Overview of changes to the Foundation ePortfolio relating to ARCP 2014


A set of change requests to ePortfolio ARCP processes were requested by the FP Curriculum Delivery Group in December 2013 and then specified early in 2014.

These changes have been developed by the NES ePortfolio team and have been approved for release by the UKFPO. This document sets out the details of those changes for our users.

The change requests were built on requests made by the Foundation School Director’s Committee (19th September 2013) and the Foundation School Manager’s Forum (25th September 2013).

On the 26th of April 2014 the following features were released:

  • New ARCP outcome Forms (F1 and F2).
  • Two new “Supporting evidence” forms (F1 and F2).
  • Updates to the “Review of evidence” summary page (F1 and F2).
  • New “A1FC” certificate form.
  • New “FACD” certificate form.
  • New Roles – FSM, ARCP Chair.
  • Amendments to the Form count report for ARCP reporting

On the 3rd of May the following features were released:

  • New Form Rs.

There are some further ARCP changes yet to be released.  These will be detailed in further communications once the release dates are agreed in conjunction with the UKFPO, but include the following items:

  • Certificate management and release Admin pages.
  • Link between summary of evidence page and attention items.
Download a full description of details (PDF format):
Overview of changes to the Foundation ePortfolio relating to ARCP 2014


NHS ePortfolio passwords and the OpenSSL/Heartbleed vulnerability

As you may have heard, on Monday of this week a member of Google’s security team and a software security firm called Codenomicon discovered and publicly disclosed a vulnerability in a software package that is widely used to secure online communications called OpenSSL. The official reference number for the bug is CVE-2014-0160, although it is more widely known by the name “Heartbleed”.

NHS ePortfolio does not use, and has not used, OpenSSL, so we were not affected by the “Heartbleed” vulnerability.

The third party service we use for our support ticketing system does use OpenSSL. This service has subsequently fixed the bug with their system and the provider does not believe that any sensitive data was accessed. We are actively monitoring the situation and will notify you if we discover anything.

As an NHS ePortfolio user you don’t need to take any action. However because of the number of sites and services that are affected, if you use the same password on more than one website, we would recommend that you change your passwords to something new.  By changing your NHS ePortfolio password you will ensure that your NHS ePortfolio account remains secure, even if your previously used password(s) are released into the public domain as a result of a compromised 3rd party site.

You can change your NHS ePortfolio password via the Personal Details page, once logged in.  If you currently login via a Single Sign On provider (e.g. RCPI / RCPI PCS users), then your NHS ePortfolio password is not generally used and does not need updating.



Form listing pages showing current post items by default – Update to improve performance

As of the site update on 1st March 2014 (Release 13.2) pages that list form completions have been updated so that forms created from the trainee’s current post are displayed by default. Previously all posts form completions where being displayed when form pages were loaded using up significant amounts of system resources resulting in slower page load times. This change affects Supervision forms, assessments (e.g. Core Procedures and SLEs), and progression (e.g. ARCP) but does not affect log forms, PDPs and equivalent.

In the screen shot below of a Summary Overview page you can see that only the current post’s details are being listed:

However, the drop down allows you to select other posts as well as a “Select All” option that will display all your posts’ form completions:

The example below shows the Education Supervision page (Foundation) with the “Select All” option used:



Logging in: Your last select role remembered

Following this weekend’s site update (25th January 2014, Release 12.8) you may notice a small change to the logging in process. Trainees and supervisors have often asked if we can simplify the login process by remembering what ‘role’ you had the last time you used the ePortfolio.

If you have more than one ePortfolio role then the next time you log in (after the update) you will see the Select Role page one last time. After this you last used role will be remembered so that the next time you log in you will go straight into that role. Of course you can change role at any time by clicking the Select Role button at the top left of the menu.  When you log out the role being remembered will be the one you last selected.

For trainees who have been in the Foundation ePortfolio and are now routinely using a College ePortfolio this small change will be of particular benefit. If you have both Foundation Clinical and Foundation Educational Supervisor role (with associated trainees) then ensure you are in the correct role following login (and change if necessary).

How logging and selecting a role looks at the moment

How logging and selecting a role looks at the moment (until 25/1/2013) and for the first time you log in after the update

After Saturday (25/1/2014)

After Saturday (25/1/2014) you will go straight to your last used role

Select Role button

Select Role button on the menu lets you change to a different role

For trainees who have been in the Foundation ePortfolio and are now routinely using a college ePortfolio this small change will be of particular benefit.

We are always keen to hear suggestions that would improve your ePortfolio experience so please send us your ideas via Twitter @NESePortfolio or via your College or local user group.


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.

How to install the ePortfolio App on an iPhone

The NHS ePortfolio App is an HTML5 web application.  This approach has been taken primarily to ensure that the application can be made available on the widest range of devices possible.


