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System Update (Sept 2022)

We’ve had many new clients come onboard recently, so welcome to any new readers! System updates are put on the SARD Admin Dashboard as they go live, so you can keep an eye out for them there as well. Here’s what we have been working on since the last update in March:


Attaching Multiple Documents

We’ve updated the appraisal form so it is now possible to attach multiple documents, for example to CPD items, Quality Improvement Items etc

Attach Multiple New Documents
Attach Multiple Existing Documents

User Appraisal Compliance PDF

On the Admin User Appraisal Compliance pages, it is now possible to store a PDF of a user’s compliance information. There is a Report PDFs panel, which can be expanded to see a list of previously generated PDFs and the ‘Generate PDF’ button.

Where to find the Generate PDF link

When ‘Generate PDF’ is clicked, a PDF will be generated of the user’s compliance information, including dates of appraisals, exemptions etc for each appraisal year.

An Example of a User's Appraisal Compliance PDF

We don’t recommend changing a user’s appraisal month, but if it is necessary then it can be useful to store the compliance PDF before updating the appraisal month.

Please note this is only for organisations using appraisal month, new features are no longer implemented on the old annual appraisal compliance system. Over 90% of organisations that use SARD for medical revalidation now use appraisal month. If you are still using the older appraisal compliance then please get in touch as it’s easy to move over to using appraisal months, which have been part of the NHS England Medical Appraisal Policy for some time now.

Custom Appraisal Leads

Recently we’ve added an additional setting that will allow custom appraisal leads to view appraisals and portfolios of their allocated medics, regardless of the state i.e. they can see draft, submitted and complete appraisals if this is turned on. Please get in touch if you would like this turned on for your organisation.

Appraisal Compliance PDF link

If you are not familiar with Custom Appraisal Leads, they are users that can be allocated a group of medics. We also have Leads of directorates, specialties etc, but if a lead is needed for a group of medics that are not part of an organisational unit, then custom appraisal leads can be used. Custom appraisal leads often manage a group of appraisers for example.

The level of access given to custom appraisal leads is highly configurable. The image below shows the full list permissions they can be given.

Custom Appraisal Lead Configuration Options

Anonymous Appraisal PDFs

The anonymised appraisal and portfolio PDFs are now available to download on admin user compliance pages. These PDFs are generated when an appraisal is completed. The appraiser’s name remains in the PDF, but the appraisee details are anonymised (as much as possible, some comments may refer to a shorter version of the appraisee’s name for example and won’t be anonymised).

Previously these PDFs were only accessible to appraisal auditors, but we’ve made them available to all administrators as they may be useful for auditing purposes.

An example of an anonymous appraisal PDF
Other Medical Revalidation changes

The GMC have extended the routine revalidation notice period from 4 to 12 months, so current recommendation under notice dates on SARD have been updated to reflect this.

We’ve tidied up the UI for recommendation attachments to make it a few less clicks to add them.

The guidance text has been updated on the Admin → Medical Revalidation → Appraisal Datasets → Categories page to include important information about making changes to the portfolio sections. Please read when you get a chance.

Job Planning

Job Plan Signatory Ordering

We’ve made a couple of changes to job plan signatories:

Firstly, the compulsory and non compulsory roles can now be ordered, so you can define the order of drop down selects in section 3 of job plans. In the example below the order is fixed so Divisional Director is always first, Deputy Medical Director second and Medical Director third. Please get in touch if you would like the order updated for your organisation’s roles. N.B. We have a wide range of roles that can be used for compulsory and non compulsory signatories, it isn’t always the ones shown below.

Secondly, when signatories are added in section 3 the tier will increase, so they aren’t all tier 1 by default, and we’ve fixed a small bug so that the signatories are always ordered by tier in the ‘Sign Off’ section of job plans.

Job Plan Signatory Ordering

Mandatory Categorisation

We have added a job planning setting to make selecting a category, subcategory and activity for each timetabled activity compulsory. This is turned off by default, but if you would like this switched on for your organisation then please get it touch.

Mandatory Activity Categorisation

New Content Slug

There’s a new content underneath the Current pay threshold field in the General Info section, so you can set bespoke text for your organisation here if required.

