At their April 2020 meeting, the Board voted to suspend the requirement for a physical site visit for applying members until further notice. Sponsoring teams may conduct a virtual site visit. Please note additional guidelines for virtual site visit here. This decision was made in consideration of the current COVID-19 restrictions in order to support the membership application process moving forward while keeping quality controls in place. In no way shall this exception set a precedent for future membership process changes.
Expectations for the virtual site visit are that the mandatory and recommended items noted in the FIRST Site Visit Guide (https://www.first.org/membership/site-visit-v3.1.pdf) are still reviewed, discussed and noted in the sponsor’s site visit report. However, those items may be reviewed/discussed in a webinar format. The Site Visit Checklist has been modified to include some considerations for virtual site visits.
Following are some best practices and lessons learned for making a virtual site visit a success:
And please remember, as a sponsor – it is your responsibility to attest that the applying team satisfies the minimum requirements for FIRST membership and that you have an understanding with the way the candidate team operates. If you do not feel completely confident that your recommendation can be established with a virtual meeting (either before or after you conduct the virtual visit with the team) – we recommend that application remain on hold and that you reschedule an in person visit once the current restrictions have lifted.