The responsibilities of the establishment licence holder and personal and project licensees are set out in detail in
the ASPA and in the "standard conditions" attached to each licence (see Appendix A, B and C in the Guidance
document www.gov.uk/government/publications/operation-of-aspa). Some key points regarding each role are set
The establishment licence holder bears overall responsibility for compliance with ASPA. This includes ensuring
that animals have appropriate care and accommodation, preventing unauthorised procedures, applying the 3Rs,
and establishing and maintaining an Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). The establishment licence
holder must appoint a number of named people to help fulfil his or her responsibilities - see box. These people
should "play a central role and be actively involved on a daily basis in the AWERB".
Project licence holders are "responsible for the overall implementation of the programme of work specified" in
their licences and for ensuring "compliance with the conditions of the licence". They are responsible for applying
all 3Rs and ensuring that "the appropriate level of supervision is provided for all personal licensees carrying out
regulated procedures under the authority of the licence".
Personal licence holders are entrusted with "primary responsibility for the welfare of the animals" on which they
have performed regulated procedures. They must act "in a manner consistent with the principles of the 3Rs" and
make sure that "any animal that is in severe pain or severe distress which cannot be alleviated is painlessly killed
using an appropriate method". Personal licensees must have had "appropriate education and training" and there
is additional emphasis on the need for them to be competent in the techniques they carry out, and for them to be
supervised until they demonstrate such competency.
Most establishments also appoint a Home Office Liaison Contact (HOLC) who provides a link with the Home
Office, advises on personal and project licence applications and may organise the AWERB.
Named people with responsibilities under ASPA
The Named Compliance Officer (NCO) is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of ASPA and
conditions of the establishment licence are complied with - usually the establishment licence holder will be
The Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO) is responsible for overseeing the welfare and
care of the animals.
The Named Information Officer (NIO) is responsible for ensuring that those dealing with animals have
access to any information they need about the species they are using.
The Named Training and Competence Officer (NTCO) is responsible for ensuring that those dealing with
animals are adequately educated, trained and supervised until they are competent, and that undertake
appropriate further training to maintain their expertise.
The Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) with expertise in laboratory animal medicine is responsible for
advising on the health, welfare and treatment of the animals.
There may be more than one of each NACWO, NIO, NTCO and NVS at an establishment; in some cases the
individual roles are shared.
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