Appraiser User Guide

For Primary and Secondary Care Appraisers

SOAR user guidance for Appraisers

Please also see other resources available for Appraisers at bottom of page (or via sub menu on left)

Changes to SOAR

We are pleased to confirm that the latest SOAR updates have been deployed.  Our thanks for your continued patience and support.

Key new functions added:

User Interface Re-design

We have redesigned SOAR with the aim of improving navigation and ease of use in mind, following user feedback collated and a review of our helpdesk queries from the past few years.

New Dashboards

As part of the redesign we have created a new "Dashboard" for each user role.  It is designed to bring key user functions and information to the user as soon as they login.

For Appraisees:

A new "Timeline" feature is available on the dashboard to show within an appraisal cycle, where they are at, what they still have to do - and with quick link to take them to the page that requires actioning (Accept confidentiality, complete forms, submit, etc).

An Appraisee should only have one timeline on their dashboard.  If you login and see more than one timeline, it means you have an incomplete/open appraisal from the past that either needs manually closed off or deleted.  Please contact the helpdesk for further assistance.

For Appraisers:

A new interviews list is available on their dashboard to show list of appraisals that's been scheduled and what the status is (forms submitted, Form 4 to be reviewed, etc).  As part of this, there is also a feature that displays a list of all the appraisees who are due an appraisal within 3 or 6 months, so that you can make contact / necessary arrangements.

Similar features have been made for Admins, Appraisal Leads, ROs, and other Trainee related roles.

Documents Upload Changes

Previously we had a lot of users who were confused about uploading documents and the need to link them to Form 3.  As a result, we have removed the "My Documents" facility on SOAR.  All previously uploaded documents on SOAR are now held in the "Archived" section when you login, and they can be reused for future appraisals if so desired.

To upload documents now, it can only be done directly on Form 3 Domains.

The idea here is to help you focus on the appraisal you are working through, and to help / limit you to one appraisal at a time.

New Form 4 PDF Re-Design

From the user feedback, we have redesigned the PDF of Form 4 so that it is a better formatted document.  This allows Appraisees to download the new PDF and forward it to their relevant agencies or place(s) of employment as proof of appraisal.

Sessional GPs Claim Form

In collaboration with NSS, we have developed a Sessional GPs Claim Form on SOAR.

The claim form will automatically appear on your appraisal pages once Form 4 has been approved. (You will also be reminded of this via system automated emails.)

The submitted claim forms are downloaed and processed by NSS in regular intervals (monthly/quarterly etc), and this all takes place outside of SOAR.  We will only be able to show you when you submitted your claim forms and when the forms were downloaded by NSS.

Once forms have been downloaded by NSS, you can contact them directly for updates thereafter (contact details will appear on your submitted claim forms).


A new section has been added to the bottom of form 3 to allow Secondary Care users with trainer roles to add further information.  

ROs and Appraisal Leads requesting access to submitted Forms 1-3

ROs and Appraisal Leads are now able to request permission to view an Appraisee's forms 1-3 through SOAR.


link to this faq

How SOAR works (the appraisal process)
  1. Appraiser create interview meeting on SOAR

  2. Appraisee completes appraisal Forms 1-2 and 3 (this can be started before interview is created)

  3. Appraisee submits forms and agrees to confidentiality statement

  4. Appraisal meeting takes place

  5. Appraiser drafts Form 4

  6. Appraiser forwards Form 4 to Appraisee for review and sign off

  7. Process is completed whenever Appraisee signs off Form 4

  8. Automated email confirmation sent

    Process Overview 1

link to this faq

Creating an interview

First agree a meeting date, time, and location with the Appraisee via phone / email etc (outside of SOAR)

  1. Login (as Appraiser)

  2. Click on “Interviews”

  3. Click on “Create Interview”

  4. You will be prompted to select the Appraisee from a dropdown list

  5. Enter location details

  6. Select Period (fiscal year) of WHEN interview is scheduled (NOT what material is discussed)

  7. Enter Date and Time

  8. Add any additional comments (if applicable)

  9. Finish by clicking on Save


Please Note:

  • Creating the interview allows the Appraisee to submit forms 1-3 for sharing with you
  • In some Boards this is done by the Admin teams; if you are not sure who should be creating the interviews – ask
  • Create an interview by creating a NEW interview, NOT by adding a new date to an old appraisal.
  • Appraisees CAN proceed to complete their appraisal forms without the interview being created first BUT until the interview is created, they have NO way to share the online forms with you

link to this faq

Adding more meetings to an interview

There will be occasions where more than one meeting is required for an appraisal:

  • Additional meeting to discuss MSF/PSQ; 
  • Meeting got cancelled due to illness, etc
  1. Click on “Interviews”

  2. Search for interview; and click on corresponding notepad icon – Don’t click on the names – this takes you to the user profile instead!

