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Certification Process

Assessment Report

Following an assessment visit, the CCAC provides an assessment report which outlines the institution’s strengths and weaknesses, and typically includes recommendations that must be satisfactorily addressed to obtain or maintain certification. The report contains general remarks on the quality of the institution’s animal care and use program and describes any concerns, as evaluated by the CCAC assessment panel, based on:

  • reviews of the completed CCAC Animal Care and Use Program Review Form and other relevant documents;
  • meetings with members of the animal care committee, members of the administration, and other personnel involved in the animal care and use program; and
  • site visit of the animal facilities

Formal recommendations in the report are based on CCAC guidelines, policies, and other CCAC-recognized standards. Recommendations are categorized as either major, serious, or regular; the report may also include commendations.

Major Recommendations

Major recommendations apply to an immediate and significant threat to animal health or welfare found during a CCAC visit for which the institution must take immediate appropriate action. Failure to take such action will result in the removal of the institution’s CCAC Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice®.

Serious Recommendations

Serious recommendations apply to significant or long-standing weaknesses in the animal care and use program. The measures taken and planned in response to these recommendations must be provided to the CCAC typically within three months of the institution receiving the written recommendations.

Regular Recommendations

Regular recommendations apply to weaknesses in the animal care and use program. The measures taken and planned in response to these written recommendations must be provided to the CCAC within six months of receipt.


Commendations apply to excellent conditions, practices, or personnel in an animal care and use program.

The assessment report is reviewed by the assessment panel and the CCAC Assessment and Certification Committee prior to being forwarded to the senior administrator responsible for the institution's animal care and use program, usually within 10 weeks of the assessment visit (15 weeks for large institutions).