New Job Plan Slug

If you haven’t heard about contents on SARD, they are a great way to customise various bits of text on the site with information that is specific to your organisation. Each body of text that you can change has a slug associated with it that defines where the text appears on the site.

To see where slugs appear on the site click, go to Admin -> Miscellaneous -> Content Overrides and click on View Slugs

Dashboard Slugs

Automatic Monthly Job Plan Compliance CSV Exports

On the first and last day of the month, a CSV of job plan compliance data will automatically be generated and the compliance and engagement stats recorded. This can be found under Admin -> Job Planning -> Job Plan Compliance CSV Exports.

We provided the same functionality for appraisal compliance some time ago and it has proved popular, especially if historical monthly figures are required.

Job Plan Compliance CSV Exports
Other Job Planning changes

We’ve deployed an upgrade to our Online Job Plan code. This included some small changes to the UI, such as time is now in hours and minutes rather than decimal time e.g. 2h 30m instead of 2.5, but overall users shouldn’t see much difference.

In the sign off section there is a table that shows total PAs in the job plan compared to the contract PAs. We’ve added an extra column here that shows the difference between the two.

We’ve added CSV download links to the PA breakdown admin job plan compliance pages.

AHP Job Planning

The non medical job plan has had some improvements made to it:

There are now three levels of categorisation for job plan activities, the category e.g. DCC, SPA etc, a subcategory and then an activity name. These categorisations are linked to position titles, so can be tailored to individuals more easily.

If the categorisation is changed at an organisational level e.g. a subcategory is removed or an activity renamed, the job plan owner will now be prompted to reselect when editing an activity.

A CSV export has been added to the organisation level categorisation page which can be found under Admin → Job Planning (AfC) → Activity Categorisation

Non Medical Job Plan prompt to reselect


New Gender Options

The MSF online colleague and patient feedback forms have been updated to include additional Gender options such as Non-Binary/Non-Conforming.

Anonymous Appraisal PDF
Other MSF changes

We’ve removed any reference to GMC minimum required patient and colleague feedback thresholds as the GMC no longer specify minimum amounts. The minimum returns required can be set for your organisations, please get in touch if you would like these changing.


We’ve made a small change to the ‘eLeave Requests’ panel. The allowance name e.g. ‘Annual Leave’ is now a link to the leave request in the requester’s eLeave Calendar.

Other Changes

Compliance PDF of Charts and Engagement Stats

The following report pages now have links to download a PDF of the compliance chart and engagement stats:

Admin → Medical Revalidation → Appraisal Compliance Report (appraisal month only)

Admin → Job Planning → Job Plan Compliance Report

Admin → Job Planning (AfC) → Job Plan Compliance Report

Admin → MSF → MSF Compliance

Admin → Medical Revalidation → Recommendations → Recommendation Compliance

Appraisal Compliance PDF link
Appraisal Compliance PDF Example

Comparing private practice in appraisal scope of work and job plans

There is a new feature on the site which provides administrators a comparative view of a medic’s Scope of Work section from their appraisal, and their Private Practice activities from their job plan. The aim of this report is to flag on the system when Private Practice shows in one and not the other. The page can be found by going to Admin → Medical Revalidation → Scope of Work Report. If you would like access to this report for your organisation, please ask one of the customer support team who will be happy to turn it on for you. You can read more about it here.

Resetting dummy passwords

Administrators can now reset the password on dummy accounts. To do this edit the user account and there will be options to enter a new password and confirm it.

Resetting Dummy Password

Selecting the designated body when adding a new user

It’s now possible to select the designated body for a medic’s prescribed connection when a new user account is created. This can be useful of your organisation supports medical revalidation for doctors from various designated bodies. It will default to the designated body of your organisation.

Selecting the designated body when adding a new user

SARD Products

The login page now has links to all the workforce systems we offer, if you are interested in adding any additional products to your organisation please get in touch.

TSARD Products

Team Job Planning

Work continues on our team job planning module. This is currently being piloted in 5 departments of a large hospital. The pre-launch webinar of SARD Team Job Planning will be on Thursday 15 September at 11am. Please email to book your place!

Team Job Planning Demand Dashboard
Team Job Planning Staffing Costs