A NSW Government website

Guidance for new researchers applying to use the DRNSW Secretary’s Animal Care and Ethics Committee

If you wish to use the NSW DRNSW Secretary’s Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) to supervise animal research, the process you need to follow is described below. All forms are available on the Secretary’s ACEC website under the heading 'Secretary's ACEC Forms'.

All submissions to the ACEC must be made via email to secretary.acec@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Steps to take:

  1. Complete and submit the Secretary’s ACEC Access Application Form to find out if the ACEC would be prepared to supervise the type of project you plan to undertake.
  2. Contact the DPI Compliance Systems and Accreditation Program unit to see if you or your business need to be accredited under the Animal Research Act 1985 to be able to lawfully conduct animal research within NSW. If you have an ACN, this will likely be the case.
    Please email bfs.admin@dpi.nsw.gov.au or phone 02 6539 4866 to check. If the ACEC agrees to consider your project application, complete and submit a signed Secretary’s ACEC Sharing agreement as required under the Australian code for the care and use of animals for research purposes 8th Edition 2013, Section 2.6.
  3. Submit the relevant completed New Project Application Form.
  4. If you have not previously used the Secretary’s ACEC as a Principal Investigator, you will need to provide a CV and two written references from people you have worked with regarding your experience in the type of research/surveys/teaching using animals you plan to undertake.
  5. Pay the prescribed $100 fee, as explained in the application form, via the online portal https://forms.bfs.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forms/10678
  6. The ACEC will then consider your application at a scheduled meeting, and if approved, an Animal Research Authority (ARA) will be issued for 12 months. You can then commence the project, after you have received the written ARA.

So, in the first instance:

  1. Submit a completed Secretary’s ACEC Access Application form.
  2. Confirm whether your business needs to be accredited under the NSW Animal Research Act 1985 and notify the ACEC of the advice.

If the ACEC then agrees to review an application from you or your business:

  1. Complete and return the Sharing agreement. Please read this carefully as it outlines some responsibilities for both parties.
  2. Complete and return the relevant project application form and send your CV and two written references.
  3. Be familiar with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition 2013th Edition 2013

Additional information:

  • Applications are only considered at a scheduled committee meeting. The dates for these meetings are available on the Secretary’s ACEC website.
  • Projects are generally approved for a 3-year period, however, an Annual Report is legally required every 12 months, along with an annual administration fee, to allow the project to continue for each 12-month period.
  • Location: If you do not have set location sites at the time of completing the application you may answer with ‘various locations throughout NSW’. You are then required to advise the committee on confirmation of the details of each workshop or new research/survey site, by providing a Notification form prior to commencement of the training or research/survey. The notification form template will be provided once the project is approved.
  • Project approval is only confirmed and research able to commence once you receive a written Animal Research Authority.

Flow Chart for New Researchers