News Items

Top 12 Tips from 2018

Posted Date: 21 Dec 2018

Season's Greetings!

In the past 12 months, we have dealt with a little over 7000 user queries on the helpdesk. Similar to last year, we have compiled a Top 12 tips – one for every month – and we hope you find this useful.

  1. ONE annual appraisal per Appraisal Period
    • SOAR is designed to handle one appraisal at a time; for ease of use, please ensure you complete and sign off any outstanding appraisals before starting a new one (otherwise it could impact your PDP if appraisals were signed off in the wrong order).
  2. Appraisal Period
    • The Appraisal Period section on the interview page is used to track WHEN an appraisal interview took place in fiscal years (April to March), not WHAT materials were discussed.
    • This is crucial for our reporting purposes as the Appraisal Period is used to track whether or not a doctor has taken part in annual appraisal processes. (We would expect appraiser and appraisee to discuss materials / supporting info in the past 12 months anyway.)
  3. Changing Appraisal Meeting Dates
    • If you need to change meeting dates, please DO NOT create a new interview – the unnecessary duplication causes Appraisees confusion with their submission!
    • To change meeting dates, navigate to the appraisal in question and click on the date field. A pop-up calendar will appear, select the date and click Save – that’s it!
  4. Check Form 4 before signing off!
    • In the past year we’ve dealt with an increasing number of requests to unlock Form 4s to either make changes to Form 4 or to add further documents.
    • To reiterate a past tip: unlocking the Form 4 to resubmit PDPs will NOT work.
    • When a Form 4 is signed off, all submitted forms/documents are archived, and resubmit has been disabled.
    • Whilst there are (very complicated) workarounds – avoid confusion by ensuring you are happy with everything on Form 4 BEFORE you sign it off (especially the PDP).
  5. Appraisal Form 4 summaries
    • It is the Appraiser's responsibility to summarise and draft the Form 4
    • Form 4 is used as proof of appraisal – particularly crucial if you are moving between home nations
    • As per above – double check before signing off Form 4 (Santa would check his list twice…)
  6. The 0/1 scoring of Core Elements in Form 4 Domains:
    • "1" means acceptable supporting information was submitted, or appropriate discussion was had over absence / lack of supporting information; if "0" was scored by the Appraiser, it is flagged for the RO's attention and will impact on the Appraisee's revalidation.
    • In a typical appraisal, we would expect the Appraisee to have presented / discussed supporting information in all four Domains against each of the Core Elements - apart from MSF and PSQ (Patient Survey Questionnaire) where these are only required once in a 5-year Revalidation cycle (and within 3 years of the Revalidation Due Date).
  7. Appraisee resubmissions
    • So long as the Form 4 has not been forwarded or signed off, the Appraisee will be able to resubmit their forms as required.
    • The timeline function on their SOAR dashboard will detect any changes they have made and provide a link to the resubmit function – all they need to do is follow the link and onscreen instructions.
  8. Incorrect ROT information on SOAR?
    • If you or your Appraisees’s ROT status is incorrect (e.g. you are no longer a Trainer) please contact the local DME’s office in the first instance and ask them to update the information on TurasTPM (all ROT information on SOAR comes from Turas)
    • If you are NOT a Trainer, please leave/wipe the ROT form blank (otherwise it will add ROT sections on your Form 4)
  9. Organise your MSF in advance
    • In the past 6 months we have received an increased number of requests to manually close MSF Reports early due to late awareness of the need for MSF
    • The WASP MSF process takes 3 weeks to complete, but there is nothing to stop you from starting it well in advance of your appraisal meeting date. Early completion of the MSF Will give you time to complete your reflection.
  10. Repeating MSF? Contact us
    • WASP was set up originally to cater for one MSF per SOAR user, so anyone who wishes to repeat their MSF will need to have the previous report deleted from WASP first. To support this, WASP has developed a protocol to clear down any downloaded MSF Reports on an annual basis to enable users to start afresh.
    • If however, you wish to repeat your MSF but an old report exists on already on WASP, please contact us at the helpdesk ( and confirm that you have a copy of the old report – we can delete it for you from there.
  11. QIA examples library and other resources
    • On the Medical Appraisal Scotland website, there are a number of different resources available to help support you in the appraisal process. One such resource is our collection of QIA (Quality Improvement Activities) examples. These are real examples submitted by your colleagues (anonymised for data protection).
    • If you would like to contribute to the QIA library - please complete the QIA submission form along with your QIA examples and reflection.
  12. Appraisal is NOT a tickbox exercise
    • It is a professional process with a peer - don't leave it until the last minute!
    • This will cause YOU problems and is at best discourteous to your colleagues.

As ever, if you have any queries or feedback on SOAR, please send them to the helpdesk -

Holiday Helpdesk Support

Please be aware that from 21 December 2018 onwards, there will only be intermittent SOAR helpdesk support available throughout the festive period. Normal service will resume on 7 January 2019.

And finally, from the NES Medical Appraisal Scotland team, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

All the best for 2019!

This page was last updated on: 10/01/2019