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UCL Medical School News

UCLMS Seminar: The intercalated BSc - Dr Melvyn Jones - 10th March

Mar 05, 2014 11:24AM

The intercalated BSc - why do medical schools offer them and what do they achieve?


Provost’s Public Engagement Awards

Feb 12, 2014 14:23PM

Winner: Engager of the year (researcher/academic grade 8 and above) Dr Jayne Kavanagh, UCL Medical School


Jane Dacre holds first MRCP PACES in Myanmar

Jan 08, 2014 10:49AM

This November, Professor Jane Dacre led the very first PACES for MRCP (Member of the Royal College of Physicians) in Myanmar. This was successfully held in New Yangon General Hospital, one of the teaching hospitals of the University of Medicine, Yangon.


UCLMS Social Media Policy

Nov 01, 2013 17:10PM

Social media has become a powerful part of the web in recent years and has changed the way we communicate and collaborate online.  Many organisations, such as the GMC and the BMA, politicians and medical journals are actively using social media and discussions of various aspects of the professional lives of doctors are increasingly seen on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.


Obituary: Dr Daniel Brudney

Oct 02, 2013 09:08AM

We are very sad to report the death of Dr Daniel Brudney in a car crash on Friday 13 September.



Welcome to the UCL guide to the NHS ePortfolio. The ePortfolio system is used throughout the NHS Foundation Programme and beyond. UCL replaced its paper portfolio system with the electronic NHS ePortfolio in 2012. This serves as an online record of achievement and includes supervised learning events (SLEs), other extracurricular achievements and reflective work. Here you will find all the information you need, whatever year you are in.

For a general overview of the ePortfolio watch the NHS ePortfolio walk through, created by NES.

Quick Links:

What is an ePortfolio?

An ePortfolio is a collection of documents providing evidence of learning, achievements, and personal and professional development. The MBBS course is supported by a portfolio throughout the programme. In Years 1-3 this is on Moodle. In Year 4-6 you use a more clinically focused, professional ePortfolio. A portfolio is a place for you to reflect on and describe your learning and to collect and structure evidence of your achievements and competencies. All doctors now maintain a portfolio during training and for revalidation, and so this will prepare you for your postgraduate professional life. It should also help you prepare for writing application forms such as the Foundation Programme application.

How do I access my ePortfolio?

You can access your ePortfolio from: www.nhseportfolios.org. You will have been given your login details already. If you have lost your password, please look at the pages for Year 4, Year 5, or Year 6 for the right person to contact. 

There is an app in development to allow you to access certain elements on the go. Currently it allows you to log reflections and send tickets. Watch this space for additional functions….

SLEs and how to complete them

Supervised learning events (SLEs) include Case Based Discussions (CBD), Clinical assessment Exercises (mini-CEX), and Directly Observed Procedures (DOPS). These tools are designed to give you feedback on your performance, and in particular to give you specific tips or ideas to improve your clinical skills or knowledge. SLEs are deliberately designed not to be graded, as the focus should be on giving you feedback about how to improve. However, your performance may be taken into account when your supervisor completes an end of placement or end of module report. The SLEs you use are identical to the tools used in the Foundation Programme. 

How to complete SLEs

It is essential that you tell the assessor before the clinical encounter that you would like an SLE completed. Do not wait until afterwards, or the next week, or the end of the module…

These SLEs are compulsory and you will use them a lot to get feedback on your progress

SLE What is it? An example of its' use
mini-CEX A mini-Clinical Evaluation EXercise is an observed clinical encounter. It should provide you with specific feedback on your clinical examination or history taking skills. Example mini-CEX form. You have just examined a patient in clinic in front of a doctor. You demonstrate your ability to perform a Respiratory examination and explain your findings. At the end of clinic the doctor completes a mini-CEX and gives you tips on improving your percussion technique and being logical in the presentation of your findings. 
CbD A Case-based Discussion is a structured discussion of a clinical case. The discussion must cover more than a history taking or examination. It should include a discussion of your approach to investigation and management and include clinical reasoning skills.  You may cover ethical and legal aspects of the patient’s situation. The discussion is usually not done with the patient present and the assessor does not have to observed you interacting with the patient. Example CbD form. You are on AAU and have seen a patient on the ward round each day with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). You arrange to meet the Consultant after the ward round and prepare for this by looking up management in a textbook. You sit down with the Consultant with the patients’ notes to discuss the investigation and management of DKA.  They give you feedback on the importance of fluid resuscitation as a priority for management rather than just insulin, and suggest you complete a BMJ e-learning module on DKA. 

