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MARS help and support

Doctor

The MARS Service Desk will be closed from 11:00am on Thursday 21st October 2021 and will re-open on Friday 22nd October 2021 at 9:00am due to team training. 

If you are unable to remember your password, you can request a new password from the MARS login page and selecting the ‘forgotten my details’ button. When requested, a reset password email will be sent to your registered email address. Within the email will be a link to create a new password. 

If you are unable to remember the email address you’ve used, please contact the MARS Service Desk.

Last updated 04/08/2021  

We recommend you use up to date browsers and operating systems when using MARS, using the latest versions is more secure and provides better compatibility with key features on the site. The recommended/supported browsers are;

Image of Google Chrome logo Image of Mozilla Firefox logo Image of Microsoft Edge logo Image of Safari logo Image of Internet Explorer logo
Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Edge Safari Internet Explorer 11+

 

You may still be able to access the site on older browser versions but we cannot guarantee that all the features will work correctly or provide sufficient security. Please note that Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and therefore some features in MARS may not display correctly.

You can check your browser and operating system to determine what system/browser you are currently using. We may need this information if you contact us with a technical query.

Last updated 15/09/2021

You can change your password by clicking on My Account’ and then ‘change password. Your password must be at least 8 characters, contain at least 1 upper-case letter, 1 number, and 1 special character (i.e. !, @, %, *, £ etc.) 

Image of the 'change password' page

Last updated 04/08/2021

You should ensure your personal and professional details are correct before undertaking your appraisal each year. You should go to Doctor’ and then ‘My Details and you can update any details with the exception of your GMC (General Medical Council) number.

My Details page

If you’ve entered your GMC number incorrectly, please contact the MARS Service Desk.

Last updated 21/09/2021

Your transaction log can be found by clicking on My Account’ in the top right-hand corner of your MARS account. Within the transaction log you will see a list of all actions undertaken on your account.  

Transaction log

Last updated 06/08/2021

If your new health board/Designated Body is in Wales, you should update this in your ‘My Details’ section to reflect your new employer. If you are moving outside of Wales, your account will be archived.  

Last updated 21/09/2021

Once we are informed you have retired or started your career break, your account will be archived. Should you need to access it again in the future, this can be arranged and nothing created previously in MARS will be lost, including any previous appraisal summaries. 

Last updated 06/08/2021

We can temporarily reactivate your account with limited functionality. Your account will be moved to the ‘holding’ area and will be kept there for a short period – usually two weeks.

While your account is in the holding area, you’ll be able to access previous appraisal summaries as well as be able to download any files you’ve previously uploaded.

Last updated 21/09/2021

Your account has been placed in the ‘holding area’ by your health board or designated body. If you believe this has been done in error, you should contact your health board/Designated Body to discuss this.

If you have moved to a new health board or designated body and have updated this on your GMC Connect account, please contact the MARS team or health board who can move your account back into an active position. However, while your account is in holding, you can still log in and view previous appraisal summaries and information you’ve uploaded previously but you won’t be able to choose an appraiser, arrange an appraisal or enter further information. 

Below is a list of functions outlining what you are able to do while your account is in the holding area.

Doctor Active Holding
I can download my previous summaries x x
I can download previous appraisal information  x
I can download previous supporting information from the files area x
I can update my personal & professional details x x
I can view my revalidation progress to date x x
I can select an appraiser x  
I can book an appraisal meeting x  
I can enter appraisal information x  
I can agree or reject an appraisal summary x  

  

Last updated 21/09/2021

Please contact the  MARS service desk who will look into updating the hospital/practice lists to enable you to ensure your professional details reflect your current practice.  

Last updated 15/09/2021

You should select the health board/designated body where you undertake most of your work, this should also be reflective of your prescribed connection on your GMC Connect account.  

Last updated 15/09/2021

Annual appraisal should always consider a doctors whole practice, the General Medical Council (GMC) describes whole practice appraisal within their guidance on supporting information.

Whole scope of practice: You must declare all the places you have worked and the roles you have carried out as a doctor since your last appraisal. You must collect supporting information that covers the whole of this practice. It’s important you identify your whole scope of practice so you can make sure your supporting information covers all aspects of your work. Your supporting information must cover any work you do in: 

A - clinical (including voluntary work) and non-clinical (including academic) roles 

B - NHS, independent sector and private work. 

