Release Notes

Items relating to site updates, fixes and deploys.

Outcome of the NHS ePortfolio Review by NES

NES ePortfolio : Outcome of 1st Phase : Ownership and Management of NES ePortfolio

[Download to read the full document]

“In June we announced our intention to undertake a review of the ownership and management of the NES
eP1. We decided to undertake this review in recognition of the rapid growth of the eP, and concerns that
opportunities for its further development might be constrained due to the financial and governance
arrangements which apply to NES as a Special Health Board.

“We have completed the first phase of our review and have undertaken an option appraisal based on the
three options we identified in our paper;

  • Option1 – Do Nothing
  • Option 2 – Further development of eP within NES
  • Option 3 – Joint venture between NES and a third party.

“By our deadline for receipt of initial proposals we received 7 submissions from third parties to develop a
joint venture with NES. The submissions received were generally all of a high quality and followed a number
of constructive meetings with nearly all of the third parties who submitted proposals. The review project
team also developed Option 2 to support the further development of eP within NES.

“The outcome of the first phase of the review has been a decision by NES to continue to manage the
development of the eP in-house. In summary, we concluded that meeting the future needs of trainees,
students and other eP stakeholders was best protected by retaining the eP within NES. However, the review
also high-lighted that there were aspects of the future development of the eP which NES was not best
placed to manage and we may consider partnership arrangements in due course to address these issues
more effectively.

“We are very pleased that ePortfolio will remain within NES (Option 2) and a Short life Working Group
consisting of a number of senior managers is being assembled to develop a sustainable plan that will ensure
ePortfolio continues to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of healthcare staff. [Continued..]

[Download to read the full document]

Changes to the timing of the deployment of updates and fixes on ePortfolio

At the present time site updates and deployments are performed at 10pm on Tuesday evenings, commonly the site being offline for between 30 to 60 minutes. However, as of 22nd November 2013 we will be moving to a Saturday morning maintenance window (midnight to 11.59am). A time slot of up to 60mins will be advertised (via the @NESePortfolio twitter feed) at least 24 hours ahead of any scheduled down time and this will occur during this time period. The reason for the variation in deployment times is related to availability of senior technical staff who perform the deployment process.

To summarise:
• Our window for performing scheduled maintenance will be between 00:00 and 11:59 on a Saturday UK Time – the “maintenance window”.
• When the update/deployment is being performed the site will typically be offline for up to one hour (the “maintenance period”)
• We will notify users of the site when the site will be going offline by posting a prominent message at the top of every page for at least 6 hours before the start of the maintenance period.
• At least 24 hours notice will be provided via our Twitter account of when we anticipate the maintenance period to commence.

In a typical scenario, where a deployment was scheduled for 8am on Saturday morning, these guidelines would be followed:
• We have a deployment planning meeting on a Monday where the nature and contents of the deployment are agreed and approved. Customer testing and approvals must be received my 12pm on this day for inclusion into the deploy meeting
• On the Tuesday or Wednesday, we publish a post on the Talkback blog ( with the release contents, indicate that the site will be offline for a specified hour on Saturday, and tweet it. In the unlikely event that this time changes an update would be tweeted more than 24 hours in advance
• From 2am on Saturday morning, a message is posted in the header of all site pages, informing users that the site will go offline at 8am
• At 8am on Saturday morning, the site goes offline for up to an hour whilst the new release is deployed.

NES ePortfolio 2013: Deployment of Mandatory Item Checks on Foundation ePortfolio

As part of the ongoing release of outstanding 2013 Foundation Programme ePortfolio updates next week the “mandatory item checks” will be released on the ePortfolio. This update will give some further information about how these checks will work.

This item has two parts:

The first part is that the ePortfolio will automatically check that a trainee has signed their mandatory “education agreement” and “declaration” forms. If the trainee has not yet signed these forms, they will be automatically redirected to the “declarations and agreements” page and will be reminded to sign these forms before continuing to use the ePortfolio.

The second mandatory item check has been developed at the specific request of the Foundation Schools that use the ePortfolio. Upon log in to the ePortfolio there will be a check that a GMC number has been recorded for the account and that any number present matches with the name recorded against that number on the GMC’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners. If there is not a GMC number on the account then the trainee will be asked to update their personal details and record a valid GMC number. If a match cannot be made the trainee will not be able to continue to use the ePortfolio. Please note that as the system is looking for a match by name the trainee Doctors should enter/update their names on the ePortfolio so they match what is recorded on the GMC’s list (i.e. same spelling and name arrangement).

NES ePortfolio 2013: Deploy 13th August 2013

As you are aware, we work closely with the UKFPO each year to implement improvements to the core content of the FP e-portfolio provided by the NES ePortfolio team. This year, the changes relate to improved usability and streamlining the completion of forms on the system – they do not affect the educational structure of the e-portfolio in any way.
We are pleased to confirm that the 2013 e-portfolio core content updates have been completed and have now been through user acceptance testing by colleagues from the UKFPO and foundation schools. The updates have been scheduled for deployment on the evening of 13th August 2013. We are disappointed the changes will not be implemented from the start of the foundation year, but believe it is better to complete final quality checks before releasing the new software in order to minimise any risks to users.
All existing e-portfolio content (as per FP2012) will remain in place to support the incoming FP2013 cohort and all existing users. Forms such as the Initial meeting with Educational Supervisor, Induction meeting with the Clinical Supervisor, PDPs and all other forms used at this time will therefore not be affected and should be used as per the usual FP requirements/framework. Please also be assured that all forms and curriculum items completed before 13th August will not be affected by the updates since the changes this year are more ‘behind the scenes’.

We are confident that the thorough checking and testing processes this year will result in a smooth implementation of the 2013 changes to the foundation e-portfolio.

Need help?
If you are having a problem with you NHS ePortfolio account please contact the Support team via the Help section of you account, or email us at