Monthly Archives: May 2013

The RCP are listening – what do you want to tell them?

A few months ago I participated in the first Royal College of Physicians (London) ePortfolio reference group. This group has been established to increase the trainee voice in the ePortfolio development process, and should be celebrated and welcomed. The RCP is leading the way in engaging trainees to make sure their educational experience is as good as possible. Does your College have trainee representation? If not, you should ask them why not…..

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 12.29.28

At this meeting we discussed many areas, and tried to keep things positive, focusing on what changes could be made that would make the ePortfolio better for trainees. The RCP agreed to take these issues forward to a meeting with the NHS ePortfolio providers NES:

1. Development of an API to allow integration with third-party tools

It is great that the RCP were willing to take this on and discuss this as a priority with NES. There are lots of apps being developed (including many at NHS Hackdays) which help trainees to capture their learning, for example in log books. There is currently no way that this data can be incorporated into the ePortfolio. Since NES does not have the capacity to create additional software, allowing third party software to interface would be a major step forward in increasing the functionality of the ePortfolio.

2.  HTML5 app to concentrate on work place based assessments

As you may be aware there is now finally an app! Amazing! But at present it can only log reflective practice and send tickets. The group agreed that WPBAs/SLEs should be the priority for the next release of the app.

3. Development of summary views of data to support ARCPs

The current summary overview is unimaginative and unhelpful for ARCPs and PYAs. I have heard too many stories of trainees still having to print their portfolio, or send documents separately. In my own ARCP last year the panel could not find all the evidence they needed and I had to send it as PDFs afterwards. There should be a better way for the trainee to curate the content of the ePortfolio on an ARCP page. It should be possible to define the requirements for ARCP fulfilment and then demonstrate how these have been met. The data should be displayed in an easy to view at-a-glance way so that ARCP panels can rapidly see and access what they need.

4. Change to how ePortfolio roles are created so they are cumulative

Rather than having to switch between roles and select one, with different access levels for each type of access account. This is particularly important for those with significant assessor roles in addition to trainee roles.

Please let us know your thoughts on these issues, and tell us what your priorities are so that we are well prepared for the next meeting, hopefully in June/July. I’m looking forward to hearing how these issues were received and what plans are in place for taking them forward.

We have a real opportunity to raise issues, focus the priorities of those with the purse strings and effect change. Don’t stay silent! 

You can give your feedback in a number of ways:

  1. Comment here (below this post)
  2. Talk to the JRCPTB ePortfolio team
  3. Talk to the your Foundation Programme school
  4. Give feedback to NES directly on Twitter
  5. Give feedback to NES about the app specifically 
Advertisements

There’s an app for that

After much complaining it is great to be able to be positive about the NHS ePortfolio. Developer Ben from NES has been working on an app which is now available in beta version. It is html5 so whether you’re an apple or android user it should work on your device. You can download it right now, have a go and provide feedback to make sure the next iteration is even better.

Go to this site on your device: app.nhseportfolios.org  and login with your usual password.

At the moment the functionality is limited. It supports reflective logs and ticketing, but does not allow offline completion of assessments such as mini-Cex. I also could not get it to store data within the app to synch later initially as it made me synch before I could logout, or data was lost. I also got stuck inside the app and couldn’t get back to the rest of my iPhone. This was a bit of a nightmare – stuck in the ePortfolio forever! It would be great to hear if anyone else had these problems or if it was just me! I have since managed to use it without crashing – phew! 

You can send your feedback to:  app@nhseportfolios.org 

An app is long overdue and does not fulfil all of our ePortfolio dreams yet, but it’s a start and should be celebrated. Hopefully, by testing and getting feedback before further work, the app will fulfil the needs of users and make logging evidence of our skills and learning experiences fit the realities of our working lives. And perhaps this agile way of working might permeate back to the rest of the ePortfolio. A girl can dream…..