To meet the requirements of revalidation the GMC requires all doctors to present supporting information covering all aspects of their professional duties. This will require information being presented at an annual appraisal. Doctors often undertake multiple roles – either cross specialty or in management, education etc. All of these roles will be covered by revalidation requirements and will need to be represented at an appraisal discussion. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

There are two MARS sites  MARS for GP's and MARS for all other specialties.

You should ensure you are trying to access the correct site, as this is the most common issue. Please ensure you have entered the correct username and password and that your account has been activated (if you’ve recently registered).

Last updated 06/08/2021

Account activation is an automated process. Please ensure your designated body on your GMC (General Medical Counil) connect account is the same as the one you entered on MARS. When registering, the activation should then be immediate. If you register and then update your designated body, it may take up to 24 hours to re-sync.

If you are a GP, the Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) will check that your GMC connection matches that of your Medical Performers List (MPL), after which, your registration will be authorised. You’ll receive a notification from MARS once this has been completed.

Last updated 21/09/2021

You will need to register on the correct site and then get in touch with MARS Service Desk to deactivate the incorrect account.

Last updated 11/08/2021

An AQ (Allocated Quarter) is the period in which you should have your appraisal meeting each year. This should align to your revalidation date, please contact your Designated Body if you wish to discuss your allocated quarter.

This is a list of the Allocated Quarters throughout the year:

Jan-Mar Apr-Jun Jul-Sept Oct-Dec

Last updated 21/09/2021

Go to Doctor/My Appraisals and click 'Change AQ'.

change AQ

You will then need to complete the template and click 'Send'. Your request will go directly to the Revalidation Office of your Designated Body (or the GP appraisal team within Health Education & Improvement Wales if you are a GP) who will review your request and be in touch with you.

Last updated 21/09/2021

Go to 'Doctor', 'My Appraisals' then click on the Appraiser Selection panel. From the list of available Appraisers, you can select up to 3 choices. You need to indicate which month you would prefer then click 'Submit Choices'. The request will go to your first choice Appraiser, only if they decline the request will your second choice Appraiser be notified, and so on.

Image showing the process of selecting an Appraiser on MARS

Last updated 21/09/2021

You will need to send some further Appraiser requests.

If you continue to experience difficulties finding an Appraiser, you should contact the GP Appraisal team if you are a GP and your health board/Designated Body for all other specialties.  

Last updated 05/10/2021

Once an Appraiser has accepted your request, they will propose a meeting date or selection of dates, which will appear on your ‘My Appraisals’ dashboard. You can accept or decline meeting dates from here too or decline all dates if none are suitable.

Images showing proposed meeting dates on MARS

If you have agreed a date with your Appraiser outside of MARS, your Appraiser can enter it directly into the calendar and this will appear as a confirmed meeting on your dashboard.

 Last updated 11/08/2021

You can reset your Appraiser selection any time up until your Appraiser proposes or enters a meeting date, by going to 'My Appraisals' then 'Appraiser Selection' and clicking the ‘Reset Appraiser Selection' button. After that, you will need to select a new Appraiser.

Reset appraiser selection

If wish to reset your selection after a meeting date has been agreed, you will need to discuss it with your Appraiser in the first instance, after which this can be reset by your health board/Designated Body or the MARS Service Desk.

Last updated 05/10/2021

Once your chosen Appraiser has accepted your request, their details can be found on the Appraiser Selection panel within ‘My Appraisals’. 

Appraiser information

Last updated 15/09/2021

You will need to discuss this with your Appraiser and if they agree, they will need to change the date in MARS.

Last updated 11/08/2021

If you are a GP you should contact the GP Appraisal team, for all other specialties please contact the appraisal and revalidation team in your health board/Designated Body who will be able to assist you.  

Last updated 15/09/2021

You will only see the appraisers from the health board you have entered in MARS as your main employment on your ‘My Details’ page. Should you wish to be appraised by an appraiser from another Welsh health board/Designated Body, this would need to be agreed by both yours’ and your appraiser’s health board/Designated Body.

