UKONS Digital SACT Competency Passport

Frequently Asked Questions

To help UKONS members understand more about how the UKONS Digital SACT Competency Passport will work and be developed, we’ve written a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). We hope we’ve covered most topics below but please do contact the project team if you have any other queries.  

We’ll keep the FAQs updated with the answers to any further queries we receive.  

Key questions

What’s happening?

UKONS are pleased to announce that the existing UKONS SACT Competency Passport will be moving to a fully digital platform, on the Compassly app. This means that future competency passports will be completed and maintained entirely digitally, through the Compassly app.

The process to design and develop the features to adapt Compassly to the SACT Passport will take some time, and we expect the new version will be ready to go in the second half of 2023.


We have heard repeatedly from users of the existing paper passport that it can be limiting and cumbersome – particularly to maintain over time. Although the editable PDF version allowed typing and saving of a digital copy, it is not centrally saved (so can be easily lost) and is challenging to work on, particularly away from a computer.

The digital version will be far clearer and easier to use, it will allow a live copy to be saved in the cloud and allows us to oversee the entire process far more easily. It should also make marking and assessing easier and less time-consuming for people carrying out assessments.  

As a UKONS member, will I now need to pay for this new app?

No, UKONS members will never be charged to use the UKONS SACT Competency Passport on Compassly. The app is free to download and use and access to the SACT Competency Passport is included as part of UKONS membership.  UKONS are covering all applicable costs of the Compassly system.

How will it be developed?

UKONS are working with a company Tefogo who have an existing competency passport solution called Compassly, which will be adapted to work with the UKONS SACT Competency Passport. See below for further details.


When will it be available?

We need to scope, design, build and test the features that are specifically needed to support the UKONS SACT Competency Passport, and this will take some time. At the moment we’re looking at piloting around the summer of 2023, with a wider roll-out towards the autumn/winter of 2023, but this is subject to more detailed scoping and planning.

How will you roll it out?

After the app is developed, we will pilot with a small group of early users, to test and gather feedback before any wider roll-out.  

A decision hasn’t yet been reached on how the wider roll-out will be carried out. We will discuss and communicate this well in advance of the actual roll-out.

What happens until then?

Please continue to use the paper passport until the app version is tested, piloted, and launched.  

Will the project continue after the app launches?

Although the formal project will finish once the app is fully rolled out, Compassly as a product will continue to be improved, and this will bring new features to the UKONS SACT Competency Passport too.  

We will also listen to feedback on the usage of the new digital passport and continue to refine the content and aim to release further versions of the passport itself.

The existing paper / PDF SACT Passport

Can I continue to use a paper record?

You should continue to use your existing paper/PDF passports, and anyone new to the passport should use the paper or PDF version until the digital app version is launched.

Will the paper / PDF version be used alongside the digital version when it launches?

We expect there to be a period of overlap, when both the paper and digital versions are available, but over time we will phase out the paper / PDF version and the app will be the only version available.  

When the content itself is revised (and any new versions of the passport are published), it is unlikely that this will be made available on paper / PDF.

Can I still order a paper copy to be sent to me?

For now, these are still available, but these will also be phased out. Once the digital solution is fully rolled out, UKONS will no longer commission new print runs of the passport.

If I’ve completed the initial passport on paper, will I need to redo it digitally?

No, you will not have to repeat any completed paper passports digitally. If you are part-way through the paper passport when the digital version launches, then you will have the choice of whether to complete on paper or transition to the digital version.

Will I be able to get rid of my existing paper passport once the digital version launches?

We are looking at options to securely upload historic paper passports to the new digital record, but until that point you will need to keep your existing paper passport records.

What about annual renewals? Will that stay on paper?

Our aim is to provide a path to switch renewals from the paper version over to the digital version, so in time all live records will be kept digitally.

Process to develop it

What needs to be done?

Although Compassly has been designed (and is in live use in the NHS) for competency assessments and passporting, significant adaptations will be needed to allow it to fit with how the UKONS SACT Passport works, and the further aspirations for the passport in digital format. Scoping, designing, building and testing this work with take up the majority of the project time. Examples of the work required include features to support:

  • Onboarding UKONS members to the passport
  • Selecting the relevant administration methods for each user to be assessed on (theoretical and practical)
  • Validating any existing competencies completed on paper
  • The structure of theoretical section and its marking by an approved assessor
  • Specific forms and data capture required by the SACT passport forms
  • Mapping the assessment process to the app
  • The process of formative and summative assessments
  • Register expiry and annual re-accreditation  
  • Transferring between organisations
  • Return to practice
  • Data provision to UKONS to monitor use of the passport

Once the development is complete, further work will be needed to pilot and refine the new version of the app before it is released more widely to UKONS members.

Who from UKONS is involved in the project?

