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SOAR user guidance for Appraisees

SOAR user guidance for Appraisees

Please see other resources available for Appraisees (listed in sub menu).

Key appraisee tasks on SOAR:

  • Complete appraisal forms (including uploading of supporting documents)
  • Review and approve Form 4
  • Complete Form 6A feedback

1) How SOAR works (the appraisal process)

  1. Appraiser and appraisee agree meeting date/time/location outside of SOAR

  2. Appraiser creates appraisal meeting on SOAR

  3. Appraisee completes appraisal Forms 1-2 and 3 (this can be started any time throughout the year before meeting is created)

  4. Appraisee submits completed forms and agrees to confidentiality statement

  5. Appraisal meeting takes place

  6. Appraiser drafts Form 4

  7. Appraiser forwards Form 4 to appraisee for review and sign off

  8. Process is completed whenever appraisee signs off Form 4

  9. Automated email confirmation sent thereafter

SOAR process overview
(click to open enlarged image in new window)

2) Check who my allocated appraiser is

In Scotland, appraisers are assigned by health board teams to appraisees so you cannot self-select your own appraiser.

When you login to SOAR (in "Appraisee" role) there is an "Appraiser details" widget on the welcome dashboard that shows who your appraiser is and their contact details.  If for whatever reason you do not see this, please follow the below steps (after logging in as appraisee):

  1. Click on My Details > Details from the menu on the left

  2. Click on the Appraisee tab

  3. You can see who your Appraiser is, and their contact details

  4. If you are a Clinical Academic, your co-appraiser from the university should be listed on this tab too - if it is not showing please contact your local admin team ASAP

  5. “Co-ordinators” are those who need to be informed of your appraisal but not involved with process (line manager, clinical director etc)

If the appraiser assignment is incorrect, contact your local Admin team for further assistance.

Please note:

  • Appraiser assignment is organised locally within each health board
  • Appraisees can request a change of appraiser if the assignment is not appropriate e.g. line manager, neighbours, socialise outside of work, in-laws, in a relationship etc
  • Appraisees need to have at least two different appraisers in a 5-year revalidation cycle

3) How do I navigate the appraisal forms?

Appraisal forms 1-3 are to be completed and submitted by appraisees prior to attending the appraisal meeting; and they can be accessed via menu on the left under Appraisal Forms.

Form 3 is split into the four GMC domains, each will have slightly different forms to complete; but each will also have the same Supporting Information page that cannot be left blank (see below).

4) Uploading documents in Supporting Information

Appraisees are asked to upload all necessary documents in the four corresponding domains in Form 3, and/or add their reflections or comments in the Comments box.

  1. Click on Form 3 from the menu on the left

  2. Navigate to the Domain you wish to add the document to, and click on the Add Document button

  3. From here you can add new documents by either dragging and dropping files from your computer, or clicking to search for files:

    Upload documents dialogue box

    You can also Add Existing files already uploaded to SOAR, by clicking on the appropriate tab at the top of the popup box

  4. It may take a few seconds for the file to upload - a green tick will appear to let you know the upload was successful

  5. Click Close; and finish by clicking on Save at top of the page - that's it.

Remember your appraiser will not be able to see your documents until you submit your forms. (See #5 below)

4a) Deleting / replacing uploaded documents

You should be able to delete and re-upload document(s) from your appraisal forms on SOAR.

  1. Using the menu on the left, navigate to the page you wish to replace a document (e.g. Form 3 domains' supporting Info pages)

  2. Search for the document(s) that require to be deleted from the list on the page

  3. There will be a "delete" button to the right of this list against each file - click on this to delete

  4. Re-upload the updated file(s) via the "Add Document" button as per above (best to give the new document a slightly different file name if possible)

Please note, if you were to replace the documents of make any changes to your appraisal forms after they have been submitted, you will need to resubmit them in order for your appraiser to see the latest changes.  (See #6 below)

5) Submitting appraisal forms

First, make sure your draft forms 1-3 are completed and all supporting information has been uploaded.  If you have problems submitting the forms, it is likely that a section is incomplete (check timeline function on dashboard).  The Health, Probity and Complaints/Critical Incidents statements must all be completed.

When all forms are completed, follow steps below to submit for sharing with appraiser:

  1. Click on My Dashboard from the menu on the left

  2. From here you should see your appraisal timeline - if you have completed Forms 1-3, there should be red text saying Go to Submit Page. Click on this text to go to interview details page

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the details page, where you will see the Accept Confidentiality button and the Submit Appraisal Forms buttons - just click on both and that's it

Accept Confidentiality and Submit Appraisal Forms

6) Re-submitting appraisal forms

Why might I want to re-submit?

You will have already submitted your appraisal forms, but wish to add further documents, or amend appraisal forms.

  • It could be at the appraiser’s request; or
  • You submitted your forms without your MSF or PSQ reports; or
  • You amended your proposed PDP

Re-submitting will remove your previously submitted forms/documents, and replace with a
refreshed version based on the current state of your draft appraisal forms (from the menu).

To resubmit your appraisal forms, make sure you have made all the changes as needed.  When ready:

  1. Click on My Dashboard from the menu on the left

  2. In the appraisal timeline, you should see a red line of text which says "Changes to forms detected - resubmit"? - click on this

  3. This should open the interview details page, where you will see the Re-submit Appraisal Forms button at the bottom - click on this to resubmit.

