Blog posts written during January 2008

Updating skill category during department setup

Monday Monday, January 28, 2008 by Ian Pettman

History: as customer requirements and legal frameworks change, the definitions of a "skill" to be matched to an employee will change. In some cases meeting criteria associated with a "skill" may split into two. E.g. a Nurse may be a Registered General Nurse (RGN) and require CRB (Criminal Records Bureaux) checks every year when working for the NHS, Private employers may require a maximum validity of 3 years. 

Thus the skill becomes split into RGN (NHS) and RGN. AvaPA accommodates this. This sort of situation also occurs when AvaPA is chosen to replace a more limited system.


To allow reporting accuracy and simple operation during splitting or reconfiguring or importing "limited" data, AvaPA allows requirements to be moved (for example) from RGN to RGN (NHS) without changing any other data. This functionality is triggered when new departments are set up. A dialog box asks if earlier requirements are to be moved. To prevent this function being accidentally run, it can now be disabled (and re-enabled) as required.


This is done by any user with supervior status:

On the main menu:

Select setup, Reuirements and availability

Click on the Request tab.


Updating skill category during department setup 

Trainees: varying maximum hours per week over holiday periods.

Friday Friday, January 25, 2008 by Ian Pettman

By default AvaPA will check a constant number of hours per week as the maximum bookable time. This is set on an employee by employee basis (for example 20 hours for students). This value can now be overridden for holiday periods. This is done in the standing availability window:

From any record card for an employee:

Main menu: View: Standing availability

When the window shows, click on the weekly hours tab.

Overrides can then be added from any date for any number of hours. (Click on the new button at the bottom)

To return an Employee's hours check to the default value add a further override from the date when the period ends. AvaPA will then maintain a record of all periods and the hours checked.

Standing availability

Accrued paid leave calculations

Wednesday Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by Ian Pettman

AvaPA automatically calculates accrued paid leave. The calculations are dependant on the location of employment. Thus if a contract with one employer demands a certain percentage but all other employers only require the legal minimum, AvaPA can be configured to provide different rates for each and every circumstance. The rates applied can be set to apply from successive dates by the end user. Changes to contract rates are easily applied. This also allows a leave year to be applied. Thus all leave needs to be taken by a certain annual recurring date.

New: AvaPA also now supports a rolling window of 1 year. If paid leave is not taken within the year then it automatically becomes invalid.

To set up a rolling accrued paid leave window: ( In any record card window )

  • Select setup from the main menu
  • Select Requirements availability
  • Select the first tab (Employee)
  • Select the "Disregard paid leave older than" option to off or 1 year

Disregard paid leave older than 1 year setup

An over view of EU legislation

Ava adds Social Networking

Wednesday Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by Ian Pettman

This evening I have added the ability to add social network bookmarks in both our product and blog sections of the website. This means you can now easily add links on your favourite social networking sites to all our great blog posts or products. The social network sites we now support are:

  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • reddit
  • StumbleUpon

If there are any other sites you think we should add to this list then please leave a comment below.

Please do help us by adding bookmarks to our products so that other people can find us!

Product section of the Ava website has launched

Wednesday Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by Ian Pettman

We have been working hard over the last couple of weeks to publish a new Products section on our website. I thought it would be only fair to thank everyone publicly for their help in putting this all together. So, thank you all!

  • Ian for his great product knowledge
  • Mark from Little Big Idea's for his help producing all our website graphics
  • Katie-Jane for some fantastic proof reading

Over the next couple of months you will find the product area will be expanding to include the AvaPA Staff Bank range of products and further editions of AvaPA Agency.

Don't forget to add this blog to your RSS feeds if you'd like to be informed of updates on our site.


The first live AvaPA and ESR interface tests

Tuesday Tuesday, January 15, 2008 by Ian Pettman

The AvaPA <-> ESR (McKesson NHS Electronic Staff Records system) has undergone its first phase of site testing at Sandwell NHS Trust. This module will allow HR information to be passed easily and quickly from ESR to AvaPA updating staff payroll and pay scale settings with the minimum of fuss.

Functionality includes mapping assignment numbers to departments and responsibilities. This means that when a Bank staff nurse is booked to a particular ward for a specified requirement, the assignment number is correctly allocated without further input. In other locations AvaPA has achieved less than 0.5% of queries across the board on payroll payments.

If you run an NHS Trust staff bank please get in touch to discuss how we can help improve the efficiency of your staff bank.

New FAQ Item - Cancelling Invoice items and credit producing notes

Monday Monday, January 14, 2008 by Ian Pettman

Occasionally an invoice or payment will be processed and then be justifiably queried by customers or employees after it has gone to invoicing or payroll. This Faq item describes the process.

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