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Smart Cards

Smart Cards FAQs– West Yorkshire Pharmacies

NHS England is responsible for commissioning Registration Authorities to manage smartcard issues. In West Yorkshire we have two Registration Authorities, eMBED are responsible for the Leeds and Bradford areas and The Health Informatics Service (THIS) are responsible for Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.  Sponsoring is now done online within local pharmacies using a system called Care Identity Service (CIS). The process is outlined below. 


Registration Authority Processes - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. We have no Sponsor in our Pharmacy - what should we do?

Being a Sponsor is pharmacy specific so needs to be set up per pharmacy. The pharmacy should identify a Sponsor for their own pharmacy. This does not need to be a pharmacist but should be a senior/responsible person within the pharmacy. It’s recommended that there should be at least two sponsors per pharmacy; however, this is not always possible due to the amount of staff the pharmacy employs.

Independents - Pharmacy Superintendent/owner should request that a Sponsor is set up by emailing the NHS England Lead Sponsor. The pharmacy Sponsor should complete an application form and send this completed (Sponser Authorisation Form) to the West Yorkshire Area Team Lead Sponsor at the address below. This may be scanned and emailed.

Multiples - Ask your area manager to contact the Lead Sponsor nominating a sponsor by email or post. A sponsor authorisation form should be completed by the nominee and sent to the Lead Sponsor too. West Yorkshire Area Team Lead Sponsor is Timm Hield - timm.hield@nhs.net - 0113 825 3226, NHS England, North (Yorkshire & the Humber), 3 Leeds City Office Park, Meadow Lane, Leeds, LS11 5BD. The Lead Sponsor then grants the Sponsor position to the nominated person and this is enabled on their smartcard remotely. Additionally the area manager may nominate or be set up as a Regional Sponsor on request. 


2. I have a member of staff who requires a smartcard and has never been registered for one 

The process is slightly different depending on which Registration Authority you come under.


Pharmacies in Airedale, Bradford and Leeds - 0300 3000 620 or eMBED.Smartcards@nhs.net

Pharmacies in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield - 0845 127 2600

In this case the ID checker is: The Health Informatics Service Registration Authority, who are predominantly based in Brighouse, but on occasion, work in Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield.  The Sponsor initiates the “create new user” process in CIS as above but only enters a skeleton level of information. A call should then be logged with the Service Desk on 0845 127 2600 and the Registration Authority will make contact with the user to arrange an appointment to have their ID checked, a PIN set up and the smartcard  issued.


3. I have a member of staff who already holds a smartcard but it doesn’t work in my pharmacy

Access is pharmacy specific so the Sponsor should use CIS to add a profile to the user’s smartcard. This can be done remotely without the smartcard or user present. Just the smartcard number is required.  


4. We have a locum who wishes to be Sponsored at our branch

The process is the same as staff members (see above). Access can be given for a specified duration if required.


5. We have/I am a locum who wants Sponsoring not to our organisation but to the National Locum Code

The Locum should make contact with NHS England Area Team Lead Sponsor (contact details above) who will determine whether or not to Sponsor the locum to the code.  If deemed appropriate the Area Team Lead Sponsor will authorise this using CIS; once actioned, the user will see the new organisation assigned to them at the next smartcard authentication stage. This is assigned on a temporary basis and may be renewed.

Relief pharmacists for multiples should be given access individually for each pharmacy. Regional Sponsors for multiples can be set up on request to the Lead Sponsor. The Regional Manager needs to have a smartcard for this. 


6. Staff member is leaving our organisation and has a smartcard

Sponsor should remove their pharmacy access using CIS. The user should take their smartcard with them unless they are not going to be working in future NHS employment. In this case the smartcard should be retained by the Sponsor and they should then contact the Registration Authority to discuss disposing of the smartcard confidentially. 