These SLEs are optional and you can choose to use them for additional feedback but they do not form part of your required SLEs. 

SLE What is it? An example of its' use
DCT A Developing the Clinical Teacher tool is to aid the development of your skills in teaching and/or giving a presentation. You will be given feedback on your preparation, scene-setting, delivery of material, subject knowledge and ability to answer questions, learner-centredness and overall interaction with the group. You give a peer-led teaching session on the subject of fever in a returning traveller for your Junior Case Conference Presentation. You clerk a patient, consider the differential, look up the guidelines and present this to the group. The Consultant watching your presentation gives you feedback that you were well prepared and delivered the material clearly with good use of visual aids. They suggest you use more interactive techniques such as ‘buzz groups’ to keep your audience engaged for the whole session. 

A Direct Observation of a Procedural Skill is used to provide structured feedback on your technical skills, and importantly your interaction with the patient during completion of a skill.  This is not a replacement for your Procedures Card, which is mandatory.

Example DOPS form.

You are in the Emergency Department and perform venepuncture on a patient, observed by a doctor. They give you feedback that you had good communication skills and were able to talk to the patient during the procedure and put them at ease.  They recommend that you change the angle at which you enter the vein to increase the reliability of hitting the vein first time.  

How to record an assessment immediately

  1. Login to your ePortfolio account 
  2. Select 'Forms', then 'Supervised Learning Events' from the bar across the top
  3. Select 'Add New Assessment' 
  4. Select 'Create' next to the type of form you want to create
  5. Complete the form with your assessor. Once you have saved the form you will not be able to make any changes

How to send a ticket for later completion

  1. Login to your ePortfolio account
  2. Select 'Forms' then 'Ticket Requests' from the bar across the top
  3. Select 'Request New Assessment'
  4. Fill in all the required details. You will need to know your assessor's email address
  5. When the assessor receives the email they click on the link to complete the form
  6. You can remind someone about an assessment if it has not been completed after 7 days. Select 'Send Reminder' next to the ticket you want to remind them about.

Getting the most out of completing SLEs

Plan Ahead

Think about when you are going to do each assessment and who you are going to ask to assess you. Remember that Foundation Year 1 doctors cannot complete forms for you, so you may need to plan to do assessments when you know you are going to be working with a more senior doctor. Think about getting SLEs done from the beginning of your attachment – don’t wait until the last day! 

Ask in advance 

Ask the person you want to assess you before the procedure, discussion or examination so that they can think about the feedback they are going to give you whilst they observe you. Then they can give you some instant verbal feedback on your performance, as well as completing the SLE form. Don’t wait until three weeks have passed before asking someone to do a CbD about that patient you saw together and discussed - they are unlikely to remember the discussion and will probably refuse! 

See them as a learning experience 

There is cynicism among some junior doctors and students about SLEs. If you treat them as a tick-box exercise, then that’s what they will become; a chore to be completed without any benefit to you. However, if you treat them as a learning exercise and expect to learn from them then you will. You should try and spread out the SLEs during your attachment - doing them all in the first week to try and get them out of the way is not the best way to learn from them. 

Get immediate feedback

The feedback that you get from completing SLEs will be much more useful if you receive it just after the assessment itself. Make it easy for your supervisor to complete the SLE form immediately by:

  1. Finding a computer on the ward or in clinic and helping them log into their ePortfolio account (they will need their password). You may offer to type as they tell you what you did well, and what you could improve on. Make sure they read what you have typed before you submit. 
  2. Creating a ticket at the point at which you request the SLE. This will generate a code and an email to the assessor, which means that they do not have to remember their password. Instead they can click on the code on their email, or you can go to the ePortfolio login screen and enter the ticket code immediately. You are likely to get much more useful feedback by doing this, and it makes life easier for them (and for you!).


What do I need to complete for Years 4, 5 and 6

The same tools are used across the later years of the UCL MBBS course, but the specific requirements for each year are different Make sure you are clear on the requirements for progression and deadlines for completion, and take every opportunity to get feedback on your progress.

