Guidance on Good Practice in Conducting Scientific Assessments in Animal Health using Modelling
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the Panel on Animal Health and Welfare to develop a guidance document on Good Practice in Conducting Scientific Assessments in animal health using modelling. In previous opinions, the AHAW Panel has responded to two thirds of animal health related mandates using some kind of modelling. Every third opinion on animal health was supported by a quantitative model. These models range from simple to complex, employing a combination of scientific, economic, socio-economic, or other types of data. Hence, there is strong interest in the development of a guidance document to integrate modelling efforts into the routine process of EFSA working groups. In this document, an ‘operating procedure’ (OP) for the use of modelling within an AH working group is presented. The OP provides a detailed flowchart enabling modelling to be transparently and consistently integrated in the assessment. The OP is structured into several phases. These phases combine the standard operating procedures of EFSA with the modelling process. Each phase includes roles and actions to be taken, expected output and the sequence of agreements that need to be made between all partners in the scientific assessment. The development of a dynamic wiki-like web-based glossary for terminology used in modelling is recommended. The glossary, when maintained and continuously peer reviewed by EFSA experts, will support consistent use of terminology in a wide range of outputs. It is concluded that adherence to the OP will improve transparency and acceptability of models in EFSA outputs, and it is recommended to adopt the flowchart as a standard procedure when responding to AHAW mandates.