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SOAR Deployment Highlights: 2015 - May/June

SOAR Deployment Highlights: 2015 - May/June

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

Key new functions added:

## User interface redesign

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 (for all user roles)

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 where they are at within an appraisal cycle, what they still have to do - and with a 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 (Current/Future) 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 (for Appraisees)

Previously we had a lot of users who were confused about uploading documents and the need to link them to Form 3 afterwards.  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 re-used for future appraisals if so desired (confirmed for next deployment update within 2 weeks' time).

To upload documents now, this 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 redesign

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 (for Sessional GPs ONLY)

In collaboration with NHS Services Scotland (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.)

Once the Claim Form is enabled, you have 8 weeks to complete the submit the forms before this is removed.

The submitted claim forms are downloaded and processed by NSS at regular intervals (monthly/quarterly etc), and this all takes place outside of SOAR.  We will only be able to show 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).  Your local Health Board admin teams will not be able to assist you with claim form queries.

For those Sessional GPs whose appraisals took place from 1st January 2015 to now - please check your appraisal history.  On the appraisal details page, you should see a tab along the top called "Claim Form".  If you do not see this, please contact your Health Board's Admin team for assistance in the first instance.

##  Ad hoc changing of Appraisers during appraisals (for Local Admin teams)

There have been occasions where a change of Appraiser was needed at an appraisal due to any number of reasons.  We have now implemented a function on the interview pages that allow Local Health Board Admins to change the Appraiser (and/or Co-Appraiser) to another Appraiser within the Health Board.

Changing the Appraiser on the interview page will not change the actual Appraiser/Appraisee allocation.  Similarly, changing the Appraiser/Appraisee allocation will not change the appraiser on the interview page.

Once the Appraiser on the interview page is changed, the new Appraiser will be granted access to any forms submitted by the Appraisee, and it is the new Appraiser's responsibility to draft and approve the Form 4 for this appraisal.

If there is no change in Appraiser allocation, then the existing assigned Appraiser will also be able to review the signed off Form 4 once this has been approved.

##  Recognition Of Trainers (for Secondary Care appraisees only at the moment)

As some of you are aware, there is now a requirement from the GMC for Trainers to be "recognised".  To help facilitate the process, all "named trainers" have been identified on SOAR and you will now be required to complete the "Recognition of Trainer" (RoT) section as part of your Form 3.

Please note this development has ONLY been deployed for those in Secondary Care.  Primary Care GP Trainers are approved elsewhere already, and are therefore not required to complete this on SOAR.  However, we are working on enabling this for those who these forms are applicable for.  We hope to confirm and deploy this in the coming weeks (if not sooner).

If you have been incorrectly identified as a Trainer, please contact your DME and the SOAR Helpdesk - - we will amend the records to enable you to proceed with your appraisal once DME confirms.

If you are a Trainer but have not been identified as such on SOAR, please get in touch and let us know - but proceed to complete the appraisal forms as well.

For more information, please visit:

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

Submitted Appraisal Forms 1-3 are confidential to the Appraiser and Appraisee only.

However, following user feedback, we have developed a "Grant access" function where the RO and/or Appraisal Lead may request access to an appraisee's submitted forms.

This is the equivalent of an RO requesting to see a doctor's paper documents.  With the appraisal documents now stored on SOAR, this function will enable them to grant the RO easy and direct access to the files.

This function is used per appraisal.  If the RO wishes to see the submitted forms/documents for X number of appraisals on SOAR, they will need to make X number of requests and the Appraisee will need to respond to them individually.


There continues to be some confusion over the purpose of "Appraisal Period" in the interview pages on SOAR.  This function is used to track WHEN an appraisal took place in fiscal years (April to March), NOT what material was reviewed. Appraisees are meant to discuss material from the last 12 months/since last appraisal.

To aid this, we have made it so that the appraisal period is selected automatically when you enter the appraisal interview date.  You can overwrite this, but please do bear the above in mind if you do.  (It may be that the appraisal meeting date was in April because no earlier dates could be arranged before March.)

##  Form 5A, B and C

We have also created the complete set of online Form 5's on SOAR:

  • Form 5A - Exemption from Appraisal
  • Form 5B - Non-engagement from Appraisal
  • Form 5C - Clinical Governance issues

Forms 5A and 5B are used in lieu of Form 4 (Summary of Appraisal) and will require the Appraisal Lead's sign off; Form 5C is used to log any relevant Clinical Governance issues, and is supplementary to Form 4.

All three forms can now be completed directly on SOAR.

What's still to be deployed?

We have scheduled another deployment in the coming weeks.  We will look to confirm the exact day and time of deployment ASAP.  Meantime, further to items mentioned above, below are some of the items we hope to finalise and deploy:

## CPD log on SOAR

A generic log of your learning activities, with the option to reflect on individual entries or as an overview.  (Designed to replace the spreadsheet log currently available for download.)

## Further RoT features (Form 7)

Currently DMEs (Directors of Medical Education) and EOs (Educational Organisations) have no access to the RoT information on SOAR.  It is recognised that Trainers are asked to supply their DMEs and EOs with their RoT submission on SOAR.  To this end, we intend to create a "Form 7" on SOAR which the DMEs and EOs can access.

  • "Form 7" will be created automatically when Form 4 has been signed off
  • It will have two sections:
    • RoT submitted by the Appraisee/Trainer
    • RoT discussion from Form 4
  • DMEs and EOs will NOT have access to Form 4 or the appraisal forms/documents (apart from the RoT info on Form 7)

This will be built as part of the data import/export with Turas (NES Training Management system) that will take place in due course.

## New Reporting Tool

We are looking to implement a new reporting tool on SOAR which would allow us to create adhoc reports to complement the existing range of reports.  More information on this in due course.

## Amendment to Clinical Academic forms

We hope to separate out the Objectives part of the Clinical Academic forms into part of Form 4 (similar to PDP).  This should be completed by the time the final development work is deployed.

Ongoing fixes...

We are aware of a number of display issues linked with Internet Explorer version 8. We are doing our best to fix all reported issues as they come in.  If you are using IE8 and are experiencing problems, please provide details or screenshots of the problems experienced and we will work to resolve these as quickly as we can.

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

William Liu
Information Manager (Medical Appraisal)

(26th June 2015)

This page was last updated on: 14/05/2021