COVID-19 inspection arrangements and regulatory oversight

In March 2020 we took the decision to pause all scheduled site visit inspections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the months that followed we grasped the opportunity to develop and implement Virtual Regulatory Assessments (VRAs) – remote assessments, supported by digital technology.

VRAs have proven a useful addition to the HTA’s regulatory toolbox.  Since the easing of pandemic restrictions in summer 2021, we have successfully managed a risk-based, blended inspection regime that has enabled us to do more site visits across all our sectors. This future-proofed approach has allowed us to choose the right blend of remote and targeted on-site methodologies to satisfy any statutory obligations placed on us, and safely address the risk profile presented by each establishment.   

We continue to keep the situation under review and strive to make sure we remain effective, proportionate, and in compliance with both the requirements and spirit of pandemic restrictions.