The Multi-Source Feedback (MSF)

The Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) tool is used to collect colleagues’ opinions on your clinical performance and professional behaviour. It provides data for reflection on your performance and self-evaluation. MSF is one of the tools used to collect evidence for your Trainee ePortfolio, as part of the Workplace Based Assessment component of the MRCGP exam.

How the Multi-Source Feedback (MSF) tool works

Preparing for the MSF

Agree dates to conduct the MSF with your trainer or supervisor, and set aside time discuss the feedback generated after the closing date.

Then select your respondents.

  • In secondary care, five clinicians who know your work well; they should come from a range of roles and include people with a range of seniority.
  • In primary care, five clinicians (mainly established GPs) and five non-clinicians

In both settings it is important to choose people who know your work through working alongside you.

Conducting the MSF

Provide respondents a letter explaining the MSF process and giving the closing date. Make sure your educational supervisor knows which colleagues you’ve asked to take part.

Respondents participate by clicking on ‘Assessment forms’ under the Trainee ePortfolio login box. Using the ticket code you’ve generated from your ePortfolio to indicate who they are providing feedback about, they provide grades on a seven point scale and enter comments in two free-text boxes.

Clinicians will answer both sections: non-clinicians just answer just the first section.

Using a variety of respondents

It’s good practice to get opinions from as many different colleagues as possible. This may be difficult in small practices, but try not to duplicate respondents across MSF cycles.

Checking MSF participation

Your educational supervisor will contact a sample of respondents to check that they did contribute to the MSF. Neither of you should have access to information connecting individuals with responses: responses are anonymous.

Using MSF feedback

Your educational supervisor will have access to the anonymised results once the MSF closes. Once authorised by the educational supervisor, the results will be available to you and your trainer through your Trainee ePortfolio.

You’ll then have a feedback interview and an opportunity to reflect on the results. You can record this discussion and the resulting action plan as a ‘professional conversation’ in your Trainee ePortfolio Learning Log.

When you use the MSF

You complete two cycles of MSF during ST1 and two cycles in ST3.

MSF form and guidance


How many MSFs do I need to complete during training?

You will need to complete one MSF in ST1, one in ST2 and one in ST3. During ST3, you will also be required to complete a leadership MSF.

Why do we have to complete a Self assessment?

This is so you can compare how you think you score in the areas concerned to the scores given to you by your colleagues.  This requirement has been set by the GMC.

I am trying to complete a colleague response but it says it has already been completed?

If you are sure that this is not yourself who has done this then it may be that another colleague has done this by mistake. If you contact the colleague who is subject of the 360 they can add you again onto their survey.

How many colleagues do I need to get to complete the survey?

10 respondents are needed for each MSF. This should normally be 5 clinicians and 5 non clinicians. It is recognised that to find 5 non-clinicians in a non-primary care post might be difficult and in this situation it would be acceptable to ask more clinicians. 10 replies are the minimum number and the assessment will not count without this number.

For each MSF we would recommend asking more than 10 people to ensure you do reach the minimum number.


Why won’t my Portfolio let me send out the invitations?

You need to submit details of the minimum number of colleagues AND complete your self assessment before the system will let you send out the survey invitations.

Can I see who has responded?

If you log into to your Portfolio and visit the survey setup page you will see how many of your colleagues have responded but not which individual.

How do I remind colleagues who have not responded?

The Portfolio automatically sends out reminders if colleagues have not responded within 10 days of the initial invitation.

I have had an email saying the survey can be closed. What does this mean?

This means that you have had enough recipients to be able to complete the survey. You don't have to close the survey and can wait longer to give more colleagues the chance to respond. Once the survey is closed, if any of your colleagues try and complete the survey they will be notified that it is has been completed. Your Educational Supervisor (ES) will be notified when you have closed the survey and they will be able to review this before releasing it to you.

I think I can identify who has made an upsetting comment. What should I do?

Whilst we want MSFs to be anonymous, you may be able to identify individuals who have written certain comments. We would suggest discussing this with your ES should this occur.

I am completing the survey for a colleague. Will they be able to identify me?

Your colleague will not see any names in the completed summary report.

How is my data held?

It is held securely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. 

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