COVID-19 - Update to interns


The re-emergence of COVID-19 creates uncertainty for all health professions who are working incredibly hard to ensure essential health services continue to be provided. This is a difficult and challenging time for all doctors, including for you as interns.

We want to thank you for the important contribution you are making at DHBs and in the community, and the care you are providing to the public of Aotearoa.

We hope the information below will help provide some clarity about the work you may do as part of the COVID-19 response.

Working in non-accredited clinical settings
We are aware that the configuration of some clinical teams might change at your DHB. This could mean you are asked to work outside your accredited clinical attachments. You may need to be placed where service demands are most acute or to backfill for other staff called to respond to COVID-19, or who need to isolate. You may also be asked to support your DHB’s response to COVID-19 by carrying out vaccinations or swabbing in community settings. Each DHB is likely to configure their services differently, so there could be a wide array of other placements.

We have extended the scope of practice for all interns, to allow you to work in these “COVID-19 related health services outside of accredited clinical attachments” until 30 November 2021. This includes placements in services that require cover, that are not directly related to the pandemic.

The extension of the scope of practice means that you may, with authorisation from the Clinical Director of Training or CMO of your DHB, work outside accredited clinical attachments in response to COVID-19.

Your prevocational educational supervisor will ensure that any non-accredited clinical placement that you are assigned to is in an appropriate environment, and that an appropriate level of clinical supervision is in place. The clinical supervisor on the placement will ensure a safe environment and that you are asked to do tasks that are in line with your stage of training and skill level, noting that supervisors may not be present for all the clinical work.

Any work you do outside of an accredited attachment for the purposes of the COVID-19 response will still count towards your learning requirements.

Supervision meeting requirements
The usual beginning, middle and end-of clinical attachment meetings do not need to occur in person, but we do expect you to continue to meet with your clinical supervisor and record these in e-port. Your meetings may take place by Zoom or other virtual means. Similarly, your formal teaching programmes may take place remotely, or be replaced by access to electronic teaching sessions.

Supporting you
We encourage you to keep in touch with your prevocational educational supervisors so they can provide you with any support and guidance you might need. This is an opportunity to discuss any concerns that may have arisen in the attachment. If you have any questions, please contact us on

Thank you again for all you are doing and for the care you are providing to our communities.