Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

SOAR deployment highlights: 2014 - April 8th

SOAR deployment highlights: 2014 - April 8th

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

Key new functions added:

## Feedback Forms on SOAR (for Primary and Secondary Care users)

Following comments from the previous Joint Appraisal Leads meeting, we pulled together the remaining budget we had and asked our developers to implement the appraisal feedback forms on to SOAR. It was a speedier process than we expected due to wireframes already drawn up from previous projects. Here is what we have:

  • Feedback forms 6A (for Appraisees) will appear automatically on all new interviews from now on, from the date of the interview (i.e. the feedback form cannot be completed before the interview date on SOAR)
  • Feedback forms 6B (for Appraisers) will appear automatically on the first 10x appraisals, from the date of the interview.  Thereafter, it is optional for Appraisers to complete form 6B
  • Feedback forms report for Appraisers, Local Appraisal Advisers/Leads are available again, with option to PDF if required

Feedback forms content/questions are the same for Primary and Secondary Care.  Feedback forms are open for completion for 8 weeks from date of interview, and email reminders will be sent out 6 and 7-weeks after the interview date on SOAR.  If not submitted thereafter, the feedback form will be removed from the system.

User guidance available as Powerpoints below.

##  Unlocking of signed off Form 4 (for Primary and Secondary Care Admins)

Following feedback from users, we have now enabled it so that local admin teams can also unlock any signed off Form 4's without SysAdmin (us) intervention. Powerpoint guidance available at bottom of page. Form 4's may require to be unlocked to allow Appraisers to add more details, or to allow Appraisees to add more documents to the interview. If it's the latter, then you will see an additional button to click after unlocking Form 4...

##  Allowing of further documents after appraisal is signed off (for all Primary and Secondary Care users)

Linked to unlocking Form 4's, we have created a function that allow Appraisees to add further documentation to their completed appraisals. Previously this was not possible because Form 3 is reset after an appraisal is completed, and any resubmit will have wiped what was previously submitted. What we have done is created a function that allows the Admin to enable this feature (after unlocking Form 4), where a new "Additional Documentation" tab appears to allow for more documents to be uploaded and shared with the Appraiser. The Appraiser will need to edit the Form 4 as required following the upload of new documents. As part of this we have also removed the resubmit function once an interview has been signed off.

Powerpoint guidance for Appraisers and Appraisees are below.

##  Co-Appraiser able to create interviews (for Clinical Academic / Joint Appraisals)

A bug was reported to us regarding the Co-Appraiser function, where they were unable to create new interviews for appraisals they were involved in. This has now been resolved.

##  Appraisal Forms submission bug (for Primary Care Appraisees)

There's been a glitch with the system for GPs where pasted content from MS Word documents, emails, web pages etc tend to include hidden formatting codes which would crash the PDF generator when submitting appraisal forms. This has now been resolved - all erroneous formatting will be stripped from the PDF generator.

However, if you continue to experience problems submitting appraisal forms, please do get in touch and let us know.

##  Blank declarations can no longer be submitted (for Trainees, Primary and Secondary Care users)

Previously it was possible for users to submit blank/incomplete Health, Probity, Complaints, Work History declarations on SOAR. This is no longer possible following today's deployment. You can save incomplete declarations - but you will not be able to submit. You will be prompted accordingly if this happened.

## Various IT / behind-the-scene fixes as per annual security test report

Every year SOAR is subject to IT security tests (called Penetration Testing), conducted by an external IT security company, as per NES policy. There were no urgent or high level items from last year's report, only a small number of mid to low level items to review and address - which we have now done.

