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Getting the most out of multisource feedback

Case study about Quality Assurance and multisource feedback

It’s your year

After a busy set at work, Eric's glad to be on days off. As he's scrolling through his unread emails, he notices one from BCCNP with the subject, "It's your year to complete multisource feedback." He's curious, as he'd heard a colleague talking about participating last summer.

 Scanning the message, Eric learns he'll need to complete the multisource feedback process as part of meeting his 2018 Quality Assurance requirements. Eric sighs and thinks, “The feedback would be great, but I'm already busy enough with work and family. How am I going to fit this in too?"

What is multisource feedback?

Multisource feedback is a structured process where nurses request and receive confidential feedback from colleagues via an online questionnaire based on observable behaviors such as professionalism, accountability & responsibility, communication, and collaboration.

Your colleagues have a unique perspective on your nursing practice. By working with you every day, they see where you excel and where you could improve. Multisource feedback is one way to help you identify where to focus your professional development via confidential, anonymous feedback, presented in a comprehensive report.

The multisource feedback process

Eric clicks on the link in the email to find out more. He sees that the process is pretty straightforward. He’ll be directed to the online My Professional Plan tool after he renews his registration and is granted practising status. He learns it’s a good idea to approach his colleagues before registration renewal begins: He'll need about 10 colleagues to agree to provide feedback on his practice.

Once he’s finished registration renewal, he’ll be directed to My Professional Plan, where he’ll enter their email addresses in the multisource feedback section, then wait for them to complete the questionnaire. Simple. Eric begins considering who he should choose to provide feedback on his practice.

How do I choose colleagues for multisource feedback?

Choose colleagues who are familiar enough with your practice to comment on observable behaviours. You can choose nurses and other health professionals such as physicians, occupational therapists, dietitians and  physical therapists.

You can also ask others such as administrative staff, housekeeping and care aides, and community workers in First Nations Health. In areas such as pediatrics or long-term care, recreational therapists, clergy or volunteers may also be an option.

We recommend that you seek and receive feedback from at least 10 colleagues to get the most out of the process. Remember that your colleagues will need to agree to provide feedback before you enter their email addresses into My Professional Plan.

To receive a report, you will need to have at least three colleagues complete a colleague questionnaire. If you are unable to find three colleagues, please contact us at

The multisource feedback report

Eric is eager to see what his colleagues have to say about his practice. Once the 30-day feedback period has ended, and he's notified his report is ready, he logs into My Professional Plan to review it. His confidential report shows both his self-assessment and his colleagues' feedback.

Eric reviews his report. Overall, his colleagues' feedback is positive and describes some areas where he excels in his practice. He also receives some constructive feedback on a couple of specific areas that helps him identify where he could improve. Over all, he's pleased with the feedback—he was a bit worried it would be negative but is glad to see his colleagues respect him, and are comfortable being honest with him, as well.

What if I receive negative feedback?

Colleagues’ perspectives on your practice can sometimes be challenging. Remember that the feedback you receive is just one part of the Quality Assurance program. We recommend that you consider the feedback in the context of your practice as a whole and identify areas where you can improve.

Our research and the results of our pilot in 2016, show that the vast majority of nurses who participate in multisource feedback receive positive/constructive feedback from their colleagues. Receiving feedback from your colleagues can help you identify areas on which to focus your professional development, generating opportunities for improving your practice and meeting high practice standards.

In addition, one of the reasons that we suggest you invite as many people as possible to provide you with feedback is to improve the reliability of your report. More feedback from colleagues will likely assist you to develop your action plan.

Applying your feedback

Now that Eric has assessed his practice and received multisource feedback, he can begin creating his Action Plan. He’s been thinking about his colleagues’ feedback since reading the report a month ago. He looks at the Action Plan section but isn’t sure about what to set as an action item. He calls BCCNP and speaks with a nurse advisor who supports him to identify opportunities for improvement and create his action plan.

Quality Assurance support

Whether you’re new to the profession or a highly experienced nurse there are times in every nurse’s career when you can benefit from discussing quality assurance and your professional development with a peer. Working with you peer-to-peer, Nursing Advisors are able to help you with:

  • Better understand and maximize the benefits of your multisource feedback report
  • Apply your learning from your report and integrate this information into your ongoing professional development to improve your practice throughout the year
  • Create an action plan and achieve high practice standards
  • Understand the role of the Nurse Advisor and the Quality ​Assurance Committee 

Read more about Quality Assurance Support

Wrapping up

At the end of December, Eric logs into My Professional Plan to wrap up and evaluate his action items. It’s been an interesting year, but a good one. With the help of his colleagues’ feedback he’s made some improvements to his nursing practice.

Eric takes his professional development obligation seriously, and on reflection, sees the value of multisource feedback in maintaining his competence to practise. Eric’s experience has also made him realize how consenting to complete multisource feedback questionnaires for his colleagues can benefit their practice. He knows he’ll be prepared when his turn comes around again in five years. 

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