Published


Some people have raised concerns over call charges for the current support number. To address these concerns we have now set up a freephone number 0800 987 1008 that people can use to contact us.

We will continue to operate the existing 0844 number for now, but we plan to retire this eventually. This is likely to coincide with a move to a new support platform “Zendesk”.

If you’ like to read more about the background to this, and why we have made this change please read on!

Background

When we install purchased the 0844 number we did so on the understanding that it was a “Fixed Rate non geographic number” with a flat rate. This number was charged to at 5ppm with the option for us to choose a surcharge of anything up to 5ppm, which would go to us.

We chose not add anything and stuck with the flat rate of 5ppm. Since 2009 we have never generated any revenue from support calls, and we do not intend to.

At this time it was prohibitively expensive to run a freephone number and this seemed to be one of the cheapest next best options that did not discriminate nationally, or between landline/mobile users. However this changed.

Since OfCom’s deregulation of telecoms around 2009, costs have on the whole fallen for many services, but at the same time there has been a great deal of confusion introduced to consumers around call charges.

We took advantage of the savings that could be made using VoIP technology, by migrating the 0844 number to a different service provider. However we did not expect to find that we were no longer able to guarantee a rate to our callers. The cost of the call was now made up of a “service charge” (which we knew to be 2ppm) and an “access charge” by the telco used to make the call. The access charge was entirely at the discretion of the other telco (of which there are now many) and could be anything from 7ppm to 45ppm!

Our call charge then became effectively 2ppm + your service provider fee. Which led, understandably, to concerns about our number. We hope that the introduction of the 0800 freephone number addresses these and demonstrates our commitment to support our end users.

Simon
Portfolio Online


Published


The latest version of the Curricula (August 2016) is available on RCPsych and GMC websites and is live on Portfolio Online.

This update comprises of moderate changes, specifically related to the numbering of ILO’s, and is not an extensive or deliberate content re-write. As such it impacts immediately, new and current trainees alike. Going forward the online supervisor forms will soon be dynamically generated, based on the curriculum, and will be rolled-out as part of the next update.

For further information, feel free to contact Dee Noonan

dee.noonan@rcpsych.ac.uk


Published


We recently made an update to the system that adds support for “Revalidation Officer” access. This is a school based role, that lets a person view all of the ARCP documents for trainees in the specified school.

If there is someone in your school that needs this access then drop us a line at support@portfolioonline.co.uk for more information on how to get this setup.

(NB: Originally we had called these ‘Revalidation Managers’ but have subsequently updated the name of this role.)


Published


A new release of PortfolioOnline has been in development for some time now. The beta version is available at https://beta.portfolioonline.co.uk so that you can preview the changes.

This version brings improvements to the searching/filtering of your portfolio, as well as improvements to the general navigation that should make it easier to move around your portfolio.

One of the most significant enhancements is being able to filter your curriculum coverage, allowing you to see it by training level and/or ARCP period.

NB: The beta version is connected to your real portfolio, so that you can see exactly how it will look. You can access it using the same login details and any activity on the beta version will be reflected on the current version. At this time we would recommend continuing to use the current version for Mini-PAT, WPBAs and Supervisor Reports.

We are working hard to make this release available as soon as possible. As this is a beta version you may find that some things are not working as expected. Our servers log all activity and collect information about any errors allowing us to track them down and fix them. Using the system and getting ‘something went wrong’ is of great help and would be very much appreciated.

If you would like to go one step further, then we would also be interested to hear any feedback you might have, in particular if you find that anything is not working correctly, or if there is something that you think is missing. Or even if it’s just to let us know that you like it! Please email us at support@portfolioonline.co.uk and mention that you are testing the beta version.


Published


The latest update includes some changes to the language that is used in the system when talking about the people who make up arcp panels.

There are two discreet concepts to be aware of when using Portfolio Online to do ARCP.

  1. There is a designated pool of people for a given school that have permissions that allow them to take part in ARCP
  2. It is possible to assign people from this pool to a given ARCP date (or panel)

Previously we referred to these people as “Panel Members”. This is confusing because it implies that these people are on an ARCP panel, when in fact they only have the potential to be assigned to a panel.

A better description of the pool of people would be ‘ARCP Reviewers’ – and this is how the system now refers to them.

It also helps to make it clearer when we say that ARCP Reviewers have access to Trainee Portfolio’s during the two week window up to and including the review date. What this means is that all arcp reviewers have access, regardless of whether they are assigned to the panel.

This is an important change to how the system used to work prior to August 2014. In the old system access to the portfolio was dependant upon the Reviewers being assigned to a panel. Our experience was that sometimes panel members may not have been assigned correctly, and that this would cause issues with those panel members not having the correct access to trainee portfolios, which in turn would hamper the ARCP online process.

The consequence of this is that Deanery Administrators should ensure that the list of ARCP Reviewers is kept up to date. If an ARCP reviewer is no longer needed then you should press the ‘end’ button to cease access. In this fashion you will build a historical record of ARCP Reviewers.

This leads to the question of why it is still possible to assign reviewers to a given date? The answer to this, lies in the outcome form. When the outcome form is generated, one of the questions asks you to specify which panel members took part. To avoid having to type this information each time, the system allows you to select from a pre-generated list of ARCP Reviewers. This list corresponds to the list of ARCP Reviewers that have been previously assigned to the date.

We have updated the various screens where we refer to panel members, to now refer to ARCP reviewers. Functionality has not changed but this change in language should make it clearer what is happening. There are still a couple of place where we refer to panel members, but these should only be where we are specifically referring to that person in the context of them having been assigned to a panel for a specific arcp/date.


Published


Our Office will close at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd December and will re-open at 9am on Monday 4th January.

If you have an urgent query then please email us on ‘support@portfolioonline.co.uk‘ and we will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

We will aim to respond to all queries as soon as possible once our office reopens.

Many thanks and Merry Christmas form the Portfolio Online Team.

 


Published


It has been possible for some time to do parts of the ARCP process on Portfolio Online, but just recently we have added some new functionality to enable the whole ARCP process to be performed online.

It’s with many thanks to those that have already contributed their thoughts that we feel ready to make this new functionality live, but we don’t want to stop here. We know that for our product to be great, we have to listen to our end users.

Here are some of the new features we have added to the ARCP process online

  • Submit an ARCP Outcome
  • Sign off an ARCP Outcome Form
  • Release an outcome to a trainee
  • Allow trainees to review and acknowledge an outcome
  • Add an outcome form to a trainee’s portfolio

If you try any of these new features out and would like to let us know what you think, please get in touch with one of our team members. You can contact us by phone during office hours on 0844 800 6516, or by email support@training.rcpsych.ac.uk

 
 
DMS