Client services charter

Version 5.0, December 2016

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Client Services Charter (PDF, 262KB)

 

Background and purpose

This Client Service Charter has been written to communicate to our clients what they can expect of our services and set clear goals for our staff.

This Client Service Charter is also incorporated into the facility’s Quality Manual that outlines the responsibilities of staff who deliver our key requirements. Supporting these policies and standards will be Standard Operating Procedures that define how individual procedures and activities should be undertaken.

As a package these documents will be available to all staff at the APF and clients to ensure they are aware of the full parcel of services and goals of the facility. If you would like to review the facility’s quality documents please contact us.

Regular review of these documents will occur to ensure they are in line with the APF’s objectives and clients requirements.

We seek and welcome your feedback on our service delivery.

Mission

The Australian Phenomics Facility supports open access large-scale phenotyping of humans and mice to uncover the biological drivers in human disease.

Quality policy statement

To provide a quality, best practice, science capability to support Australian biomedical research.

To go the extra distance in delivering efficient services to our researchers, clients, and industry collaborators.

To contribute to managing and sharing information and at the same time protecting privacy and client confidentiality.

Support excellence through training, continual improvement and a dynamic work environment.

Who we are

The Australian Phenomics Facility specialises in creating, characterising and archiving of mouse models of human disease. We have an experienced genomics and bioinformatics capability focused on the identification of single nucleotide variants and phenotyping capability to make biological associations with probable human disease traits.

The facility was established in 2004 and receives funding from the Australian Government’s NCRIS Super Science and CRIS programmes through the Australian Phenomics Network and contributions from the Australian National University.

We have an open access policy and support academic and corporate research programmes in Australia and internationally.

The facility is equipped with up to date technology ensuring the highest quality in all aspects of our work.

Our aim is to service research in a time efficient manner with quality performance targets through

  • Timed services
  • Highly skilled technical staff
  • Training and Development
  • Consultation and planning

All services will be compliant with relevant legislation including those governed by the Office of the Gene Technology Registrar (OGTR), Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (AEEC), Department of Agriculture and other relevant legislative authorities.

Communication

We understand that when using our services you may have a range of different enquiries and as such this can involve coordination of multiple service areas.

To facilitate requests in an efficient and timely manner we provide key contacts for all service areas.

Area

Contact email address

Level 3 ENU/Production

Animal.ops@anu.edu.au

Level 2 Experimental

Animal.ops@anu.edu.au

Containment and Behavioural Suites

Animal.ops@anu.edu.au

Genomics

Genotyping.support@anu.edu.au

Imports/Exports

Animal.shipments@anu.edu.au

Phenome Bank (cryopreservation and IVF included)

Phenbank@anu.edu.au

Scientific Programs

Apf.scientific.programs@anu.edu.au

General Enquiries

Administration.heb@anu.edu.au

IT Services (Databases and Musterer)

it.apf@anu.edu.au

Although communication by telephone is sometimes necessary, it is our general policy to communicate with our clients in writing, via email whenever possible. This lowers the interruption factor and allows increased staff efficiency. It also provides you with an electronic record of the enquiry and response. Where relevant, any phone conversations will be followed up by email confirmation.

Technical staff check their emails at least twice daily. However, if you have an urgent enquiry please contact the area coordinator who will be able to direct your query appropriately.

For the majority of enquiries you can expect a response within 48 hours.

Managers also attend regular committee meetings including the JCSMR Animal Users Committee, ANU Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee, JCSMR Operations Meeting. We also hold specific area meetings to deal with day to day operational aspects of the facility. We welcome you to provide agenda items to the facility run meetings for discussion at the appropriate forum.

At the APF we welcome constructive criticism and feedback about services delivered as well as appreciation and suggestions on how we might improve them. If you have any feedback or complaints about any of our services please contact us administration.heb@anu.edu.au

Service commitments

Animal services

The APF recognises that time delays in providing services can have significant impact on research and cost implications and will therefore strive to meet the following targets for particular services. Where these goals are unable to be met, the APF will aim to notify researchers in advance and give an expected revised time frame.

Service

Delivery Timeframe

Breeder Set Up *

Within 10 days of request

Culling (not managed) *

Within 1 week of request

Sample Collection (organs etc)

Within 1 week of request

DNA collection (continual maintenance)

By 28 days of age

DNA collection (special request)

Within 1 week of task request submission

Phenotyping (special request)

Within 1 week of task request submission

Supply of clean cages and associated goods

Within 3 days of request

Processing of accounts (email out)

Within 10 days of end of (ANU financial) period

Importation and rederivation of strain *

10 months from date of import

*Contact us for more information on detailed timeframes

Genomic services

A comprehensive service relating to genotyping, mapping/linkage analysis, as well as whole exome next generation sequencing capabilities and a corresponding bioinformatics service for the analysis of genomic data is offered.

