Frequently Asked Questions

There are always questions that pop up, so to help you quickly find the answers we have put together a frequently asked questions section containing the most sought-after information. If you should have any queries that are not covered in this section we are more than happy to help, just get in touch.


Available on request

Please get in touch with Phil Bottle on 07441 906 342 to discuss pricing options.

What does your costing include?

Our costing includes everything we outline in the proposal including:

  • Setup
  • Maintenance of the system
  • Updates
  • First line telephone support
  • Online tutorials and support
  • Training for Administrators
  • Hosting and server space


If we purchase SARD what level of support can we expect?

We are committed to providing the best customer service possible and have multi-level support available to our user communities including:

Chat Support

If the user still has questions they can talk to our support staff via our live chat support. If you have been browsing this page, you may have seen members of the SARD team pop up already. Our chats are on average answered within 8 seconds by expert staff.

Telephone support

Of course, if preferred, it is possible for users to call us, or provide us with their number so we can call them. The nature of our support system is very public (in that members of the support community can sometimes see questions asked by other users) so there is a strong incentive for us to resolve problems quickly and politely.

24/7 Ticketed Support and Knowledge Base

  • UserVoice Helpdesk
  • Get answers to similar questions from our Knowledge Base
  • Get assistance from the user community
  • Make suggestions for improving the system
  • Vote for changes to the system

On-screen support and help text

The system includes help text describing how an area is to be used and what can be expected to happen next. As an organisation you can adapt this information to ensure the guidance is tailored to your users.

Intuitive Interface

We believe that we have designed a system that is intuitive and simple to understand. A number of graphical devices, such as tabulated forms and RAG (Red, Amber and Green) statuses, have been employed to quickly convey the state of an appraisal or portfolio and what needs to be done next.


Do we receive training on the product and if so who is trained?

SARD offers training both online and offline.

Offline - System Administrators

System Administrators will receive face-to-face training in how to utilise and manage the system.

Online - Everybody (ROs, appraisers, doctors and administrators)

Users will have 24/7 access to a package of online instructional support, including videos and online help guides. Should the online training not address a specific need, the individual or organisation can contact SARD via one of the support methods outlined above.

Can doctors receive training as well?

SARD is a very intuitive system to use. With all of our support systems in place, there should always be help and advice available and we feel face-to-face training of doctors is therefore not necessary. If you do wish for us to provide some training sessions for doctors at your organisation, please contact us and we can arrange for this for an additional fee.


How long does implementation of the system take?

SARD is hosted externally in secure UK based servers. This cuts down deployment time as SARD does not need to be integrated with internal systems. A fully off the shelf live system will take SARD no longer than 2 weeks to deploy. However, you may wish to consider the time it will take internally to map your own specific requirements to match your policies.

Can our old appraisal data be used in the new system?

SARD has the capacity to upload legacy data in different forms. We can upload it in its most simple form of previous appraisal dates mapped to the individual user. It is possible to upload the dates + any documents you wish to attach. The final option is for any organisation that previously used MAG forms; we can import the MAG forms directly into the system, so that your doctors won't have to repeat any of the information that they entered in their previous appraisal. Please keep in mind it will take a little more implementation time for any additional information you wish to upload.

How do we get all of our doctors' information into the system?

During the set up of the system, we will supply a template that you can populate, which will then be uploaded in to the SARD system.

What if we don't have any datasets, or are unsure how to go about this task?

SARD will supply you with a guide on this subject together with some examples that relate to your type of organisation. These examples will be generic but can be customised as much or as little as you like.

How many people will we need to set up the system?

This is entirely up to your organisation but because of the intuitive nature of the system the requirement is minimal.

Is there any local installation or is all access browser driven?

All access is browser driven. This means you can access SARD on any computer or device with an internet connection.


How do we access the system?

The system is web based and can be accessed using any modern browser including, but not limited to, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Who manages access to the system for users?

All access is administered by your organisation's system administrator.

How do you set up a new medical role or appraisal dataset in the system?

The set-up of roles and datasets is accessed in the Administration section of the system and can be amended and changed by the system administrator without any requirement for outside interference. The procedure is very easy and is covered as part of the training for the administrator.

Are we able to generate and provide reports from the system?

SARD has integrated dashboards which provide top line information for each level of user. The system also comes with a wide range of reports for administrators and Responsible Officers and the ability to define your own reporting requirements. SARD will ensure that you can report on anything you need.

Where does the doctor store all of their evidence to complete their appraisal and revalidation requirements?

Each user will have their own portfolio, set out on a single page which outlines each area of evidence they will be required to complete. Doctors can either sign post to hardcopies of their evidence , or upload evidence linked to a particular or group of datasets.

Is there a limit to the size of files that can be uploaded to the site?

There is no limit to the file size. However we recommend that users do not upload files larget than 10MB, due to the time it takes to up- and download these files, and theoretically there shouldn't be any need to upload files of this size.

Are there restrictions to the types of documents you can upload?

No, SARD can upload any electronic document but it can also be used to signpost to physical documents or documentation on other sites. This was a major drawback in competitor systems. In SARD, all evidences are text-based descriptions that may or may not include attachments, leaving the system much more flexible and less frustrating for the user.

