Royal College of Anaesthetists

Laravel migration, development and maintenance for the Lifelong Learning platform, monitoring doctors' training

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) is the professional body responsible for the specialty throughout the UK. It is the third largest medical royal college in the UK by membership. With a combined membership of 23,000 fellows and members. The RCoA ensures the quality of patient care by safeguarding standards in the three specialties of anaesthesia, intensive care and pain medicine.

Cyber-Duck was approached to take over the hosting, maintenance and future development of the Lifelong Learning Platform. Powered by Laravel, it can facilitate the career lifecycle of over 23,000 fellows and members in the UK and currently 18,000 of these have used the LLP for assessment and documenting their training.

Key stats

11.5

million actions logged on the LLP since 2018

6

weeks from signature to full migration and take over on new hosting platform

4

sprints delivered in the first 5 months

RCOA amended image

Objectives

The Royal College of Anaesthetists’ (RCoA) Lifelong Learning Platform gathers insights into the training needs and progress of 18,000 doctors. Anaesthetists in training, consultants and locally employed doctors, local administrators and the RCoA training staff use the platform.

The College aims to develop the best anaesthetists across their entire career lifecycle, from university to ongoing training. For example, doctors need to update their records and provide ‘proof’ of CPD exercises completed to their supervisors, in an intuitive way.

Cyber-Duck was chosen to take over the hosting, maintenance and future development of their Laravel LLP platform. Our objectives were to:

1

Migrate and develop the LLP into a secure, easy-to-patch modular hosting environment and latest version of the Laravel framework.

2

Integrate new features as and when required by the RCoA.

Cross-functional agile delivery

Cyber-Duck decided to collaborate with the RCoA in an agile way. Our cross-functional team included a Delivery Manager (certified ScrumMaster), Developers and Quality Assurance.

Guiding their internal team, we ran agile ceremonies, such as daily stand-ups; planning; weekly show and tells; reviews; and retrospectives.

We prioritised how we delivered the project, by mapping the business needs against the backlog of requirements.

We began by immersing ourselves into the College’s goals and engaged with multiple stakeholders. Technical requirements were gathered via conducting a full code audit.

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Technical development and hosting support

We deliver proactive recommendations around hosting redundancy, data monitoring and analytics, security update of composer package, and framework upgrades.

For instance, we regularly check if there’s security patches to apply and upgrade the infrastructure. The platform also benefits from scripts to manage personal information as part of GDPR, anonymising all personal data when exported from the production database 

Alongside this, we also built new features into the platform. We implemented offline functionality so doctors could record their CPD on-the-move and generate a summary report of what they had completed so far. With Agile sprints for the support retainer, we define with the client what’s the most important to launch and when.

Data security and connectivity were key. We created an API to link to their CRM, Microsoft Dynamics. This allowed the data to be easily integrated by RCoA across their entire digital estate.

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Results

In six weeks, three million data-points and form-submissions were migrated to a more robust AWS hosting environment. We are continuing to develop this digital product and adding functionalities such as a new GMC anaesthetics curriculum.

We continue to support the RCoA team with a full-service support package, which includes: 

  • Monthly application support retainer for urgent application issues.
  • Monthly hosting retainer to ensure the platform is up and running.
  • Automated errors reporting through Sentry.
  • Ongoing sprints based on the backlog and business priorities.
  • Proactive digital consultancy and account management.

Key stats

11.5

million actions logged on the LLP since 2018

6

weeks from signature to full migration and take over on new hosting platform

4

sprints delivered in the first 5 months