What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is tested through assessment.
ZAA Accreditation is a process to validate achievements in supporting and promoting positive animal welfare, including standards of practice. This is undertaken through self-evaluation against rigorous criteria, and then independent review. ZAA Accreditation utilises an animal welfare assessment model that requires a zoological park or an aquarium to demonstrate achievement of positive experiences that the enhancement of animal welfare.
Are international organisations eligible for ZAA accreditation?
Yes – to be eligible, organisations need to be a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (WAZA), and also a regional Association member, (e.g. SEAZA) and it is undertaken on a full cost-recovery basis.
How can I tell if a zoo or aquarium is accredited by ZAA?
Look for the logo!
The ZAA logo identifies those facilities that have achieved accreditation standards. You can look for the logo on websites, advertisements and at the gates of any institution you visit. A list of our accredited organisations can also be found here.
How often must an organisation be Accredited?
As zoos and aquariums continue evolving, so does contemporary knowledge about animal welfare understanding. ZAA member organisations need to undertake Accreditation every three years.
Can Accreditation be withdrawn?
Accreditation may be withdrawn by ZAA when an organisation is found to have breached the accreditation requirements, such as misleading species welfare declarations and insufficient demonstration of commitment to support and enhance welfare for the species that aligns with the Animal Welfare Position Statement.
What costs are involved in Accreditation?
A set fee is applied for undertaking each Accreditation review. This is on a cost-recovery basis only.
Who can I contact about concerns related to non-accredited organisations?
Since national and state laws do not require that all organisations holding wildlife be accredited by ZAA, the Association has no jurisdiction over non-ZAA institutions. However, all operations that exhibit animals to the public must be licensed by respective State authorities and must provide minimum standards of care under their Animal Welfare regulations. If you have a complaint about a non-accredited institution you should contact local and state agencies, or organisations such as the RSPCA. State licencing requirements are generally regulated by agriculture or primary industry departments.
What is the role of an Accreditation Officer?
Accreditation Officers are independent assessors employed by ZAA whose role is to validate the zoo or aquarium’s commitment and competency in supporting and promoting positive animal welfare.
What is the role of the ZAA Accreditation and Animal Welfare Committee?
The Committee’s role is to ensure due process is applied and is consistent in each area, including application of the assessment model, the review process and recommendations for future actions. The Committee is composed of peer representatives from ZAA members.
Who determines the final Accreditation approval?
The ZAA Board confers the final approval or refusal as to whether accreditation status is achieved.
What actions can be taken by the ZAA Board following an Accreditation Officer’s assessment report?
Accreditation may be supported; accreditation may be denied; or accreditation may be conditional, requiring mutually agreed actions to be implemented with specific timeframes, before Accreditation is conferred.
How long does the Accreditation application process take?
The process takes around 4 months, including training, self-assessment, on-site review, report preparation and administrative review.