ACUC Review Process

Animal Use Protocols using ARISE

ACUC applications are known as animal use protocols (AUPs) and are completed and maintained online using the Animal Module in the Alberta Research Information Services (ARISE) system. Access to the Animal Module is restricted to University staff and students who have completed Part 1 Institutional Animal User Training.

To sign up for training, for additional information on ethics educational requirements, or for assistance with ARISE system access, please see the Education, Training & User Support section of our website. You can also Contact Us directly at any time for further assistance.


We recommend that you submit an AUP at least 90 days prior to when you plan to begin your animal use activity. This will normally allow sufficient time for all required reviews and approvals (e.g. facility; biohazard, chemical and radiation safety; and ACUC review processes). Submission deadlines for ACUC meetings can be found on the description pages for each of the Animal Care and Use Committees.

Environment, Health & Safety Compliance

AUPs are reviewed by the Department of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) for biohazard, radioisotope, chemical and other safety concerns as part of the protocol review process. The EHS approval process confirms that the research group conducting the AUP and the site where the work will be conducted have the proper certifications to work safely with the hazards involved in the protocol.

Principal Investigators are expected to acquire and maintain safety certifications for their laboratories and research facilities (infrastructure) which are distinct and separate from the approvals for individual AUPs. For details on obtaining these infrastructure certifications, contact EHS.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

To facilitate the work of both protocol authors and ACUC members, CCAC encourages the use of formal, written, standard operating procedures (SOPs) for commonly used animal procedures wherever possible. In addition to promoting consistent and verifiable processes, SOPs offer investigators an alternative to writing detailed procedures in their protocol.

Institutional SOPs (iSOPs) acceptable to all University ACUCs and animal services units, are available to users of the Animal Module from within the ARISE system. A listing of available iSOPs can be viewed on the Animal Resources page.

The animal services units also maintain SOPs for procedures carried out by their staff. These facility SOPs must be requested from the appropriate unit and attached to the online animal use application. Finally, individual PIs may develop their own SOPs for use by their research teams (use the SOP Template in the Forms Cabinet).

See, also: Wildlife & Field Research.

Animal Research Involving Two or More Institutions

University staff and students participate in research collaborations and partnerships all over the world AND the University receives visiting students and scholars from a host of countries and institutions.

Despite many nuances that arise in this type of collaboration, in almost all cases a review must be done by one of the Animal Care and Use Committees at the University of Alberta. This document outlines some potential scenarios that can arise in collaborative research (UAPWC 2016), and how the ACUC will handle the review and approval. See also CCAC Policy on Animal-based Projects Involving Two or More Institutions and related FAQs.

Related Links

Animal ethics review at the University of Alberta is guided by: