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Lisa Tran

Health Sciences › Population and Public Health


Since the COVID-19 pandemic has hit, many jobs have turned to delivering work remotely. From September 2021 through May 2022, I have been placed in a co-op position as a Student Compliance and Enforcement Officer at Health Canada. With this, I was given a laptop and monitor from my workplace to accommodate the work-from-home environment. Here is my experience working from home with Health Canada.

My role has been to help inspectors performing under the Cannabis Directorate within the Regulatory Operations and Enforcement Branch. With this opportunity, I have been able to virtually observe inspections and compliance promotion sessions delivered to license holders. With virtual inspections, we would use the WebEx software to communicate between the license holders. To prepare, I would communicate with inspectors through Microsoft Teams and help with drafting up an inspection plan and filing documents. These sessions help with any questions I would have and provides a brief overview of what the inspection process would look like. Throughout the past 8 months, I have learned many different processes that inspectors go through to come to the final delivery of the inspection report to the license holders. I have found that while working remotely, it is important to pay attention to detail and communicate. These skills were evidently reinforced during my time working here.

In addition, I have been helping the Testing Secretariat within Health Canada with projects and the backlog of COVID-19 rapid test kits for larger companies. This is a unique experience and has been an entirely new learning process. With this branch, there are daily operation meetings and different tasks for students to complete every day. The communication between co-workers is also done through Teams which is efficient and reliable. If I had a question about a task, a team member will help me as soon as possible so I am able to complete it before the end of the day. These tasks can range from sorting the generic inbox to ordering rapid test kits. Both are equally as important, and this work has also made me understand the importance of asking questions. It is clear to see the impact my team has for reducing COVID outbreaks within workplaces which motivates us even more on reducing the backlog of orders and organizing the data that we receive from clients.

My daily tasks are continuously changing which makes work interesting. Some days I will be responsible for creating folders for upcoming inspections and other days I will be in specific projects like the Edibles Compliance Monitoring Project or the ESCR Data Remediation Project. My work terms were mostly remote with the occasional visit to the office. With the pandemic slowly easing up, there have been many more chances of performing tasks in person and meeting my co-workers. I have recently had the chance to attend an inspection at a federally licensed cannabis production site which allowed for a unique learning experience. It utilized some skills that were not needed for virtual inspection including sense of touch and smell.