Year 4 ePortfolio

There is a lot to get to grips with in year 4 as your learning moves out of the classroom, and takes place in healthcare settings. The ePortfolio supports this progression to a more workplace-focused and professional learning environment. The software used at UCL Medical School, and the SLEs you will complete are the same as those used in the Foundation Years so you will be well prepared by the time you enter practice! 

What do I need to complete for Year 4?

Year 4 Module A 5 SLEs (2 must be CbDs, 2 must be CEXs)
Y4 End of Module report form 
Year 4 Module B 5 SLEs (2 must be CbDs, 2 must be CEXs)
Y4 End of Module report form
Year 4 Module C 5 SLEs (2 must be CbDs, 2 must be CEXs)
Y4 End of Module report form
By end of Year 4 2 miniPATs
4 Personal Tutor Meeting records
In your personal library:
Scanned completed procedures card
Reflective work (essays and/or feedback)
Cancer project (essays and/or feedback)
Drug project (essays and/or feedback)

If you are unsure about how to complete any of the necessary requirements for Year 4 on your ePortfolio watch one of these videos: 

Examples of the relevant forms can be viewed here: 

If you have any problems with your ePortfolio account or you lose your procedures card please contact the Y4 module administrator as soon as possible: Karen Picken

Year 5 ePortfolio

 The theme of Year 5 is 'the life cycle' and you will encounter patients with medical conditions as they present throughout life.  By now you will be very familiar with the ePortfolio, but there are some changes to the way it is used, which reflect the different structure of the Year 5 curriculum.

What do I need to complete for Year 5?

Year 5 CFHD 5 SLEs (see the study guide and procedures card for more details)
Y5 End of Module report form 
Year 5 WHMH 5 SLEs (see the study guide and procedures card for more details)
Y5 End of Module report form
Year 5 HOPE 5 SLEs (see the study guide and procedures card for more details)
Y5 End of Module report form
By end of Year 5 In your personal library:
Scanned completed procedures card
Evidence of team project presentation eg powerpoint presentation/PDF (HOPE and WHMH only)

In addition you need to complete an IP-MSF for each module, gaining feedback from 7 clinicians, but this will be paper-based for 2013-14. More details are available under 'multi-source feedback.' This is instead of end of placement forms which you will not use this year. 

If you are unsure about how to complete any of the necessary requirements for Year 5 on your ePortfolio watch one of these videos: 

Examples of the relevant forms can be viewed here:

If you have any problems with your ePortfolio account or you lose your procedures card please contact the Y5 module administrator as soon as possible: Neil McWhirter.

Year 6 ePortfolio

 By Year 6 the ePortfolio will be a normal and expected part of your life as a senior medical student. As you start to 'think like a doctor, act like a doctor' in your Year 6 clinical attachments, the ePortfolio will support your professional development. When you start FY1 you will be way ahead of your peers and will be able to focus on getting to grips with being a doctor, rather than having to worry about familiarising yourself with another system.

What do I need to complete for Year 6?

Year 6 GP

2 SLEs (CbDs or CEXs)
1 MSF (on paper)

1 Clinical Attachment Report Form

Year 6 DGH

6 SLEs (2 must be CbDs and 2 must be CEXs)

1 initial meeting with your Educational Supervisor

1 mini-PAT

1 Clinical Attachment Report Form

By end of Year 6

3 SSC report forms

In your personal library:
Scanned completed procedures card
Elective Report Form

Case of the Month certificates of completion

In addition you need to complete a Health Needs Assessment and Significant Event Analysis during your GP placement. These should be uploaded to Moodle.

If you are unsure about how to complete any of the necessary requirements for Year 6 on your ePortfolio watch one of these videos: 

Examples of some of the relevant forms can be viewed here:

Your elective clinical attachment form is not on the ePortfolio and should be completed on paper or as a word document. This is to accommodate those if you going to far-flung corners of the world. Download the elective form here. Remember to upload a copy to your personal library. 

Elective attachment report deadlines:

  • Elective Block 1 Group B1 – Friday 8th November
  • Elective Block 2 Group B2 – Friday 17th January
  • Elective Block 3 Group A – Friday 14th March

If you have any problems with your ePortfolio account or you lose your procedures card please contact the Y6 module administrator as soon as possible: Jane Rowles.