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ePortfolio v3 FAQ

Frequently.Asked Questions about the ePortfolio V3 Project

 2015-05-25 15.53.43 (2)

Why are NES changing ePortfolio? It works pretty well for me as a foundation doctor...

NES has a strong track record of developing IT solutions to support NHS staff in training and CPD. These range from the NES Portal for course booking and recording, through to SOAR for medical appraisal and revalidation to ePortfolio.

As we now have several systems used in Scotland and beyond which hold data on users, there are multiple records of users and systems that are not compatible. This means many log ins, updating several systems with changes, and difficulty in knowing what is held where. We also have a library of learning products but these are not always easy to locate.

To improve the end-user experience, we are rebuilding our software so users of multiple systems have a single log on and record with NES. We also need to change where and how we hold data so it’ s secure and  accessible from anywhere. A starting point to implement the v3 upgrade was feedback gathered from the many ePortfolio user groups.  

Users of single systems will benefit from streamlined, accessible systems which are built using the latest technology and enabled for modern phones and tablets. These systems are scalable and flexible in a way that previous versions, build incrementally, were not. They will also have improvements built in based on feedback from you, our users.

What’ s different about the v3 upgrade of ePortfolio?

From a user perspective, ePortfolio will be fully mobile responsive and adapt its’  content layout to tablet and smartphone screen sizes. This is the most significant change you will notice.

In addition, ePortfolio will start to become more streamlined, enabling single sign-on to access multiple services. Starting with the Scottish and then UK-wide Foundation Schools, users will no longer have to change profile thus enabling them, for example, to transfer records as they progress through training. Single sign-on and the ability to better integrate with other systems is another major enhancement of the v3 upgrade, but much of this work is ‘ behind the scenes’ . You’ ll simply see the benefits through having less profiles to log-into and more connectedness between the applications your organisation uses for training and continuing professional development.  (CPD).

The upgrade will pilot initially with the Scottish Foundation School in 2016 and roll out organisation by organisation from December 2016, reaching all ePortfolio end-users in 2017.

When will I get to see the new version? Can I have some input to it?

From Marcht 2016, the Scottish Foundation School will pilot ePortfolio v3, with its trainee users accessing ePortfolio in its mobile responsive state and using a single sign-on function  for multiple systems from August 2016.

During this pilot stage, NES is committed to providing a preview of v3 (as used by Scottish Foundation School) to key decision makers within all organisations licensing ePortfolio; essentially our customers. We will invite your feedback during this phase and look to incorporate viable suggestions into the first full release of of v3 from December 2016.

During 2016 and beyond, NES will share v3 progress reports with customers and between June-December 2016 we will commence a process to engage directly with ePortfolio customers on their specific organisational needs for unified log-ins and systems integration.  

I’m not in Scotland, so the link ups in data won’t affect me. What do I get out of it?

As we’ve said above, users who are not going to benefit from the single log on to multiple apps will still be getting a streamlined and easier to navigate system, designed with users to be intuitive and flexible. This new development is being built in the best of breed modern technology thereby securing ePortfolio functionality for the foreseeable future. In addition, the separation of a data cloud from the application means that when we update and replace version 3 your data is secure and useable in any new application.

What’s happening now, and for the next few months?

We have a timeline for our project:

June 2015

Project initiation. Scoping the existing system, stakeholders and issues

September 2015

Sprint 0 – setting the vision for version 3, getting the team together, planning the product backlog, planning the next three months

October – December 2015

Sprint 1 – 7 – the architecture, the single log on, the user stories, the platform, forms (part 1)

January – March 2016

The user screens, forms (part 2) messaging and process ticketing, profiles and permissions, exception paths, curricula and elearning

April – August 2016

Migration of Scottish Foundation School data, scoping meetings with other Foundation users, deployment of version 3

August 2016

Deploy ePorfolio v3 for Scottish Foundation School

June – December 2016

Scoping meetings with Customers to establish requirements and migration dates – creation of plan for customers

Scheduling of migration and deployment of version 3 support alongside version 2 team


Customers migrate and deploy version 3.


I’ve heard NES has PA Consulting as a commercial partner. How will that work?

 PA Consulting Group is a global consulting, technology and innovation firm of over 2,500 people, expert in a wide range of sectors and services, including the digitisation of healthcare. NES and PA have created a digital partnership, which will combine NES’s health education capability with PA’s technology capability to enhance, deploy, host and support NES digital solutions (like ePortfolio) for its clients. 

How safe will my data be in the new version?

Very safe. Although the application will be easier to access it doesn’t mean your data is any less safe. NES has contracted with Microsoft Azure to hold the data for its systems. Microsoft have delivered assurance that data is secure and meets all public sector requirements. Microsoft Azure has full ISO2001 accreditation.

 How do I give feedback on the development?

Stakeholders will be invited to view the test environment of the system as it develops. After each sprint, there will be an opportunity for users to view the system and be directed to the areas worked on during the sprint. Feedback will be gathered directly using the forms in the system, and there will be an update on what has been changed as a result at the end of the next sprint. We need a wide variety of users to give feedback so whatever your role your input is important. The first development is for the Scottish Foundation School so existing users of the Foundation ePortfolio are especially welcomed. However there is a lot of core functions that will be of interest to all users so keep an eye on what is being done in each sprint as your views will be taken into account.

A password will be required to view the test system but futher details will be made available on the website once the next phase of sprints are planned on how to get set up.

How will you keep me informed?

We have this webpage set up now and as the work progresses we will let you know what the sprint plan is. Each sprint will conclude with an opportunity for feedback but we will also publish an update showing what work has been done so that even if you do not feedback you can see what is happening.

Information on agile development and the Scrum methodology for software development is available if you are not familiar with this kind of working.