We recently ran our first 'virtual' site visit over Zoom after having to postpone the visit due to COVID-19. We're pleased to announce it was a success.

Our site visits usually involve a series of face to face interviews. We begin with a general program focus and then lead into detailed investigation.

The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand's (PSNZ) EVOLVE Intern Training Program (ITP) was due for assessment in May 2020. So, when COVID-19 restrictions hit, our accreditation team wasted no time finding a solution.

We held the virtual site visit in July 2020. We had PSNZ ITP staff in Wellington and the APC auditors - Executive Director Professional Services and Senior Accreditation Pharmacist, in Canberra and Adelaide.

The skilled organisation of our accreditation team meant that the APC auditors were able to run multiple interviews over Zoom with all participants including the: 

  • program manager
  • program staff
  • interns, AND
  • preceptors

Technology was fortunately on our side. The APC auditors were also able to:

  • hold private discussions on their assessment of the program, despite being located in different states, AND
  • present their initial review findings to the program manager

"Completing our first virtual site visit has given us the confidence to be more adaptable in the way we undertake site visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's assuring to know we can transition a site visit to Zoom if required," said Glenys Wilkinson, APC Executive Director Professional Services.

The PSNZ ITP staff and APC auditors worked together during the last face to face site visit in 2017. This relationship eased any pressures and anxieties during the visit. We are eager to see how we go under circumstances where we have not yet established a close working relationship with the Site Evaluation Team (SET) members and program staff. 

We appreciate the ongoing support from our SET members who are involved in our accreditation work and we look forward to working with them in 2021.

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