Service Request

Delivery Timeframe (from receipt of sample)

Genotyping (existing assay)

1-2 weeks

Amplifluor genome scan

2-4 weeks

New assay (design, order, optimisation)

2-4 weeks

DNA preparation (plate- crude)

2-3 days

DNA preparation (tube – purified)

1 week

Sanger resequencing

4-6 weeks

Whole exome next generation sequencing

6-12 weeks

Whole genome sequencing

6-12 weeks

Amplifluor SNV validation

2 weeks

Sanger SNP validation

3 weeks

Scientific programs

We comprise a diverse but complementary skill-base combining project management as well as laboratory-based expertise. We coordinate all research collaborations with the external research community, managing the production of gene variant mice, coordinating phenotyping services and providing data management and analysis capabilities.

Service

Delivery Timeframe

Phenotyping data*

7 days from collection of data

Period reports to clients

Within one week of charging

*Contact us for more information

Screening assays currently offered include:

  • haematology analysis
  • enzyme-linked immunosorbant assays (ELISA)
  • red blood cell flow cytometry
  • white blood cell flow cytometry
  • biochemistry analysis
  • BMI and densitometr
  • Multi-plex biomarker detection (Mesoscale)

Training

We have extensive expertise in the area of mouse breeding and research, mouse handling and various specialized techniques.

The APF provides training in a number of skills including basic mouse handling, use of the Musterer database, advanced mouse and rat techniques and anaesthesia.

For comprehensive training services please contact us at training.apf@anu.edu.au

Service definitions

The facility works under a number of terms that clients should be made familiar with. Below is a list of common definitions used by technicians and managers:

Managed Culling – the process by which whole cages or individual animals are nominated for culling (Swift Cull) in managed strains. Mice once nominated move to the swift cull list for culling within one week. Mice can be saved from culling if selected before 5pm Friday.

APF Managed Strain – the researcher requests that the APF takes responsibility for breeding and maintaining the strain based on projections and the stated requirements of the research group. Researchers must provide a maximum cage number they are willing to hold the strain at and decisions can be made in consultation with the research group.

Continual Maintenance – for the purpose of maintaining the genotyping requirements applied to the strain at each generation. i.e a strain on continual maintenance will have all stock punched for genotyping purposes.

Projections – strain and number of animals likely to be needed by a research group, this is requested quarterly to ensure future orders can be fulfilled.  Projections allow the APF to manage the number of breeders required etc but do not mean animals are set aside for orders.

Standing Orders – A regular ongoing order for animals on a regular basis both in house and externally. A standing order will mean that as soon as animals are available (often as early as weaning age) they will be assigned to orders, ensuring best availability.

Multiple User Strain – APF owned strain used by multiple research groups  i.e. C57BL/6. The APF covers the holding cost of these animals but the animals are charged for as an individual animal purchase price.

Single User Strain – Strain is managed and charges maintained by an individual or group. Permission and approval required for use by all others.

Short Notice Request – Requests made outside APF specified delivery time frames

Record keeping

The APF uses an in house database known as Musterer to monitor, track and organise all animal information. This database provides significant information to researchers and APF staff in the management of strains and invoicing details. The musterer interface is completely web based and can be accessed remotely when required.

A task request system is utilized by the APF to provide an efficient interface for researchers within the ANU to request animal and genomics services. A link to this system can be found at http://databases.apf.edu.au/TaskRequest/

The APF has a policy on the retention of data produced by the facility. All scientific raw and analysed data is retained in laboratory notebooks and/or electronically by the APF for a minimum of five years from the completion of the task/project with the exception of raw data generated from next generation sequencing services.

The APF has a barcoding and storage system for tracking samples collected and processed by the facility. All crude DNA samples prepared in 96-well plates for standard genotyping are stored for three months following processing. All other DNA samples are stored at -80°C until completion of the project.

Quality

We have a commitment to quality through continuous improvement. As such, we have committed ourselves to the following:

  • Regular audit of our internal processes
  • Training and development for our employees
  • Review of staff technique to prevent "drift" from the procedure and to maintain quality
  • Measurable quality objectives which reflect our service aims
  • Management reviews of audit results, customer feedback and complaints
  • Efficient and courteous service

The facility currently has NATA accreditation for ISO 17025 to support our quality service standards, for more information on this please contact us.

Subcontracting

Work may occasionally be subcontracted to other parties including;

  • Projects that require technical expertise or processes not available at the APF
  • Large projects that extend beyond the APF’s capacity
  • During periods of peak workload
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances

In the event that the APF subcontracts any work the client will be notified prior to commencement of the subcontracted work. The APF takes due steps to ensure that subcontractors are competent and of a high quality by reviewing the company’s certificates of accreditation and/or registration, check of sample results or audits where appropriate.

Typical work that may be subcontracted includes;

  • Sequencing
  • Oligonucleotide preparation
  • Courier services
  • Health screening of animals

If a client selects a particular subcontractor, the APF will not bear responsibility for the results.

Privacy

At the APF we are committed to protecting your privacy.

We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorised access, maintain data security and ensure the correct use of service information. 

Updated:  21 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director/Page Contact:  Site manager