OIE Terms of Reference

An OIE Reference Centre is designated either as:

  • OIE Reference Laboratory” the principal mandate of which is to function as a world reference centre of expertise on designated pathogens or diseases;
  • OIE Collaborating Centre” the principal mandate of which is to function as a world centre of research, expertise, standardisation of techniques and dissemination of knowledge on a specialty ;


Two or several Reference Centres may be designated as an OIE Network of Reference Centres, following the Guidance for the Management of OIE Reference Centre Networks.

The network of Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories constitutes the core of OIE scientific expertise and excellence. The ongoing contribution of these institutes to the work of the OIE ensures that the standards, guidelines and recommendations developed by the Specialist Commissions and published by the OIE are scientifically sound and up-to-date.

In 2019, the OIE has a global network of 254 Reference Laboratories covering 106 diseases or topics in 37 countries, and 58 Collaborating Centres covering 50 topics in 28 countries.

The OIE has a procedure for the validation and certification of diagnostic assays, based on regular evaluations by experts. The diagnostic tests validated as fit-for-purpose are included in the Register of the OIE.

For use by veterinary services and technical experts, the OIE collates, develops and distributes specific technical information and recommendations on a variety of topics related to animal health.

https://www.oie.int/scientific-expertise/collaborating-centres/terms-of-reference/

The Collaborating Centres

The OIE maintains a network of OIE Collaborating Centres for the purposes of providing scientific expertise and support to the OIE and its Members, and for promoting international collaboration on animal health and welfare. Collaborating Centres are designated for a specific specialty within a focus area relating to the management of general questions on animal health issues. In its designated specialty, they must provide their expertise internationally (see OIE Terms of Reference and Internal Rules for Collaborating Centres). 

Terms of Reference

  • To provide services to the OIE, in particular within the region, in the designated specialty, in support of the implementation of OIE policies and, where required, seek for collaboration with OIE Reference Laboratories;
  • To propose or develop methods and procedures that facilitate harmonisation of international standards and guidelines applicable to the designated specialty;
  • To carry out and/or coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other centres, laboratories or organisations;
  • To collect, process, analyse, publish and disseminate data and information relevant to the designated specialty;
  • To provide, within the designated specialty, scientific and technical training to personnel from OIE Member Countries;
  • To organise and participate in scientific meetings and other activities on behalf of the OIE;
  • To identify and maintain existing expertise, in particular within its region;
  • To establish and maintain a network with other OIE Collaborating Centres designated for the same specialty, and should the need arise, with Collaborating Centres in other disciplines;
  • To place expert consultants at the disposal of the OIE.

https://www.oie.int/scientific-expertise/reference-laboratories/terms-of-reference/

Reference Laboratories

OIE Reference Laboratories are designated to pursue all the scientific and technical problems relating to a named disease. The Expert, responsible to the OIE and its Member Countries with regard to the disease, should be a leading and active researcher helping the Reference Laboratory to provide scientific and technical assistance and expert advice on topics linked to diagnosis and control of the disease for which the Reference Laboratory is responsible. Reference Laboratories should also provide scientific and technical training for personnel from Member Countries, and coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories or organisations, including through the OIE Laboratory Twinning programe.

Terms of Reference

  • To use, promote and disseminate diagnostic methods validated according to OIE Standards;
  • To recommend the prescribed and alternative tests or vaccines as OIE Standards;
  • To develop reference material in accordance with OIE requirements, and implement and promote the application of OIE Standards;
  • To store and distribute to national laboratories biological reference products and any other reagents used in the diagnosis and control of the designated pathogens or diseases;
  • To develop, standardise and validate according to OIE Standards new procedures for diagnosis and control of the designated pathogens or diseases;
  • To provide diagnostic testing facilities, and, where appropriate, scientific and technical advice on disease control measures to OIE Member Countries;
  • To carry out and/or coordinate scientific and technical studies in collaboration with other laboratories, centres or organisations;
  • To collect, process, analyse, publish and disseminate epizootiological data relevant to the designated pathogens or diseases;
  • To provide scientific and technical training for personnel from OIE Member Countries;
  • To maintain a system of quality assurance, biosafety and biosecurity relevant for the pathogen and the disease concerned;
  • To organise and participate in scientific meetings on behalf of the OIE;
  • To establish and maintain a network with other OIE Reference Laboratories designated for the same pathogen or disease and organise regular inter-laboratory proficiency testing to ensure comparability of results;
  • To organise inter-laboratory proficiency testing with laboratories other than OIE Reference Laboratories for the same pathogens and diseases to ensure equivalence of results;
  • To place expert consultants at the disposal of the OIE.