Introduction to Fishbase

Fishbase is the trainee and deanery management portal for the new Trainee Portfolio. Its database contains all the information that is displayed in the Portfolio that the Trainees and Educational Supervisors see.  How this information is displayed is different though, and there are different views depending on the role that you have to make things easier. For example, ARCP members will have a different view to a patch administrator.

This guidance is aimed at Administrators (RCGP, Deanery and Patch), Educators (AD’s and PD’s), Panel chairs and members, External Advisors. 

Logging in

Go to to log in. If you can’t remember your password then please click ‘Forgotten your password’ and it will email you a link to set up a new one.

Once logged in you will be on a page which shows some updates to the system. In the middle of the page in pink you will a button which will take you to an introduction to Fishbase, it is worth watching this before proceeding.  You will also find other help text on the page and at any point, if you click ‘Help’ at the bottom right, it will take you to the FourteenFish help centre which contains all the help articles.

On the left you will see ‘Database’, this is what you need to click on to access all the deanery information.

Viewing Trainees and ESs

Once you have clicked on ‘Database’ you will see a list of different boxes and filters. If you click ‘Run Search’ it will bring up a list of all users in your area. You will notice that if you are in a patch, you will only be able to see the people in your patch (trainees and ESs). If you are working across the whole Deanery then you will be able to see all people in your Deanery.

Fishbase - people management

To view the basic demographic information of the users, click on their name, this will show their ‘Person Details’.

Fishbase - demographics page

If you want to look at a trainee’s posts etc then you will need to go to the ‘Trainee page’, you can do this straight from the main list by clicking the person icon or from in the Person Details page, clicking ‘Trainee Page’. On this page you will find all the information about the trainee including posts, stages of training and access to the whole of their portfolio.  To learn more about looking at their Portfolio in more detail please go to that section.

Fishbase - trainee page

Viewing Deaneries, Patches, practices and hospitals

These can be viewed under ‘Organisations’. You can use the search or the filters to find the locations in the area in which you work. It is easy to add an organisation but this will not be something you need to do very often as all the locations will have migrated across. You will only need to do this when new training practices or hospitals start to train GP trainees.

Fishbase - organisations

Fishbase - organisation view

Fishbase - organisation edit

Giving others access to Fishbase

If you have Deanery or Patch admin rights, you are able to give others in your organisation access to view the people and organisations in your area. To do this, click on Organisations, find your organisation and click on it. At the top right you will see ‘Users and Roles for this organisation’. Click on this and then insert the email address (and name if they haven’t already got an account) of the person you want to add.  If you add them as ‘Normal’ they will be able to see everything and do everything except create new users for that organisation. If you give them ‘admin rights’ then they will be able to add new users as well as everything else. You can change the rights for each person in this menu as well as remove them if required.

Fishbase - users and roles in an organisation

Assigning jobs to Educators (supervisor role)

To allow people to perform certain tasks, they need to be assigned a ‘job’, this is different to giving them a ‘role’ in an organisation. Each job is specific to an organisation. So a GP trainer should have a job at the organisation (practice) that they work at, such as being an Educational Supervisor or Clinical Supervisor. First make sure that the organisation exists that the person is to have a job at. There are then two ways to give someone a job at that organisation. Either go to the organisation and ‘add a person’ or go to the person record and ‘add a job’.

Fishbase - educator jobs

Fishbase - educators jobs

Fishbase - adding new jobs

Adding new Supervisors

You will first need to add the supervisor as a person to Fishbase. Click on ‘People’ on the left and then ‘New Person’ (check they aren’t already on the system first to avoid duplicates). You then must add as a minimum their name and email address.

If they already have an account with that email address, then the system will recognise this, and the user will be able to use their existing login details. If the person you are adding has not used the system before, you will need to send them an activation email. Click the “Invite to FourteenFish” link to generate this. The new user will receive an email, allowing them to activate their account.

Fishbase - adding new jobs

Once you have added the person to the system, you will need to allocate the Jobs (see above) and link them to trainees as required.

