NHS Smartcards

From 1st April 2020 Sheffield CCG replaced EMBED as providers of smartcard/NHSmail support for NHS England. The areas that will be covered by Sheffield CCG from 1st April 2020 are Sheffield, Barnsley and Bassetlaw. All contractors should have received communications to update them of the changes.

Contact details if you have any queries are:

South Yorkshire Area – Sheffield, Barnsley and Bassetlaw CCG
RA Provider: Sheffield CCG
Phone: 0114 305 1030
Email: ra.southyorks@nhs.net


Summary Care Record (SCR) access
Complete the request form at the following link: https://nhs-digital.citizenspace.com/comms-iau/60a88897/

NOTE- You cannot have SCR access to the FFFFF national locum code unless you already have had this granted.

Smartcards: Quick reference guide
This information below explains how you can self-manage your Smartcard. 

Obtaining or Replacing a Smartcard– Contact your Registration Authority (RA) to obtain a new Smartcard. A face-to-face meeting and identity check will be required. If a Smartcard is lost or stolen contact your RA immediately. Read more here

Changing your Smartcard Roles- Smartcard ‘roles’ control what a pharmacy team member can do and what they can see.  Appropriate roles are applied by an RA or Sponsor and are dependent upon the tasks the pharmacy team member needs to perform. Read more here 

Changing your Smartcard Sites- A pharmacy staff member who regularly works at four local pharmacies, will have had those four premises added by the RA to their Smartcard. Locums who work at five or more sites at short notice may have the multi-site ‘FFFFF’ code for use when necessary but should also have their regular premises added to their Smartcard. Read more here

Unlocking your Smartcard– If a Smartcard passcode is accidentally entered incorrectly three times, locking occurs. Three steps may be involved with unlocking:

  1. Self-unlocking (requires prior registration of questions)
    The leaflet for self-unlocking is here. You may use  https://uim.national.ncrs.nhs.uk/selfservicewebapp/unlockCardStart or you must register for this before your Smartcard has become locked. At present you will require an NHSmail address to do this. If your Smartcard is locked but you have not registered for the ability to self-unlock then consider steps 2 or 3 below.
  1. Administrator/Sponsor attempt to unlock
    Local Smartcard Administrators (LSAs)/Sponsors can use the online Smartcard software, Care Identity Service (CIS) to unlock a Smartcard (excepting their own). They will use the relevant leaflet.
    NOTE- PSNC recommends one person at each premises is provided with the LSA role.
  1. RA unlock
    If a card is locked and the above step does not work, you may also contact your RA to request that it is unlocked.

Read more at: psnc.org.uk/scunlock.

Administrator/Sponsor overview/powers- Local Smartcard Administrators (LSA) or Sponsors roles can help pharmacy team members with Smartcard matters. An LSA role can use Care Identity Service (CIS) to assist with unlocking and renewing.

We recommend that each pharmacy branch assigns at least one member to be an LSA. This could be a branch managers or the pharmacist-in-charge.

A Sponsor role once added onto a card, also provides powers to make requests for registration or role changes.

Becoming an Administrator (LSA)/Sponsor
LSAs/Sponsors require:

  • a functioning Smartcard;
  • two Smartcard readers at the Sponsor’s pharmacy premises;
  • understanding of the responsibilities and obligations involved;
  • appropriate training.
  • a face-to-face meeting with the RA; and
  • RA approval.

Sponsor responsibilities
Familiarity with:

  • CIS


  • Be familiar with the different types of access profiles / CIS positions to approve, and how to support other processes associated with cards.
  • Scope of their sponsor role: Understand which users registrations they can support within the scope of the authority granted to them.

Local RA methods: Be aware of the method the local RA use to follow national guidelines and requirements. Sponsors will work with their local RA to maintain access to NHS CRS compliant systems within their area of responsibility consistent with the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice and Care Record Guarantee.

Temp Access Card arrangements.

Identity checks by Sponsors: Sponsors must be assured of the identity for users they sponsor. The sponsor needs to be assured that the user’s identity has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt and that the user requires the level of access requested. If they do not know the person, they may need to contact the pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy to confirm with them that the individual requires the requested level of access.

Renewing your Smartcard- Without action Smartcards expire after two years, for Information Governance (IG) purposes. When the expiry date approaches you will be prompted at each login to renew your own card using the CIS in good time. LSAs/Sponsors/RAs may also assist where needed. You can only self-renew twice – the third time requires an RA, and another identity check. Read more here 

Smartcard Expiry– If a Smartcard is not renewed within the two-year period (see above), it will expire and be permanently locked. A face-to-face meeting with the RA is required to make the Smartcard usable again. Read more here

Passcode/Contact Details Updating– Passcode/contact detail updating: The process involves logging into ‘My Profile’ of the CIS to enter-in the information. Read more here 

Change Site or Cancel- Change site or cancel: If a member of staff is leaving, the pharmacist or pharmacy manager should advise the RA who will make the necessary changes. Leavers with no intention of working at another pharmacy will have their Smartcard revoked. Read more here