  3. Click “Add new meeting date”

  4. Enter details of new meeting

  5. Note reasons/purpose of new meeting (e.g. new meeting to discuss MSF)

  6. Click “Save” to finish

  7. Repeat to add more dates as required

Please Note:

To record additional meetings, DO NOT create another interview

  • Simply add meetings to original interview
  • This allows you to log how many meetings took place

link to this faq

Appraisal period explanation

Appraisal Period is used to log WHEN an interview took place in fiscal years (1st April to 31st March) – rather than what materials were discussed

This is to satisfy Revalidation requirements and allows us to track whether an appraisee has
been maintaining their annual appraisals

We expect appraisal discussions to be centred around material within last 12 months/since
last appraisal

For example:

  • If an interview took place on 12th March 2015, it would fall under the Appraisal Period of 2014/2015
  • If an interview took place on 8th April 2015, it would fall under the Appraisal Period of 2015/2016

link to this faq

Appraisee wants changes made to form 4

Making changes to Form 4

  • Only Appraisers can create and edit Form 4 (for Quality Assurance purposes)
  • When forwarded to Appraisee, Form 4 is locked from further editing
  • To make changes, Appraisee needs to make a “Change Request”
  • This unlocks Form 4, allowing you to edit as appropriate

Form 4 – Change Request

  • Change Request has to be made by Appraisee
  • But they will not be able to make a “Change Request” if Form 4 has not been forwarded – in which case you are still drafting Form 4, so edit as required
  • If you are still drafting Form 4, you will see the formatting toolbar in the comments boxes on the form
  • When Form 4 is signed off, the appraisal is marked as completed and is archived
  • If Appraisee wants to make changes to Form 4 at this stage, you need to request this via Health Board Admin (or SOAR Helpdesk)
  • Appraisee will not be able to amend submitted Appraisal Forms via Resubmit, but can add further documentation if required (e.g. MSF, PSQ etc)
  • Appraisee instructions are available in the Appraisee Help section

link to this faq

Adding More Documentation after Appraisal has been Signed Off
  • When an interview is completed, forms 1-3 are archived, and the Appraisee’s draft Form 3 is wiped to allow for preparation of next appraisal (Forms 1 and 2 are not reset, but Appraisees can amend details here if neccessary)
  • Because of this, it is NOT possible to amend submitted Forms 1-3 after interview has been completed - But you can add further documents if required
  • This requires Form 4 to be unlocked, which means asking Health Board admins (or requesting via SOAR Helpdesk)

Once Additional Documentation is Enabled...

  1. After the Form 4 is unlocked, the Appraisee navigates to Interview details page where there should now be an additional tab along the top, “Additional Documentation”

  2. Appraisees click “Upload” button to upload documents directly here

  3. When finished, Appraisee can click the “Notify Appraiser” button, which triggers a system-automated email to the Appraiser
    • Appraisees will not be able to link documents from the Documents Library if they’ve already been submitted to the interview
    • Any documents uploaded directly here will be stored/copied to Library as well

  4. Appraiser reviews the submitted documents

  5. Tick the “Seen by Appraiser” tick box to date stamp (this lets the Appraisee know you have reviewed the document)

  6. Amend Form 4 (if appropriate) and re-forward to Appraisee for sign off

  7. When interview is signed off again, the newly added documents will also be archived to the appraisal

link to this faq

Create and Edit Form 5A (Exemption of Appraisal)

Form 5A is used in lieu of a Form 4 if the appraisee has a legitimate and valid reason for
exemption from appraisal in a particular appraisal year.

Reasons for exemption include:

  • Maternity leave
  • Sabbatical leave
  • Sick leave
  • Working abroad

To create a Form 5A...

  1. Create a new interview for the appraisee with a dummy interview date/time – Please see “Creating an Interview” above for reference

  2. When in Interview details, click on “Create Form 5A” button - This creates the Form 5A and you will automatically be taken there

  3. Select the name of the Local Appraiser Adviser

  4. Select the reason for exemption from appraisal

  5. Select the date that the Appraisee left work and the date that they will return to work

  6. Add further comments if necessary

  7. Once complete click to forward form to Local Appraisal Adviser – When Form 5A has been signed off by the Local Appraisal Adviser, auto confirmation email is sent to Appraisee, Appraiser, LAA and Local Admin team

Please Note:

The Appraiser should consult with their Local Appraisal Adviser (PC) or Appraisal Lead (SC) before filling out this form.

NB: Form 5B is used to log anyone who fails to engage with the appraisal process.

link to this faq

Enabling Autosave

As of mid-2018, a site-wide autosave function was introduced to all users.

By default, Autosave is disabled for all users.

But when enabled, it is triggered every 60 seconds, saving whatever form you were filling in.  If you altered your form and tried to leave the page before the autosave kicked in, you will be prompted to save the content of your form before leaving the page.

However, there are compatibility and performance issues (speed) for those using Internet Explorer as their web browser.

We appreciate that it is not always possible to change or upgrade the web browser you use, especially if you are in hospital offices or using GP practice computers. So to remedy this, we made made the Autosave an opt-in function.

If you are using Internet Explorer and you experienced speed performance issues on SOAR, please consider using an alternative web browser first.  If not possible, then you can disable the Autosave.

## As an Appraiser, please consider enabling the Autosave for the purposes of drafting Form 4s. ##

Autosave can be enabled / disabled by:

  1. Clicking on the Autosave icon/status message in the header (after you have logged in)
  2. This will take you to your profile setting
  3. Click and un/check the tickbox on screen
  4. Finish by clicking on the Save button

Please note - there will be some pages on SOAR where the Autosave is not applied.  In these pages, the autosave status message in the header will display "Not available/applicable", indicating that you need to click Save on the page before progressing.

Where Autosave is enabled or not applicable, the status message will be blue.

link to this faq

This page was last updated on: 04/06/2015