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Royal College’s Ophthalmology Portfolio Scoring from Severn deanery website

(Estimated Read time: 5 minutes). Updated 06/Sep/2021

We have a new post for 2021 up here!

If you want to know the future, look to the past

Albert Einstein

Health Education South West (i.e. Severn deanery) coordinate national recruitment into Ophthalmic Specialist Training (OST) on behalf of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

They are the go-to for key dates and steps in the recruitment process, including how the portfolio is scored, so we strongly advise you keep a close eye on the Severn Deanery Website.

What you’ll find now however, is that the link for 2022 application is not yet live and they have taken down the one for previous year. Although the scoring changes slightly every year, what they are looking for is broadly the same.

For your benefit, we have kept a note of the criteria from last year to help you get started. 

So to help get you started, below is the portfolio structure for 2021

The scoring criteria does, and most-likely will change every year. For 2019 for example, there was a section for “Other Achievements” that was taken out for 2020. We put this up because it is a good starting point to what the College is looking for in your portfolio. People always wish they could see last years before the deanery take it down – so here it is! 
Below is the 2021 “evidence folder” requirements including the deanery’s phrasing of everything. Please keep and eye out for the official marking grid when it is released for 2022. (We will remind you!) 

Evidence Folder

It is important to follow the list of contents precisely as marks may be deducted for including unnecessary information. Candidates will be asked to upload the documentation to an on-line evidence portal. 

Full information including a link to the on-line evidence portal will be sent to candidates prior to the portal opening on the 18th of January 2021.

Please ensure there is no patient identifiable documentation included within the evidence.


List of Previous posts Please include a list of all your previous posts (your most recent post first).  If you are not currently working within a clinical post please specify.
Education Qualifications with certificates or letter of proof CUMULATIVE SCORING (Maximum 4 points)


1 point – per qualification – Intercalated degree, MSc, BA (Any subject including Oxbridge), BSc (including Optom)

2 points- for an MD thesis

3 points – for a completed PhD or DPhil



with proof

 CUMULATIVE SCORING (Maximum 5 points)


1 point – 1st in undergraduate degree

1 point – for Best paper or poster at a national meeting, successful research grant application.

2 points – for Best paper or presentation at international meeting, Crombe Medal (stood 1st in FRCOphth 1)

National Undergraduate prize (in any specialty) e.g. The Duke Elder prize

–  2 points for coming in top 10% of entrants.

–  1 point for being in the top 60%. (or a pass in 2016 or earlier exam sittings)

Training & Experience Ophthalmology specialty links and commitment to date as a career CUMULATIVE SCORING (Maximum 12 points)


1 point for each piece of evidence indicating commitment to speciality & non Peer review research

For example: elective ophthalmic project during undergraduate career, maintenance of links with speciality e.g. attending eye casualty/dept regularly in free time,  taster week in ophthalmology, microsurgical skills  course undertaken, evidence of EyeSi assessments, published case reports or letters, any publications in non-peer review journals e.g. British Undergraduate Journal of Ophthalmology, presentations at undergraduate meetings.

2 points: Refraction Certificate

3 points: FRCOphth part 1

4 points (max): Non peer reviewed publications & case reports (Only if first author otherwise no points awarded)

1 point (max): Ophthalmic elective/project

1 point (max): Taster week

3 points (max): Meetings attended – National / International Ophthalmology Courses or meetings attended: 2 points max (1 point per meeting / course) Regional Ophthalmology meetings attended (0.5 point per meeting):1 point max EyeSi assessments (minimum 4 hours min : 1 point max    Attending Eye clinic and theatre sessions (minimum 10 sessions with dates & signed evidence): 1 point max

Multi-Source Feedback



(Maximum 5 points)


The MSF must have been taken place within 18 months of the interview date.

Candidates not currently within a clinical post who do not have an MSF within the timeframe (e.g. undertaking a longer period of research or an extended period of leave) should include the MSF from their most recent clinical post.

The MSF should include feedback from a minimum of 5 respondents if in a general practice post or 7 respondents if in a hospital post.  Your educational supervisor or equivalent supervisor should collate this information and summarise it in a report. The report should include the period the MSF covered.  

The report must be signed by the educational supervisor or department lead and stamped with a departmental stamp.  If including a standard Team Assessment Behaviour Form (TAB) printed from E-portfolio it does not require a signature or departmental stamp.

For candidates without access to an on-line portfolio or unfamiliar with the MSF process information can be accessed from the link below.

Click for:  Multi Source Feedback Guidance 

Audit, Research & Teaching Publications (Maximum score 5 points)


List of publications (preferably from a PubMed Author search) with a photocopy of the first page (original articles or studies). No marks will be given without a copy of the first page of published paper or evidence of accepted paper.

Please also complete a proforma for your publication(s).  A sample of the proforma is below and the actual proforma to be used is available on the recruitment website.  

On the proforma list each journal, the impact factor for each and whether you were 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th or > author.  The proforma will be retained by the central recruitment team for purposes of verification.

The CiteFactor website should be used to obtain the impact factor and both the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 lists can be used.

Click for:  Proforma

Quality improvement / Audit projects (Maximum score 5 points)


Copy of your best QI project or audit, performed within the last 3 years of the interview date, with a short summary of your role in the project / audit.  The audit should have standards, outcomes, recommendations and signed by the supervising consultant.

Notes: covering letter or certificate are necessary for proof of presentation

Presentations CUMULATIVE SCORING (Maximum score 6 Points)


List of presentations and copies of abstracts or posters, stating whether it is a poster presentation or oral presentation..  Proof through abstract book or signed letter from supervisor

For example;

1 Point – Regional presentations (signed by training organiser) SOC, SWOS

2 Points – National presentations (For example British Oculoplastic Surgery Society, British and Eire Association of Vitreo Retinal Surgeons, or other specialty equivalents in the UK or national ophthalmology meetings of other countries or equivalent non-ophthalmology meetings) 

3 Points – International meetings – For example Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, RCOphth Congress etc or equivalent non-ophthalmology meetings. 

NB: The same paper presented at different meetings will only be counted once e.g. the highest ranking meeting.

Education and Teaching CUMULATIVE SCORING (Maximum Score 5 Points)


For example;

Designing an educational course or e-learning tool, completing a teaching the teachers course, formal role in examining undergraduates

Writing a chapter in a textbook, Writing a book, Higher teaching qualification such as a Diploma, Certificate or Masters in Medical education

All must come with supporting evidence.

Overall portfolio layout & quality Global quality & presentation (Maximum Score 3 Points)


Layout, organisation and quality of how it is presented will be assessed.

Guide to the size of an ideal paper portfolio:

The evidence for each item must be as per instructions to candidates. No marks if incorrect or no evidence submitted

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