I can't re-submit...?

If Form 4 has been forwarded to you, you will not be able resubmit your forms until you return the Form 4 to your appraiser first (via Change Request function - see below)

You will NOT be able to resubmit your forms if you are trying to do so AFTER the appraisal was completed (i.e. Form 4 was signed off).  

You can only add further documents to your appraisal at this point (see the section "Adding documents after appraisal").

7) Approving/Rejecting Form 4

When the Form 4 is forwarded by the appraiser, the appraisee will receive an email notification with a direct link to it for review and approval.  Alternatively you can also access the forwarded Form 4 via the below steps:

  1. Login to SOAR and click on My Dashboard from the menu on the left

  2. If the appraiser has forwarded the Form 4, you will see the option Approve Form 4 on the appraisal timeline - click on this

  3. This will take you to the Form 4 page - expand each section to review the form in full

  4. Approve button is towards the bottom of page - click on this if you are satisfied with the content as drafted by your appraiser and the appraisal process is concluded

  5. If you wish to make a change request, click the Change Request button instead and detail what you wish to be edited. Form 4 will then be made available to the appraiser for further editing.  It will be returned to you for review and sign off once appraiser has made the changes

Please note:

  • Form 4 is a summary document of the appraisal discussions used by appraisees as proof of appraisal - please ensure you are happy with the content before approving
  • For quality assurance purposes, only the appraiser can draft the Form 4
  • The signed off Form 4 can be exported in PDF format via the "Export to PDF" button at top of Form 4 function only enabled after Form 4 is approved)

8) Adding documents after appraisal

When Form 4 has been signed off – the appraisal is marked as completed and all appraisal
forms and documents submitted are archived.  No changes to the submitted appraisal forms or documents can be changed beyond this point.

However, it is possible to request for additional documentation to be added instead.

  1. Form 4 will need to be unlocked and the "Additional documentation" function enabled - the request for this will need to be from the appraiser to the local admin team.  Please liaise with both parties to initiate the process (when it has been unlocked, you will receive email confirmation).

  2. Navigate to Interview details (this will appear on the appraisee timeline function of My Dashboard). 

  3. You will see a new tab for Additional Documentation - click on this.

  4. Upload any additional files as required - items already submitted to interview will not be available for selection.

  5. Click Notify Appraiser when finished.

  6. Appraiser will receive email, requesting them to review the new files, edit Form 4, and re-forward to you for sign off again.

9) Creating a PDF of Form 4 (and submitted Forms 1-3)

  1. Login to SOAR (in Appraisee role)

  2. From the menu on the left, click on My Details > Appraisal History

  3. From the list shown, click on the corresponding icon on the Edit column on the left to get into that appraisal's details

  4. From the appraisal's details page, click on the Form 4 tab along the top

  5. Underneath the tabs, click on the Export to PDF button

  6. You can print or email the downloaded PDF from there

Form 4 must be signed off before a PDF can be created.

You can also do the same for submitted forms by navigating to the Forms 1-3 tab in step 4 above.

10) Feedback Form 6A

The feedback forms are created automatically when the appraiser has created the draft Form 4, and it is past the appraisal date on SOAR.

It will be available for 8 weeks, after which it will be disabled. SOAR will send email reminders after 6 and 7 weeks.

  1. Select My Dashboard from the menu on the left

  2. When Form 6A is available, the timeline for the current appraisal will have the option at the bottom Give your feedback - click on this

  3. This will open Form 6A - complete it, then click Save and Submit when finished

How the (anonymised) feedback is used:

  • Primary care appraisers are required to undergo annual performance reviews with their Appraisal Leads - SOAR provides anonymised reports to both for discussion
  • Secondary care appraisers have access to the same anonymised report which they will use to reflect on as part of their own whole-practice appraisal
  • Appraisal Leads and NES can review the collated anonymised reports for improving processes
  • NES uses the anonymised comparable data for reporting purposes
  • None of the reports are shared with third party agencies

11) Appraisal period explanation

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

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

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

For example:

  • If an appraisal took place on 12th March 2023, it would fall under the Appraisal Period of 2022/2023
  • If an appraisal took place on 8th April 2023, it would fall under the Appraisal Period of 2023/2024

An appraiser can overwrite/ignore this message in instances of late appraisals (typically in April/May time).

If you are unsure about this, please check with your health board admin teams in the first instance.

12) How does Autosave work?

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 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:

  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

13) I've left Scotland but still need access to my old forms

When a user leaves their NHS Scotland health board, the local admin team will go in and archive their account.  This does not mean the user will lose access to their appraisal history/records.

Archived users can login to SOAR with their existing credentials, and access to their appraisal history is available from the menu on the left.  From there the user can navigate to individual appraisals and its relevant appraisal forms/documents to download.

If you do not recall your login details, please contact the SOAR helpdesk for assistance.

14) I keep logging in to my trainee account

Trainee and appraisal accounts on SOAR are not linked, so separate login credentials are required to facilitate the different access.

If you have CCT'ed, please disregard your trainee login details as that account will be archived in due course.

If you do not know what your appraisal account login details are, please complete the login request form or contact the local admin team for further assistance.

(NES do not have authority to add users to health boards, only local teams do so it's best to contact them.)

This page was last updated on: 02/11/2023