Domestic Assurance

Annual Report


The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) requires that institutions have an OLAW-approved Animal Welfare Assurance before carrying out any activities involving live vertebrate animals. U.S. institutions that receive PHS funds through a grant or contract award are to use the Animal Welfare Assurance for Domestic Institutions (Domestic Assurance).

Domestic Assurances are negotiated with institutions that:

  • control their own animal facilities
  • conduct animal research on-site
  • have an animal care and use program with:
    • an Institutional Official (IO)
    • an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
    • a veterinarian with program authority

The Domestic Assurance should not be used by:

  • Foreign institutions
  • Institutions that currently do not have their own animal care and use programs
  • Institutions that are proposing animal activity to be conducted solely at a collaborating institution

If one of these bullets describes your institution or if you don't know whether your institution is required to submit an Assurance, contact us at for guidance.

Application process

The application process begins when the PHS funding component makes a determination to award a grant or contract. The funding component will notify OLAW that an Assurance is required for the pending award. OLAW will contact the awardee institution to negotiate the applicable Assurance(s).

Institutions should not submit an Assurance unless requested to do so by OLAW. OLAW will not process unsolicited applications.

If you have been notified that the grant or contract will be awarded AND have not been contacted by OLAW, you may submit an inquiry by e-mail to Include the grant or contract number and contact information from the funding component in the e-mail.

Domestic Assurances cannot be renewed if the institution is no longer receiving PHS funds.

How to use the sample document

We have provided this sample document to help you develop an acceptable Domestic Assurance. Specific instructions, information, and recommended references are provided in italicized text and should be deleted from the final document. Please strive for clear concise text. It will be easier for you to complete and for us to review the Assurance if you follow the format of this sample.

One or two page attachments can be used to provide the following:

  • Organizational structure of the animal care and use program
  • IACUC membership roster
  • Facility and species inventory
  • Most recent semiannual report of program and facilities. This is needed only for Category 2 programs, those not accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC).

All other program elements are to be described in the body of the Assurance. Do not send any other attachments. We do not accept additional documents, appendices, binders, or manuals.

Tip: If you are not familiar with the PHS Policy or are preparing an Assurance for the first time, we encourage you to visit the PHS Policy Tutorial.

How to submit

Fax your completed Assurance to 301-451-5672 or e-mail to

View the Domestic Assurance

  1. Applicability of the Assurance
  2. Institutional Commitment
  3. Institutional Program for Animal Care and Use
  4. Institutional Program Evaluation and Accreditation
  5. Recordkeeping Requirements
  6. Reporting Requirements
  7. Institutional Endorsement and PHS Approval
  8. Membership of the IACUC
  9. Other Key Contacts
  10. Facility and Species Inventory

Download the sample Domestic Assurance

If you wish to use the sample Domestic Assurance as a template, click one of the formats below to download.

PDF (135 KB)
MS Word (214 KB)


Contact the Division of Assurances by phone at 301-496-7163 or e-mail

This page last updated on: May 9, 2018
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