In the first instance, you would need to contact the MARS Service Desk and we will facilitate this on your behalf. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

You can enter appraisal information at any point throughout the year. You should remember to leave sufficient time to enter information before your account goes into the lockout period, 14 days for GPs and 7 days for all other specialties. You should ensure you enter information that is required by the General Medical Council (GMC) – GMC guidance on supporting information 

To enter appraisal information, go to ‘Appraisal information’ on the left-hand menu, or you can also access this from your appraisals dashboard. You can then choose ‘Add information’ and complete the relevant information. You should ensure you use the correct templates, for example, using ‘Quality Improvement Activity’ for your QIA for revalidation. Your Appraiser can then review and validate this for revalidation if the relevant strands meet the requirement. You can also include supporting information to supplement your appraisal entries and reflection, the video below will show you the full process. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

You can upload information in a variety of common formats such as Word documents, PDFs, PowerPoint slides etc. There are some restrictions, and you’ll receive an error message if you attempt to upload an incompatible file. For example, emails cannot be uploaded directly to MARS - you would need to copy to a Word document or PDF. You should also avoid identifying individuals in any information you enter.

Microsoft Word Microsoft PowerPoint logo PDF

Microsoft             Word 

Microsoft PowerPoint

PDF          document

Last updated 21/09/2021

Each user has a 200Mb limit to files you can store in your MARS account. We are unable to increase this limit so you will have to remove old files if you are nearing the limit. Once an appraisal is completed, there is no requirement to retain the files within MARS.

To create space. You can either save the uploaded files back to your computer or delete them:

  1. Go to the 'Files Area' (which can be found from the pull-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the screen)
  2. Select the file/s to remove (Note: If you click on the header of the 'Size' column, you can order the files largest-to-smallest or vice versa)
  3. Delete the chosen files by clicking on the ‘X’ in the extreme right-hand column against each entry
  4. If you wish to save files back to your device, click on the icon within the 'File Name' column which will open the file and you can save it. Once saved back to your device you will still need to delete it from MARS as described above

Last updated 05/10/2021

You are not able to enter further information once you are in the lockout period. If you need to enter additional information which is key to your appraisal, you need to discuss this with your Appraiser.

Last updated 21/09/2021

If you wish to take physical supporting information to your appraisal meeting, you can indicate this on MARS. Once you have selected ‘Add Information’, the category and type, you should complete the required fields. Then, towards the bottom of the screen you’ll see ‘Add Printed Material’. Select this and complete the pop-up box, you should then ensure you bring this to the appraisal meeting 

Last updated 15/09/2021

Your account will be locked 14 days prior to the meeting if you are a GP and 7 days before your appraisal meeting date for all other specialties.

lockout calendar

 

You will receive warning notifications from MARS – we recommend adding appraisal information in plenty of time prior to the lockout period approaching. An alert will be visible in your 'My Appraisals' tab and once you are in the lockout period you will not be able to upload any further information. 

Lockout banner

Last updated 21/09/2021

Yes. Details of complaints received should be recorded in MARS and discussed at your appraisal. To record a complaint, go to Doctor/Appraisal Information then click the +Add Information button. Choose Complaints and Compliments from the Category menu and Complaint from the Type menu. Further information on compliments and complaints is available to review on Revalidation Wales. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

Go to 'Doctor', 'Appraisal Information' then click the 2nd tab – 'Constraints'. 

MARS constraints page

Each section has a different list of constraints, specific to each sub section. You can search in the drop-down menu or scroll through to find the most appropriate section. Click on the left of the title heading and it shows the subheadings and select whichever option is applicable.

If you have added an entry you can also add free text comments by clicking on the blue box on the right-hand side. Adding comments gives you the opportunity to provide more information and context regarding the chosen constraint. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

The creation of a PDP is primarily the responsibility of the appraiser, following the appraisal discussion. However, if you have something specific, you’d like to add you can do so as an ‘Aspirational PDP’ item.

PDP screen

To do this, go to 'Doctor' and 'Appraisal Information', then click on the tab ‘Insights and Reflections’. To enter PDP elements, click on the green buttons on the right-hand side to access the appropriate category 'Aspirational PDP' items are not automatically included in your ‘agreed PDP’, however the appraiser is able to add this at the touch of a button if it has been discussed and agreed. 

Last updated 15/09/2021

Go to 'Doctor', 'Appraisal Information' and click on the ‘Current PDP’ tab. Here you will find details of what was agreed at your last MARS appraisal. Within the PDP section you can select whether you have met, partially met or not each PDP item. Select the green ‘Update Status' to do this, then, within the pop-up box, complete the required fields.