7. What if the person who is leaving is a sponsor/ID checker?

It’s important that each pharmacy plan for this in advance as sponsors must be keep up to date. Multiple sponsors/ID checkers may be set up. A replacement sponsor should be set up with the Lead Sponsor as above and a request made to remove the leaving sponsor’s sponsorship rights. 


8. My smartcard has been lost/damaged what should I do?

Pharmacies in Leeds or Bradford
You should inform your sponsor and ask for a replacement card to be issued. The sponsor should arrange this with the Embed smartcards team. 0300 3000 620 eMBED.Smartcards@nhs.net

Pharmacies in Calderdale, Kirklees & Wakefield
You should inform the Registration Authority as soon as is practical, on 0845 127 2600; the Registration Authority will cancel your smartcard and a replacement card will be issued.


9. A smartcard is locked how can I unlock it? I’ve entered my PIN incorrectly several times and it’s now locked?

The user should contact their Sponsor and the sponsor should follow the “unlocking a smartcard guidelines” http://systems.digital.nhs.uk/rasmartcards/cis/guidance/cardmanage.pdf.
The smartcard will be unlocked in a face to face meeting, two smartcard readers are required. These may be requested from the relevant Registration Authority. Sponsors may unlock cards even from outside their organisation.


10. My smartcard’s security certificates have expired on my smartcard what should I do?

Smartcard’s security certificates must be renewed every 2 years. At each log-in, ninety days prior to your certificates expiring, you will be prompted to renew your certificates. If you have not used your smartcard for a while or have ignored these prompts then the certificates will expire and you will not be able to use your smartcard.  You will need to make an appointment with your Registration Authority or locate an ID checker, who will renew your certificates.



11. My name or other personal details has changed what should I do?

Pharmacies in Leeds or Bradford
The pharmacy ID Checker checks the ID and initiates the change on CIS. They should then contact the Embed Registration Authority and inform them of what needs changing. Once the Registration Authority have approved the change a new smartcard is then sent to the pharmacy locked. The sponsor then unlocks the smartcard with the user present so they can set a new PIN. Embed 0300 300 0620, email eMBED.Smartcards@nhs.net

Pharmacies in Calderdale, Kirklees & Wakefield
The user should contact the Registration Authority on 0845 127 2600 to make an appointment for their ID to be checked and a new smartcard issued.


12. Smartcards whose serial numbers start with 01, 02 or 03

Pharmacies in Leeds or Bradford
These cards need to be replaced and you should contact your sponsor who will request a replacement.

Pharmacies in Calderdale, Kirklees & Wakefield
These cards needs to be replaced and you should contact the Registration Authority on 0845 127 2600 to do this.


13. CIS doesn’t work with Google Chrome

Google removed something from their browser that allowed CIS to work. NHS Digital has released an extension which you can download which will enable Chrome to work again with CIS. There is guidance on how to do this on NHS Digital’s website.



14. How do I get SCR enabled on my smartcard?

All areas
SCR access is granted in the same way as other access is by the sponsor. The request is initiated on CIS and the relevant Registration Authority then approves it. CPPE must have been completed.

Locum Access to SCR
Where locums work in regular pharmacies, they should request that the specific site pharmacy role is added to their smartcard as above.

Locum Access to SCR for locums that have the National Locum Code (FFFFF/5F)
It is recognised that some pharmacy professionals will need to have SCR access enabled on the national locum code. This will allow them to then access SCR in any pharmacy that is live with SCR in which they work. Proof of CPPE training will be required and you must have already been granted the National Locum Code. Access is granted via NHS Digital by applying online via the link below.  You must have completed the CPPE training and enable data sharing on the CPPE website so that your certificate can be checked.


Shorter Link http://bit.ly/2t0rrOx 


15. Self-Unlocking a smartcard

If you accidently lock your smartcard this new feature allows you to unlock your smartcard yourself without having to contact a sponsor/unlocker or the Registration Authority. You must register this beforehand though and must have an NHS.net email address. See https://careidentityservice.wordpress.com/ for more info on how to register.


Information updated May 2018.