This document outlines the steps to be followed to add an icon to the home screen of Apple’s iPhone devices running IOS5, iOS6 or iOS7 as would happen if the app was available for “installation” from the Apple App Store.  Please note – screenshots may not exactly match your device.


Step 1

Firstly, tap the Safari icon on your iPhone to open the Safari web browser and navigate to the website  You will be presented with a login page as shown below:



iOS 5

iOS 6

iOS 7


Step 2

Once on the login page, tap the button in the centre of the toolbar at the bottom of the screen to open the actions menu:



iOS 5

iOS 6

iOS 7


Step 3

Tap the “Add to Home Screen” button, you will then be presented with the ability to change the title of the new icon you are going to add to your home screen – we recommend you leave this as “ePortfolio” and tap “Add” in the top right.



iOS 5

iOS 6

iOS 7


Step 4

You should now have an icon on your home screen that you can tap to use or tap and hold to move around like other apps from the App Store:



iOS 5

iOS 6

iOS 7


Step 5

Tap the ePortfolio icon to launch the ePortfolio app.  You will be prompted to login and confirm you are not using a public (shared) device.  Please login using the same username/password credentials you use for the main ePortfolio website.

How do I reduce file size for Personal Library uploads?

As there is a limit to the storage space on the Personal Library it is a good idea where possible to reduce the size of files you need to upload.

For Microsoft Office files there are a number of options which are described in this article: 

For image files the options are described in this article:

Another option is to compress one or more files into a zip file:

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).

A Brief Guide on: Autolinking in the Foundation ePortfolio

In the Foundation ePortfolio it is possible to ‘link’ the various evidence form collected to your foundation curriculum.
Some of the forms on the Foundation ePortfolio will automatically link to the curriculum page of the ePortfolio when saved.

This is known as “autolinking”

Forms that currently autolink:
a.    Direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS)
b.    Mini-Clinical evaluation Exercise (MiniCEX)
c.    Case-based Discussion (CbD)
d.    Developing the clinical teacher

Why do these forms auto link?

Autolinking was implemented as part of the UKFPO Curriculum Delivery group’s requirements for the Foundation ePortfolio in August 2012 when the SLEs were introduced.

This group determines what is known as ePortfolio “Core Content and Functionality”.  Autolinking was conceived by this group as a useful mechanism for trainees and supervisors.

Forms that no longer autolink but did once:
 Clinical Supervisor’s Induction meeting form.
This form did autolink to the curriculum between August 2012 and April 2013. The auto linking of this form was removed as a change request at the request of the Foundation ePortfolio Team advisory group, a body made up of representatives of all the Foundation Deaneries that use the ePortfolio. It was felt for this form the auto linking was not useful, so it was asked to be removed.


How to use the Foundation ePortfolio “Summary of Evidence for Satisfactory Completion”

[Download as a PDF]

As part of the pages to support the Foundation Annual review of Competence Progression (ARCP) process a number of new features have recently been released onto the ePortfolio. The “Summary of evidence for satisfactory completion” acts as a central portal of ‘quick links’ to relevant evidence in accordance with the core requirements for satisfactory completion of F1 and F2 (Foundation Programme Reference Guide 2012).

This document will detail how this page can be used to support the ARCP review process. This example is form the point of view of a foundation administrator viewing a trainee’s ePortfolio, but the pages work the same if viewed by supervisors, trainees or a programme director.

How to use the summary page

1. Log in or select your trainee as usual.  You should see the trainee home page.

2. Use the menus to navigate to the “Trainee home > Forms > progression ARCP” page

3. Click the “View summary of evidence for satisfactory completion of F1/F2” link.  This can be seen in a box marked “Optional resources to review your e-portfolio evidence.

4. Select “F1” or “F2” to show evidence from either the Foundation trainee’s FY1 year or FY2 year.  The summary page will pull through all data for that training grade.

5. You will see a list of all the sign off requirements for satisfactory completion of the year.   Some of these requirements pertain to evidence that is not held on the ePortfolio, for example the requirement that a trainee Completes 12 months of F1 training without exceeding the maximum allowable leave period. In this case the summary page cannot provide any evidence on this requirement, so the ‘View evidence’ column will remain blank.

6. However if the requirement does pertain to evidence held in the ePortfolio it will be pulled though and summarised in this page.  For example the requirement to have A satisfactory educational supervisor’s end of year report will pull through that report if one is present for the training year.  The page even summarises if on that report the person filling it rated the trainee as ‘Met requirements’ or ‘Did not meet requirements’ to make it quicker to review the evidence.

7. There is also an embedded link to the form in the summary page, so clicking on the ‘magnifying glass icon’ will cause the form to open in a pop-up page so the details can be reviewed immediately.