The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) understands that the current outbreak of COVID 19 is impacting on accredited program providers. We are closely monitoring the situation and our response will continue to be guided by publicly available information from the Australian Government Department of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During this time, we will be working with accredited program providers to ensure that programs delivered to students continue to meet the requirements of the Accreditation Standards and the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PharmBA), and the needs of the pharmacy profession.
We have also been in discussions with the Council of Pharmacy Schools through their President Professor Peter Little, AM and are working collaboratively with them on this matter.
We are committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of individuals involved in our accreditation activities. We have made the decision, with the approval of our Accreditation Committee, to postpone all face to face accreditation site visits scheduled to be held in 2020. We are expecting that these will now take place in 2021. Education providers and Site Evaluation Team (SET) members directly impacted by this decision have been communicated in regard to the change and its impact on their accreditation status, and we will continue to keep the relevant parties up to date as the situation progresses.
If you have any questions or concerns about a site visit previously scheduled for this year, please contact a member of the Accreditation Team.
APC understands that accredited program providers may need to make interim changes to aspects of the delivery of their accredited program(s) as a result of COVID 19. The new 2020 Accreditation standards do not require us to be advised of changes currently underway in response to the COVID 19 virus and we are aware that each provider has robust internal processes for making and monitoring necessary program changes. No doubt there are increased workload pressures on staff and we do not want to add any more pressure or burden on program staff during these frequently changing circumstances.
We will next seek an update from accredited program providers as part of the usual APC Annual Reporting process in October/November 2020. We do not require regular, ‘real time’ updates from providers at this time. We suggest that providers retain notes of any changes in program delivery made during this period that may impact on the ability of the program(s) to meet the Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Programs in Australia and New Zealand 2020.
The information can then be added to the Annual Reporting template which will include a section for providers to submit a short summary of the changes they have made to their program and any impact it has had on final year student outcomes and overall pharmacy program delivery. This template will be emailed to providers by 1 October 2020. The due date for the submission of Annual Reports is expected to be the start of November 2020.
Please note that the above statement relates only to interim changes made to program(s) as a result of the impact of COVID 19. Any other planned permanent changes will still need to be managed in accordance with the regular APC Notification of Change process with approval sought and granted in advance of the changes being made.
Any queries or concerns can be made to a member of the Accreditation Team by contacting us on: