Download the Site Visit Observer Policy (5 pages, PDF)

As part of the APC accreditation process, we visit sites to assess the delivery of their program and talk to staff, students and other key stakeholders.

We may allow people to attend a site visit to observe the work of an Accreditation Assessment Team.

This policy sets out what observers need to know if we allow them to attend.

We've set this policy to:

  • maintain the integrity of the visit
  • ensure the observer does not affect the team's findings.

1. Purpose

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) may from time to time invite or allow an observer to attend a site visit to observe the work of an Accreditation Assessment Team (AAT).

This may occur to enhance the observer’s understanding and appreciation of our accreditation policies and processes.

We may also invite the observer to comment on the operation of the site visit in the interest of continuous improvement of its processes.

This policy sets out our requirements regarding observers.

2. Scope

Approval to attend a site visit as an observer must be sought and received from the APC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) prior to the site visit taking place. The CEO or delegate will seek permission from the hosting education provider and AAT Chair when making a decision about participation as an observer.

An individual seeking approval to attend as an observer will be expected to declare any interests relevant to the program being assessed. Participation will not be approved if the individual has an actual or perceived conflict of interest with the education provider or program being visited where such a conflict could inhibit the accreditation review function, and/or the interaction of the AAT with the education provider.

We will make the final decision on whether an individual has a conflict which would inhibit the work of the AAT.

All observers must sign the APC Observer Agreement and Confidentiality Agreement prior to attending a site visit.

3. Conduct of observers

All communications with the education provider in relation to the site visit and accreditation process must be made through APC. Observers and assessors are not permitted to communicate directly with the education provider.

Observers will meet their own costs related to attendance to the site visit except in cases where we have agreed beforehand to pay their costs.

We encourage observers to become familiar with the applicable accreditation standards and processes so as to understand the process they will be witnessing.

Observers may attend all meetings and discussions with education providers and with the AAT, unless directed otherwise by the AAT Chair, the APC representative supporting the AAT or the education provider.

Observers do not have authority to act as assessors. Observers may only observe and must not participate in assessment activities. Activities that observers must not engage in include but are not limited to:

  • asking questions of, or to make comments to, education provider representatives unless invited to and with the approval of the AAT Chair
  • influencing a review through the sharing of privileged information, personal experience, or immediate impressions
  • recording, note-taking or attempting in any other manner to capture the content of the accreditation information
  • providing interpretations of the accreditation standards to the AAT or the education provider
  • participating in processes such as report writing and finalisation of AAT recommendations.

An observer must not carry out any personal business or any business on behalf of their organisation while participating in the AAT.

4. Confidentiality

  • All aspects of the visit must be regarded as strictly confidential.
  • Observers must not divulge information about the content of the education provider’s accreditation submission, any accreditation issues or recommendations to anyone other than the AAT.
  • Observers must sign the APC Confidentiality Agreement prior to the visit.
  • Any material that APC provides to an observer regarding a program must remain strictly confidential. Upon completion of the visit, these materials are to be returned to the APC representative and/or deleted from your device(s).

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