Stages of Training, Posts and Review Periods

For several reasons, we have decided to split stages of training and posts. This will allow to analyse and calculate more information about each trainee and their posts.

Fishbase - training overview

Stages of Training

Stages of training are each trainees ST1/2/3 year and also any statutory leave. Some trainees will be working LTFT and this would be indicated in their Stages of Training. Some trainees have several different percentages of LTFT for a particular ST year so these are split up into separate stages of training. The trainees ‘requirements for this review’ (how many logs and assessments which they will see on their portfolio) is based on the percentage that they are working in ‘Stages of Training’ so it is important that this reflects their LTFT percentage.

Any breaks in a trainees training should be recorded as a ‘Stage of Training’.  To add a new Stage of Training, go to the Trainee Page and click ‘add a new stage of training’. You will then be asked to enter the dates of this stage, the grade and whether it is FT or LTFT. You can also mark if this this stage of training is an extension.  If the trainee is working LTFT, you will need to calculate the date for the end of that stage of training.


Posts are the ‘jobs’ that the trainee does. These are independent of the Stages of Training as often the jobs are out of sync with the stages with LTFT trainees or those who have had statutory leave. To add new Posts, click on ‘New Post’. You will then need to add the dates for the post, the ‘Speciality’ which is the GMC recognised Specialty and the Organisation, which is where that job is.  If that organisation doesn’t exist, then it will first need to be added under Organisations in the main menu. There is also an area labelled ‘Description’ which you can use for more info if it would be helpful – this will be on the ARCP form. You can also assign ES/CS when adding the post (see the next section for more information).

Some trainees are now doing integrated care posts or are academic trainees. With these trainees it is important to put all of their posts in this section so in some cases the trainee will have two Posts with the same dates – this is okay. There is a section in the Posts which asks for the number of sessions, this does not need to be completed for normal posts but where the trainee is working in an integrated care post, it can be helpful to complete this.  For example, you have a trainee working 60% in GP and 40% in secondary care during an ICP, you would add both of these posts and could put 6 sessions for GP and 4 sessions for the secondary care post.  It doesn’t matter the actual number of sessions that trainee is working in each, it just allows you to easily see the split.  If this trainee is working at 60%, the split and number of sessions would still be the same. This allows the system to calculate that the trainee has done enough time in secondary and primary care.

Assigning an Educational or Clinical Supervisor

You can assign the ES/CS when adding a new post or when editing an existing post. You also need to make sure that the ES/CS has that ‘job’ assigned to their account for that organisation.

When adding a new post, click on the menu next to the ‘Educational Supervisor’ or ‘Clinical Supervisor’ to add them to the post. 

Fishbase - adding trainee post

To add supervisors to the existing post: click the post on the training timeline and click ‘More details’. You will see a section called ‘Supervisors’. Click on the dropdown menu to add the supervisor (their role and linked organisation will be in brackets after their name). If you cannot find their name or the role is not that for which they are to have, then you will need to go back into the supervisors account and make sure they have the correct job assigned for that organisation.

Fishbase - adding supervisor to existing post

Finally, you need to make sure that the supervisor is linked to the current review period. Select the open review period on the training timeline and click ‘More details’ to open it. Go to the ‘Permission to access’ section and add the supervisors to link them to the review period. Please note that the trainees can confirm their supervisors through the portfolio (based on the information entered in their posts).

Fishbase - review period access


When a trainee starts in ST1 you will need to set their expected CCT date. This would be normally be three years but if they are LTFT or ATCF then this will be different and need to be calculated. This CCT date of ‘End of training’ date should be entered on the main Person details page under ‘Demographics’. It is important that this date is updated when any changes are made to training as this is viewable by the trainee on their portfolio. 

When a trainee has an ARCP, if their CCT date is changed at that point (if TOOT added on or an extension) then this will automatically update the CCT. Any changes made outside of the ARCP (such as change in percentage or statutory leave) will not automatically update the CCT and so this will need to be manually changed.

