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Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Body (AWERB)

Terms of Reference

The AWERB Committee ‘Committee’ will have the following powers and functions:

  1. To monitor the University of Warwick’s fulfilment of its obligations under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act and the associated ethical review process and to advise the Named Compliance Officer accordingly.
  2. To review all applications for research involving ‘Protected animals’ as defined under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. This includes research that requires Home Office licences and un-licenced research.
  3. To advise the Research Governance and Ethics Committee on policy regarding the use of animals for research at the University.
  4. To promote the 3Rs (reduction, refinement and replacement) and disseminate appropriate information through (e.g.) circulation of information and staff training.
  5. To be quorate the NVS, a NACWO, a PPL holder and a PIL holder should be present. In the event that any quorate members are unable to attend, a written comment on agenda items from such members will be appended to the minutes of the meeting. Members participating in a non-quorate meeting will evaluate each agenda item to deem if it requires approval from the non-attending quorate member(s). Agenda items requiring approval from quorate members will either be deferred to a quorate meeting or the recommendation will be reviewed by the non-attending member(s).
  6. The Committee will fulfil its reporting requirements by sending reports of each meeting to the Research Governance and Ethics Committee, and copies of minutes to the Home Office.
  7. The Committee will meet not less than three times a year.
  8. The Committee will ensure that records of any advice given by the Committee and decisions taken regarding that advice are kept for at least three years.


The Committee will delegate the following powers and functions to the AWERB Sub-Committee*:

  1. To approve minor** Project Licence (PPL) amendments.
  2. To approve the use of new lines of Genetically Altered (GA) mice and zebrafish under the BSU GA service licences.
  3. To approve the production of new antibodies under the BSU antibody service licence.


The Committee will delegate the following powers and functions to the BSU Manager:

To approve unlicenced applications where all work is conducted in the UK under the auspices of a Home Office Project Licence or Establishment Licence (Schedule 1 procedures only).


If any of the delegated powers and functions are unclear then the application will go to full committee approval.


* To be quorate the AWERB Sub-committee must include: NVS, NACWO, BSU Manager, a Project Licence holder and a Personal Licence holder.

** An amendment is classified as minor if it satisfies the following:

      • The licence is for research purposes and not primarily used for education, teaching or surgical dexterity.
      • The alterations will not lead to increased severity of the amended protocol or overall licence severity.
      • The amendment(s) only introduce changes to improve animal welfare.
      • The license does not involve:
        • A new species.
        • Recovery from anaesthesia after surgery.
        • Application for secondary availability at this establishment.
        • Re-use of an animal.
        • Protocols which are substantially different from those already authorised.
        • An altered plan of work that increases the number of animals used by more than 10%.
        • A substantive change in the plan of work or purpose of the experiment.

Please also refer to the Research Using Animals webpage that contains further information regarding University policies and the AWERB application process for both Home Office ASPA and Unlicenced applications.