General queries about SOAR

What is SOAR?

SOAR (Scottish Online Appraisal Resource) is the national tool used to collect appraisal interview details such as date/location/appraiser etc, and is used to aid the appraisal process for doctors working in Scotland, maintained by Appraisers and the Local Admin teams. Appraisees also have access to SOAR, where they can review their past appraisal details, as well as upload documents to share with their appraisers, and more importantly, sign off the online Form 4 (summary of appraisal).

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Do I have to use it?

For Appraisers - yes.

For Appraisees - For all qualified doctors working in NHS Scotland Boards (both Primary and Secondary Care), as part of your contract of employment, you are contractually obligated to partake in an annual appraisal. The use of SOAR is currently not mandatory for doctors in Secondary Care. However, the feedback from users of SOAR has highlighted the advantages of an electronic system over a paper based system. In addition, appraisers are required to create a Form 4 Summary document on SOAR for each appraisal they undertake. This document must be reviewed and agreed by the appraisee. Whilst it is possible for this to be done off line it is more secure and practical if managed online. For these reasons all appraisees are strongly encouraged to obtain a log-in for SOAR and to use the system and the support available on the website to prepare for their appraisal. This will also allow appraisees to review and sign off the Form 4 electronically.

For Trainee users (in Scotland) - completion of self declarations on SOAR is mandatory.  Other processes on other electronic systems will remain, but for revalidation purposes, the Health, Probity, Complaints, Work History declarations need to be completed on SOAR.

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How secure is it?

SOAR is encrypted on two fronts, the system / database itself is encrypted, and all files uploaded to SOAR are separately encrypted as well. The system is annually tested by an external IT Security company to ensure that we remain secure and kept up-to-date with technological advances.

Access to documents and user details are restricted by the user roles assigned.  User roles are assigned by System and Local Admin teams, so users cannot assign themselves different roles that they should not have.

For an overview of SOAR security and who can access what, please visit the SOAR Security section.

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How do I change Appraiser on SOAR?

You need to contact the local appraisal admin team for further assistance.

Appraiser assignment is organised locally so we (NES) normally have no involvement in this.

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This page was last updated on: 15/05/2015