Viewing a Trainee's Portfolio on Fishbase

When you go to a trainees Trainee Page, you will be able to see Posts etc but also all of the other information that they will be able to see on their Portfolio.  On the main page you will be able to see the ARCP outcomes, ESRs, Ed notes, feedback etc.  At the top is also a list to delve deeper should this be required.  You can view all of the educator notes (please note the toggle on the right within Ed notes to expand all). You can also view their requirements (which is based on the length of their review period and their percentage in their ‘Stage of Training’) as well as all information which is visible in ‘Search their entries’.  Within this section you can filter as much or as little as you like to view all assessments and logs the trainee has done.

Fishbase - training overview

Fishbase - trainee entry search

Fishbase - training progress

Fishbase - training requirements

Fishbase - trainee graphs

Fishbase - compliance passport

Fishbase - educator notes


The way that ARCPs are organised has changed with the new Portfolio. All trainees will be assigned an ARCP date which they will be able to view on the main page of their portfolio at all time. This will give them plenty of notice to prepare for this. All panel members will also be added to ‘Panel’ dates and will be able to access the appropriate trainees portfolios on that day using their own login credentials. This means that we will no longer be using generic logins or allowing panel members access to all trainees Portfolios when it is not required or appropriate.

Setting Panel dates

On the left drop down under Database you will see Panel Meetings. This is where the list of all Panels will be. These can be filtered and new dates can be added by clicking ‘New Panel Meeting’. I would recommend adding all of your panel dates up to at least 18 months in advance so you can put your trainees into these ‘panels’.

Fishbase - panel meetings

Adding Trainees to a Panel

There are several ways to do this. The first way is to do to the date of the Panel and click ‘Panel subject’ and add the trainee you wish to add. You can then also select why you are doing an ARCP on this trainee, annual, OC5 etc.

Another way to add a trainee to a Panel is when you are doing their ARCP, the last question is ‘date of their next ARCP’. This will give you a dropdown of all the upcoming ARCPs and you can add them to this at this point and they will automatically be placed in that upcoming ARCP.

Another way is through ‘Panel Report’ which is underneath Panel meetings on the left menu. This will give you a filterable list of trainees which you can allocate or move dates if required. One helpful filter is ‘Trainees with no panel date in the next two months and last ESR with ARCP requested. This will bring you up a list of trainees that are not due an ARCP but who have had Unsatisfactory or POR in their last ESR. These trainees can then be allocated a Panel sooner if required.

Adding Panel Members to a Panel

Any ES/PD/AD that you want to add as a panel member must have that ‘job’ attributed to their account. To give this person a role as panel member, you must first click on People, find the person in question and scroll down to where it says ‘Jobs for ……..’. Click on New job and then assign them the role that they may take in the panel, be it member or chair or lay rep. You can ignore the dates and grade and discipline. You should however enter the organisation which would be the deanery you are working in. (you only need to do this once)

Now that that person has that ‘job’ they can be assigned as a panel member. Go back to the panel meeting that they will be a member for and click on ‘Panel member’. You can then confirm their role in that panel before adding them.

The panel chair will have access to the list two weeks before and several weeks after the ARCP, they will be required to sign each of the certificates. As soon as the chair signs the certificate the trainee will get an email to let them know that their ARCP certificate has been produced and to review it. Admin, members and the chair can all write the certificate. Certificates can be amended by the chair or admin once the chair has signed off the certificate but before the trainee has signed it. If the trainee has signed the certificate then the college needs to be contacted to roll back the certificate.

Fishbase - panel members and subjects

Fishbase - ARCP form

Splitting a Panel

The list of panel members will automatically appear on each certificate that is produced for that panel. If you are running more than one panel on a day, then you will need to create a new ‘Panel meeting’ and assign the appropriate trainee and panel members. If you are doing an ARCP but need to add or remove particular members (conflict of interest etc) then click the trainees names and then ‘split’, this will set up another ARCP on the same day and you can amend the panel members for that panel.

Video guidance

Setting up ARCPs

Managing multiple ARCPs

Guide for ARCP Panel members

Frequently Asked Questions


< Back: Trainee Portfolio

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