During the summer CAAS begin researching options for safe, secure virtual review technology and developed a set of guidelines for both reviewers and agency personnel to help guide them through the virtual review process. These guidelines and resources are being updated almost weekly as we proceed, as we learn something new from every virtual review.
CAAS officially begin conducting virtual site reviews in September of 2020, and the first dozen reviews were conducted using a variety of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meets technology. These first reviews have been very successful and have proven to be as effective as our traditional, in-person reviews. In fact, we have discovered some unexpected benefits as we can now inspect and visit multiple locations without the time-consuming issues of distance and traffic. We are just as anxious to resume travel and in-person site visits as you are and will do so as soon as it is safe for everyone to travel again. However, we do anticipate that this virtual component will have a place in the onsite review process moving forward.
At this time, we are now scheduling agencies for virtual site reviews in the order they completed the off-site review requirements. All agencies awaiting site review dates will be contacted by CAAS in advance to secure new review dates and schedule pre-review planning sessions. These new pre-review sessions are designed to help prepare the agency for the virtual review process. If your agency is awaiting its on-site review, begin to prepare now. Go back and revisit your application and documentation materials and be prepared to have your updated materials reviewed during the virtual visit. We can schedule these reviews more quickly than our traditional reviews because we do not have to pre-book travel and hotel rooms. Be proactive and prepare now.
As a reminder, agencies that were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic will not lose their accreditation status if their accreditation is set to expire before the re-accreditation process is completed. NOTE- submission dates for your reaccreditation materials have not been postponed. All reaccrediting agencies must submit the application and documentation materials on or before the assigned submission date. Reaccrediting agencies are still at risk of expiring if the agency fails to submit the application and documentation materials on time.