Last updated 16/09/2021  

For accuracy, you should check your revalidation date via your GMC Connect account. Your revalidation information can also be found in 'Revalidation progress'. However, there can be time delays or sync issues as the information transfers between the GMC and MARS.

Go to 'Doctor', 'Revalidation Progress' tab and you will find information which includes your revalidation date, number of appraisals completed, and your progress towards the required strands of information.

Further information around Revalidation can be found on the GMC website.

Last updated 21/09/2021

Go to 'Doctor', 'Revalidation Progress' tab and you will find information which includes your revalidation date, number of appraisals completed, and your progress towards the required strands of information.

Revalidation progress page

Further information around Revalidation can be found on the GMC website.

Last updated 16/09/2021

 

All queries relating to revalidation should be discussed with your health board/Designated Body.  

Last updated 16/09/2021

The Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) have access to aggregated reports to provide a national overview of service or workplace challenges affecting doctors in Wales. Each health board/Designated Body also has access to these reports for their own area so they can be compared against the national picture. Personal constraints are not reported upon. Any constraints you identify will be visible upon completion of your appraisal to your Responsible Officer (RO) or nominated representative.  

Whilst constraints are recorded and brought to appraisal for discussion with an Appraiser, they remain the responsibility of the doctor as an individual. If a constraint is raised which involves a potential patient safety issue this must be reported via the correct reporting procedure as outlined within the Duties of a Doctor – GMC guidance 

Last updated 06/10/2021

You will need to register on the Orbit360 site. Further information and a host of resources can be found via the  Orbit360 Frequently Asked Questions site.

This video gives doctors an overview of the feedback process in Orbit360.

You can download the video using the arrow in the bottom right corner of the video.

Last updated 16/09/2021

Once you receive your patient and/or colleague feedback report you can upload the report(s) from the ‘Appraisal information’ page. Select ‘Add Information’ and ensure you use the ‘Patient Feedback’, ‘Colleague Feedback’ or ‘Patient and Colleague Feedback’ templates. In order to meet the requirements of revalidation, you need to ensure you reflect on your feedback and discuss this at your appraisal meeting. 

Further guidance on adding appraisal information can be found at How do I enter appraisal information?’.

Last updated 16/09/2021

You can complete your patient and colleague feedback any time within your revalidation cycle but should leave sufficient time before your next revalidation date. Ideally, you would complete it in years 2 or 3 of your Revalidation cycle.

Last updated 21/09/2021

The lockout period allows the Appraiser sufficient time to review the information you've entered, prior to the appraisal meeting.

Last updated 11/08/2021

Once your Appraiser has completed the appraisal summary, you'll be able to review it via your MARS account. An alert will appear in the 'Appraisal Summary' section of your dashboard from where you can then accept or reject the summary.

Appraisal Summary screen 

Last updated 16/09/2021

Once the Appraiser has committed your appraisal summary you can review it via the Appraisal Summary section of your dashboard. You will need to click on the accept/reject button and chose the reject option. You'll be prompted to enter a brief reason why you’ve rejected it. Your Appraiser will review the comments and may choose to make amendments before re-committing this to you. If you and your Appraiser are unable to agree on your appraisal summary, you should discuss this with your health board/Designated Body.

Last updated 05/10/2021

Once you've accepted your appraisal summary, you will be able to prepare for your next appraisal. You'll also need to complete a post-appraisal survey. No further amendments can be made once a summary is accepted so please ensure you are happy with it before accepting via MARS.

Last updated 11/08/2021

Once you’ve completed your appraisal, you'll need to complete a survey which addresses all aspects of the appraisal process. This survey is mandatory and will help inform improvements to the appraisal process and MARS.

Last updated 11/08/2021

If you wish to become an appraiser, please contact the Revalidation Support Unit (RSU) GP Appraisal team if you work in General Practice.

If you work in secondary care, appraiser recruitment is managed locally by each health board/Designated Body, you should contact them to discuss this. They will inform us once we are able to allocate you the appraiser role on MARS. Once you’ve completed the necessary requirements, the RSU will add the 'Appraiser role' to your MARS account.

Last updated 21/09/2021

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