DOC (Discussion of Correspondence)

The DOC (Discussion Of Correspondence) is a Supervised Learning Event (SLE), or a workplace based assessment tool, for paediatric run-through trainees to assess clinic letters and other written communication.

This has now replaced the paper based assessment SAIL. You can now complete DOC using the RCPCH ePortfolio. Any SAIL that you have already completed will be accepted for ARCP (Annual Review of Competence Progression).

What you need to do for the DOC

You will need five letters or other written communications per training level, starting at Level 2 (ST4).

It is optional to undertake DOC at Level 1 (ST1-3).

Your letters/reports should be representative of your work in community, PICU, ED as well as outpatients.

At least one DOC should be done by a consultant. Additional assessments may be carried out by others, such as SAS or SpRs. Note that those conducting these assessments will need to provide feedback to the college on how successful the assessment is and suggestions for modification.

Guidance and assessment form


Written communication takes many forms and the quality of it dictates whether the clinical picture is shared between professionals and the patient/family.

Though the style of writing differs between individuals, the tool aims to assess correspondence using a structured approach in order to form an objective view of its quality.

Completing a DOC

This is a short set of guidelines for the completion of the form (see below).

The assessment should be carried out with both the correspondence and the clinical notes available to the trainer and trainee and performed face to face.

Type of Correspondence:

Please select the box corresponding to the type of correspondence assessed. If selecting other, please describe in later comments.

Please insert a brief summary of the case:

This is to be completed at the time of selecting the assessment online (using ePortfolio) and will be visible to the assessor or trainee when the notification for completing the assessment is received by them.

Please document your discussion with regard to the following areas, (you may find the following prompts useful).

These three boxes should be filled with details of the discussion in the following areas:

  • Clarity: This section focuses on the usability of the letter. How easily understandable is it? Is it well structured?
  • Clinical assessment: This is the space to document discussion of the accuracy of documentation of clinical findings. Is the history, examination, investigation results, treatment and follow up documented accurately? Is anything important missing?
  • Communication: Does the letter update the reader on communication with the patient or parents? From review of the notes are all involved professionals sent a copy? Would you as the reader understand any actions asked of you?

On the basis of this assessment do you have significant concerns which should be discussed with the educational supervisor?

Please use this box to send an automated message to the trainee’s supervisor flagging this tool as a concern. Your documentation in the above boxes should lay out these concerns.

Agreed learning objectives:  

Please document clear and achievable learning objectives from any issues highlighted during the discussion.

Please describe what you have learned from this case:

Trainee to include any relevant reflection on the experience of writing the letter/summary in question.

Administration of DOC

DOC are completed online, using the RCPCH ePortfolio system Guidance on how to complete an assessment online can be found on the DOC page on the RCPCH website:

Trainees are advised to have at least one DOC assessment completed by a Consultant; additional assessments may be carried out by others, such as SAS or SpRs.


Following discussion of the correspondence the assessment record should then be filled out on line. Immediate feedback focusing on aspects of the discussion of the assessment where you felt the trainee did especially well (anything especially good), suggestions for development and any agreed action must be provided and documented and should then be transferred to the trainee’s PDP.


Once feedback has been received the trainee should take the opportunity to reflect on the experience, focusing on what could be done differently to reach improved outcomes. Please refer to the Feedback and Reflection section in the Assessment Guide.

DOC Assessment Form (Word, 201.5KB, 2 pages)


Your DOC can be completed online, using the ePortfolio system.


If you have any queries about this, or any other assessment, please email the Assessment team on