##  Various reports (for all users)

Before the start of the project, we had hoped to work on a number of reports to support our local admin teams. Unfortunately we were unable to implement as many of the reports as we would have liked. We hope (time permitting) to add to the reports for the next deployment, but here's what we've done so far:

  • Report on Appraisees who refused / failed to engage with appraisal (Form 5B)
  • Report on those Appraisees who were appraised in a specified period
  • Report on those Appraisees who were NOT appraised in a specified period
  • Report on those Appraisees revalidated via SOAR*
  • Report on those who had/hadn't completed MSF/PSQ since last revalidation **

* Currently we can only pull up details of those appraisees who have been revalidated via SOAR. We are in discussions with the GMC to see whether we could include details of appraisees revalidated via GMC Connect in the SOAR/GMC import procedures. If you use GMC Connect to revalidate appraisees, at this time, they will not show up on the SOAR records. (Sorry)

** This report is NOT YET complete - the report still requires to be fixed, which the web team hope to do soon.

##  Addition of Secondary Care "Role" on user profile

As part of the reporting requirements, NES has been in discussion with HIS to determine their reporting needs. We are satisfied that we can provide the necessary figures required for the HIS reports when the time comes. However, a large part of the figures require the further defining of user roles for Secondary Care users. We aim to create specific HIS reports/figures in due course, but in the meantime, we've created a dropdown menu option for Appraisees/Admins to further define the user role.

Instructions sre on the user profile pages (click on a SC Appraisee name to see).

We will message all Secondary Care Appraisees about this after the next deployment, requesting them to self-select their appropriate user role.

##  Old GP Appraisal interviews (for Primary Care users)

There are some old GP Appraisal interviews that are not in the correct Appraisal Period because the interview date is out by week or months, due to ill health, late postponement etc. This has caused a knock on effect to the appraisee's subsequent appraisals where they are in the wrong appraisal period. We have taken a note of the interviews affected and will go through this ASAP. If your Appraisal Period is affected and we have not actioned the corrections for you, please get in touch with details.


Recently there has been some confusion over the purpose of "Appraisal Period" in the interview pages on SOAR.  This dropdown menu is used to track WHEN an appraisal took place (in the fiscal year - April to April), not what material was reviewed. Appraisees are meant to discuss material from the last 12 months/since last appraisal - we don't need to track this, we need to track WHEN the interview took place. If the interview took place on 30th March 2014, the Appraisal Period would be 2013/2014. If the interview took place on 4th April 2014, the Appraisal Period would be 2014/2015.

Hope that helps.

What's still to be deployed?

We have scheduled another deployment in the week of April 22nd.  We will look to confirm the exact day and time of deployment ASAP.  Meantime, below are some of the items we hope to finalise and deploy:

## Internal messaging system

We hope to finalise an internal messaging system so that it is easier to contact groups of users on SOAR. For example, SysAdmins can contact all users on SOAR alerting them to potential downtime due to SOAR maintenance/deployment; Local Admins or Appraisal Leads can contact their local Appraisees on a new local policy that's arisen, etc.

## TR Admins to delete any duplicate declarations created

Currently only SysAdmin and Ed Sups can delete duplicate declarations created on SOAR. We are working on a fix to make it so that TR Admins can also perform this function.

## TR Trainee exports

Currently Trainees have no reporting functions on SOAR. Whilst we have run out of budget for this work, we are implementing an "Export" function on the various Trainee pages so that at least you can export searched results onto spreadsheets.

## PDF of Form 4 for Clinical Academics / Joint Appraisals

At the moment the PDF of Form 4 does not include the co-appraiser's sign off. This fix was applied and was scheduled for today's deployment but required further review and fixing, and has subsequently been pushed back to next deployment to allow us time to test properly.

Coming soon...

New Medical Appraisal Scotland website -

Currently there is a website for GP Appraisal, one for Secondary Care, and a webpage for Trainees on SOAR. Rather than updating 3 websites, we have merged all into one, under our banner of Medical Appraisal Scotland. (Consider it a branding exercise)

We hope the new website will be ready for going live next week. Simply keep bookmarked and you will be fine.

If you encounter difficulties or have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us for clarifications.

William Liu
Information Manager (Medical Appraisal)

(8th April 2014)


Related Documents

(08) - How do Feedback Forms 6B work

Date updated: 21/03/2022

Size: 810496 - KB

Type: pps

(100) How to Unlock Form 4

Guidance for Admin teams

Date updated: 21/03/2022

Size: 1006592 - KB

Type: pps

(21) Add further Documents after Appraisal

Guidance for Appraisees

Date updated: 21/03/2022

Size: 528384 - KB

Type: pps

(24) - How do Feedback Forms 6A work

Date updated: 21/03/2022

Size: 570368 - KB

Type: pps

This page was last updated on: 28/04/2021