How will a doctor know when they have enough evidence?

Each doctor has a dashboard that outlines quickly and easily how much of their portfolio is complete and shows in detail which areas they need to work on.

Who defines when evidence satisfies a particular requirement?

The doctor is in charge of setting a red, amber, green status to their evidence. The appraiser will then review the evidence and has the opportunity to request more information if a certain section is not satisfactory.

Does the system include the appraisal forms as defined by the GMC?

Yes. SARD includes the appraisal forms based on the latest release by the GMC. Furthermore, all relevant data from within the system, including personal details and information uploaded in the portfolio section of the system will be automatically pulled through to the appraisal forms to avoid duplication of effort.

Does the system store old appraisals?

Yes. SARD keeps accessible records of all previous appraisals undertaken within the system, as well as allowing you to upload legacy data about previous appraisals completed prior to system use. Additionally we can import the GMC MAG form directly into the system, pulling all the relevant information in, so that your doctors won't need to repeat the work they completed within the MAG.

Does the system include top level information about appraisal and revalidation activity?

Yes. Each user, regardless of level, will have a dashboard relevant to their role.

Individual doctors will have a dashboard outlining activity and historical information. Appraisers will have an extra dashboard outlining the activity of the doctors they appraise (presented in graphical and written form).

The responsible officer will have all previous dashboards, as well as an RO dashboard outlining activity across the organisation and allowing them to drill down into individual activity information and assign a QA status to the information.

How will users know if anything has changed or been added to the system? Also how will users know when appraisal or revalidation status is about to expire?

SARD has a notification section on each individual dashboard, which outlines what changes have taken place on the system, including any new information added; when you are about to expire with regards to revalidation or appraisals; if an appraisal is ready to be processed by an appraiser and much more. Also, the system will email automatically to keep users up to date covering all of the above areas.

How does a responsible officer submit recommendations to the GMC?

We are currently awaiting the GMC portal which SARD will link to so recommendations can be sent through via this route.

Does SARD interface with any third party systems an organisation may have?

SARD does not interface directly with any other system, however uploading or extracting data from the system is a simple process with minimal manual input. In order to keep the system as flexible as possible to meet your revalidation needs, we have opted not to build interfaces, however this is an area that we would be glad to discuss, should it be a requirement.

If someone leaves the trust can they take their information with them?

Yes, all data from SARD can be exported as a zip file containing a PDF file of the appraisal, portfolio and all supporting e-docs.

Multisource Feedback (MSF), Job Planning and Educators Appraisals

Does SARD include the ability to record MSF or to undertake it within the system?

Yes. SARD 360 provides an integrated end to end multi-source feedback service, including the dispatch, receipt and analysis of both colleague and patient feedback surveys.

MSF reports from other providers can also be uploaded directly onto the SARD system.

Does SARD include the ability to record job plans, or to undertake them within the system?

Yes. SARD Job Planning provides an integrated way to undetake this.

Job plans from other systems can also be uploaded onto the SARD system.

Does SARD include the ability to undertake the educators appraisal sections within the system?

Yes. SARD has integrated an educators appraisal module into the portfolio and appraisal form section of the system to cover all of the specific requirements outlined for educational supervisors.


Who is responsible for looking after the system and to ensure it is in good working order?

SARD will maintain the system, and ensure that it works to the standard you expect as part of the annual per head cost.

What do we do if something goes wrong?

Contact us via one of the support routes outlined above.

Do you expect there to be any planned down time?

When making changes to a system, there may be some downtime, however we will ensure that your organisation has sufficient prior warning for any planned outage and strive to complete this work when the system is least used. Should it be an unforeseen outage, we will work our hardest to bring you back online as soon as possible.

Security and Data Confidentiality

How secure is your system and who manages the security?

SARD takes it's responsibilities as secure data processors very seriously. We are fully certified to the ISO27001:2013 international standard for Information Security Management. We use this internationally recognised framework as a basis for our robust Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) to enable the continued accessibility, confidentiality and integrity of your information as well as legal compliance. This covers all our products and our staff are trained in data protection awareness.

We are fully compliant with all current Data Protection legislation and as data processors are prepared for the increased requirements of the new GDPR regulations.

How do you stop outside parties accessing system information and ensure viruses are not uploaded with the documents added to portfolios?

Penetration testing is conducted in internal audits and then tested again in our independent security audits. Documents are scanned for viruses on upload.

System administrators should not have access to the system information. How do you prevent this?

System administrators only have access to the areas required to fulfil their role. By default, all permissions are denied and then explicitly permitted based upon a users role. This is configurable per organisation.

How do you address confidentiality & data integrity?

The permission/role system ensures that those areas that are confidential remain so. The default is to assume that access is not granted and permissions are only granted back if they are needed for that user.



Datasets are specific pieces of evidence that an organisation may require from their doctors for a successful appraisal and revalidation. These datasets are mapped to the 4 domains and 12 domain attributes of the Good Medical Practice Portfolio.

Legacy Data

Quite simply, this means any historical data you may wish to upload to the system.