We have a file size limit for appraisals - why is this and should we be scanning in files for supporting information anyway?
After consultation with NHS England we recently introduced a file size limit for our appraisal summaries of 9 MB. This was not to try and save on server space but rather to try and prevent large appraisal summaries that were causing difficulties in uploading to a national appraisal management system.
After this policy had been in place a few weeks we realised it was too restrictive. So now appraisees can have attachments on their appraisal that they can still show to their appraiser but not include in the final attachment summary thereby keeping the summary file size down.
Should we be including attachments at all in our supporting information? Dr Susi Caesar, the Royal College of GPs Medical Director of Revalidation argues convincingly against scanning certificates. (see the RCGP revalidation guidance podcasts)
What in fact does an attendance certificate prove? Only that we attended the event, but we could have sat at the back playing Angry Birds (I realise this is a bit far fetched - Pokemon Go is much more likely). The appraisers are most interested in brief learning points and whether the learning event has changed or reinforced our practice (reflection). We should be cogniscent of not making the job difficult for appraisers with loads of attachments that they then have to open separately.
Appraisers are most interested in brief learning points and whether the learning event has changed or reinforced our practice (reflection) rather than an attendance certificate.
Attachments can also be useful though. Certificates or orginal articles and presentations can be useful to store as a reference. In the cases of training like CPR or safeguarding we might want to provide certificates in future for CQC or similar. This is why we hope our solution is pragmatic whilst also in line with best practice.
Dr Duncan Walling