As a working project, it is being overseen by the steering group:

  • Lisa Barrott
  • Mark Foulkes
  • Ruth Hammond
  • Verna Lavender
  • Catherine Oakley
  • Rosie Roberts

This group also provides updates to the UKONS board, who have ultimate responsibility for the project.

In the future we will seek broader involvement from UKONS members – see “Getting involved” below.

Is the actual content of the SACT Passport changing?

Although the focus of the project is on producing a digital version of the passport, we will take the opportunity to review the content that goes into the new digital version. We expect to make changes to improve questions, the process of completing the passport and to take advantage of new opportunities that a digital solution can offer.

Don’t we have a digital passport already? How is this different?

The previous digital passport was an editable PDF:

While this did give an option to at least type answers into the PDF, its use was very limited beyond this. This project is to develop the Passport into an entirely app-based experience.  

What about other competencies or digital projects?

The scope of this project is focussed on digitalising the existing SACT Passport, but if you have any suggestions on how it could be used further in the future, please contact that team at  

Getting involved

How will you make sure that the digital version fits the needs of those using it?

We will be taking a number of steps to gather requirements and feedback from across the breadth of users of the SACT Passport:

  • Appointing a specific subject matter expert to the project team, with funded time to provide clinical and user expertise to the project, review designs and test pilot versions
  • Running user-group sessions to gather feedback from across a variety of types of users
  • Inviting participation from UKONS members throughout, including at specific events and milestones

We welcome all feedback, and we plan to hold several events where anyone will be able to provide their input.  

I have some general ideas and feedback I’d like to suggest

We hope there will be plenty of opportunities to provide your input, but we’re always happy to hear your thoughts. For now, please email to contact the project team.

How can I get more involved in the project?

There will be several roles in the wider project team. From the start of the project, we are appointing a part-time Subject Matter Expert (SME) to be able to provide detailed input and help with the scoping of both the features and the content of the digital passport. Look out for the separate communication about this role.  

We will also have focus groups involved in specific parts of the app design, to ensure we have the right breadth of views from different types of users. We will communicate these groups and how to be part of them to all UKONS members closer to the time.

Using the new app

How will I access it the new digital SACT Passport?

Compassly can be downloaded from the App Store (iPhones and iPads) and Google Play (Android devices). It is also accessible on the web. Note that this is the version in use today, but it will need to be further developed and updated before the SACT Passport is ready for use on Compassly. Once the SACT Passport launches on Compassly, you will be able to access it directly through the app.

Will my passport by locked to my device? What if I lose it?

The new digital passport will be saved in the cloud, and therefore not tied to any one device – even if you lose your mobile device, you will still be able to access it through the web or a new device using your username and password. If you lose your account details, Tefogo will be able to help you recover them.

What if I don’t have a smartphone?

Compassly is fully available on the internet, you can use it through a web browser on your computer if you prefer – you won’t have to download the app.

We aren’t allowed to use our own devices in my hospital / our hospital blocks external apps and websites

As the app is accessible through the internet, you should be able to access it through the organisation’s own computers. Your organisation may also be able to load the app onto their own devices if they prefer this approach.

We will be able to provide the information that IT departments should need to enable access or load the app onto the organisation’s devices, although we cannot of course guarantee that they will be willing to do so.  

I’m still concerned about using the technology

One of the advantages of Compassly being an app-based system is the real focus on ease of use. We’ve found that even those who find traditional IT solutions difficult to use are much more comfortable with using Compassly.  

We’ll be happy to address any issues with using technology throughout the project, and feel free to contact the project team ( with any specific concerns.  

I have specific system accessibility needs that need to be supported

Compassly is able to make use of the built-in accessibility tools provided as part of the iOS and Android operating systems, but if you have specific accessibility needs and are concerned, please contact the team so that we can include you in early testing to help adapt the app to your needs.


How did UKONS choose Tefogo and the Compassly solution?

UKONS ran an open exercise in March-April 2021, inviting suppliers to tender for the work:

From a competitive field, Compassly was selected as the preferred solution (and Tefogo as the preferred supplier) based on the criteria outlined in the tender document.

Who from UKONS was involved in the decision?

The procurement exercise was led by Lisa Barrott and Mark Foulkes, with oversight by the UKONS Board.

Who will own the SACT Competency Passport going forward?

The intellectual property and responsibility for the content and administration of the SACT Competency Passport remains with UKONS, that is unchanged.  

More on Compassly

I can see Compassly on the app store – does that mean it’s ready now?

Compassly as an app is already available and in use within the NHS. Further adaptations are required to be developed and a new version released before it will be ready for use as the UKONS SACT Passport.

Can I use Compassly for other competencies?

Compassly is designed to work across multiple organisations and with any range of different competencies. If your organisation is using Compassly more widely then the SACT Passport will integrate automatically.

Use of Compassly for other competencies beyond the SACT Passport requires a paid licence – you can contact the Tefogo team at for further details.

How do I find out more about Compassly?

Visit or contact for more general enquiries.