endorse the ARRIVE guidelines produced by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) which focus on improving the design and reporting of animal studies.  Each research project involving animals, whether covered by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or not, is subject to an ethical review process by the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) which includes lay members, external members and representatives from across the University.

Further information can be found here: Experimental Work Involving Animals at Aberystwyth University

AWERB Approval (Staff)

Ethical Review

Before any animal research / experimentation begins, all research proposals involving the use of animals must be submitted to the University’s Home Office Compliance Officer’ (contact details below) to check compliance under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and to advise on the most suitable method of approval.

Staff must ensure that they are in receipt of the appropriate Home Office licence for all regulated procedures involving the use of animals. Research that falls outside of the scope of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (i.e. non-regulated procedures) is still subject to review and oversight.

Home Office Licencing

It is the legal responsibility of the University and AWERB to ensure that all regulated procedures involving protected animals only occur under the relevant Home Office licences.

Where it is likely that an application for a new personal (PIL) licence, project (PPL) licence or an amendment to an existing licence (including renewals or variations) is required, staff should approach the Home Office team for an initial discussion in and before submission to the Home Office Unit.

 

 

AWERB Approval (PGR)

Ethical Review

Before any animal research / experimentation begins, all research proposals involving the use of animals must be submitted to the University’s Home Office Compliance Officer (contact details below) to check compliance under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and to advise on the most suitable method of approval.

Staff must ensure that they are in receipt of the appropriate Home Office licence for all regulated procedures involving the use of animals. Research that falls outside of the scope of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act (i.e. non-regulated procedures) is still subject to review and oversight.

Home Office Licencing

It is the legal responsibility of the University and AWERB to ensure that all regulated procedures involving protected animals only occur under the relevant Home Office licences.

Postgraduate Research students must ensure that they are in receipt of the appropriate Home Office licence for all regulated procedures involving the use of animals. In most circumstances, postgraduate research is usually satisfied through the project licence held by their supervisor. Students should initially liaise with their supervisor, before confirming with the Home Office team prior to the commencement of any research activity.

Where it is likely that an application for a new personal (PIL) licence, project (PPL) licence or an amendment to an existing licence (including renewals or variations) is required, staff should approach the Home Office team for an initial discussion in and before submission to the Home Office Unit.

 

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AWERB Approval (UG and Taught PG)

Undergraduate students should complete a short form, in conjunction with their supervisor, which should then be returned to the Home Office Compliance Officer.

In case of any queries, undergraduate students should, in the first instance, contact their supervisor or module co-ordinator. 

Please note that any research which is not solely animal based (i.e. if you are distributing surveys), you should complete an Online Assessment Form in addition to any relevant approval procedure(s) above. Any queries relating to this process can be directed to ethics@aber.ac.uk 

 

Training

Home Office Accredited Training

For those engaged in research involving regulated procedures with protected animals under a Home Office licence, researchers will be required successfully complete accredited Home Office modular training for each species that you wish to work with.

The training for a personal licence is covered by 11 individual modules, which must be completed prior to commencing any animal experimentation and can only be signed-off once the NTCO(s) are satisfied that the licensee have achieved the necessary competence.

Researchers should initially contact the Home Office Compliance Officer who can liaise with the NTCO advise on their individual training needs. Dependent upon the training needs, this training may take place either at the University or researchers may be expected to attend training at another venue.

Local Training (Coming soon)

This local training module is compulsory for all staff, whether in a research capacity or not, who are involved in working with animals, including farms staff, technicians, those with responsibility for the welfare of animals and support staff.

All members of the University that work with animals, whether the work involves Home Office regulated procedures or not, are obliged to understand their own role within the local structure for the care and use of animals, including how they personally contribute and work with others to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare and scientific integrity. 

Training will be provided to all members of the University (staff and students) before they begin working with animals as part of their induction process to ensure they are familiar with legal codes of conduct and key personnel who carry out specific roles associated with the legislation.

Provision of this training is the responsibility of the AU Named Training and Competency Officers (NTCOs), and a register of people who successfully complete the training will be maintained by the Named Information Officer. 

Postgraduate Research Student Induction

Compulsory induction and information sessions are organised by the University for the new PGR students at the start of each year. These sessions will provide you with a  broad overview of the work of AWERB and will outline the various approval routes required to begin to your research. These sessions are designed to complement specialised and discipline-specific training provided by the Home Office and IBERS.

 

Contact Us

General Contact Details

If you have any questions, please contact the Home Office Compliance Officer below:

E-mail: mwd7@aber.ac.uk 

Tel:  01970 823067

 

 

Additional Resources

Home Office - Research and Testing Using Animals

Home Office site providing information on the legislation surrounding research involving animals.

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research

Independent scientific organisation that works to advance the principles of replacement, refinement and reduction.

The Institute of Animal Technology

Professional body for animal technicians.

Laboratory Animal Science Association

Professional body that has been set up to advance scientific knowledge and understanding of the use, care and welfare of laboratory animals.

RSPCA - Research Animal Science

Branch of the RSPCA working with those involved in the regulation, care and use of animals in scientific experiments.

Guidance on the Operation of ASPA

Guidance on the operation and application of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Standard licence and general establishment conditions can be accessed on pages 101-110.

Researchers and other staff can request to view a copy of the AU Establishment Licence through the Home Office Compliance Officer.