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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

EPS Smartcard Model

The smartcard arrangements for EPS Release 1 and EPS Release 2 differ. On this section of the site you will find a summary of the national arrangements for R1, for R2 and the transition arrangements for pharmacies moving from Release 1 to Release 2. Always follow guidance from your system supplier on any smartcard requirements specific to the system that you are using. 

Click on the quick links below to jump to a particular section:

NB: The smartcard arrangements do not change the existing legal and professional responsibility for dispensing.


Obtaining a Smartcard

NHS England through its area teams is responsible for establishing local Registration Authorities (RA) to manage the issue of smartcards. Practical arrangements differ across the country, in some areas RA agents are visiting pharmacies or attending local events such as LPC meetings and in other areas, there is a need to visit a local RA office. PSNC is encouraging RAs to work closely with LPCs to ensure that the arrangements are fair and manageable for all contractors in a locality.

All pharmacy staff registering for a smartcard for the first time will have to go through the full registration process which includes identity checks that satisfy government standard ‘e-GIF level 3’. This means providing at least three forms of ID (photo and non-photo), including proof of address and attending a face-to-face meeting with the Registration Authority. Individuals must also have their details confirmed and application approved by another appointed individual known as a 'sponsor' and will be asked to sign a form to confirm that they have understood the terms and conditions for use of the card (in EPS Release 1, this is the EPS01 form and in EPS Release 2, the RA01 form).

Pharmacists who already have an EPS Release 1 card (EPS01 card), only have to sign the terms and conditions for the EPS Release 2 card (RA01 card) as identity checks would have been conducted when they were first registered for the EPS01 card.

To find out what arrangements apply in your locality, please contact your NHS England Area Team or LPC. Guidance may be available on your LPCs' Website.


Smartcard Model for Release 1

As EPS Release 1 does not provide access to any part of the NHS Care Records Service repositories, it is not subject to the same user policies as the NHS CRS applications. Key points about the registration arrangements for EPS Release 1:

  • A simplified application form and process was introduced for Release 1. The EPS01 Registration Form with associated EPS01 Supporting Notes needs to be completed and an initial face-to-face meeting with the Registration Authority Manager/Agent is required.
  • Under the R1 arrangements, only community pharmacists and locum pharmacists are required to register for cards.
  • The smartcards issued for Release 1 can be used anywhere in England. They are not specific to a particular locality. 
  • The smartcards issued for Release 1 are not issued linked to accessing the system in a specific pharmacy. Smartcards should work in any pharmacy.
  • In R1, only one smartcard is required in a pharmacy to provide access to the Electronic Prescription Service via all networked computers.
  • The smartcard user policy requires that the custody and use of an EPS R1 smartcard and passcode is at all times the responsibility of the community pharmacist to whom it is issued. The smartcard could be used by any staff within the pharmacy as necessary for example dispensing technicians and dispensing assistants. It is recommended that pharmacists keep a note of individuals that use their card on a particular day. However, this is not a mandatory requirement.
  • As paper prescriptions remain the legal entity in Release 1, if staff do not have smartcards to access the system, staff can continue to dispense the prescription manually. 
  • Different arrangements apply for Release 2.

Smartcard Model for Release 2

The Smartcard model for dispensing contractors and their staff operating EPS Release 2 systems is:

1. One RA01 Smartcard per authorised user of the service.

2. To use an EPS Release 2 compliant system, all cardholders will sign the RA01 terms and conditions (this means no Smartcard sharing and no sharing of access sessions).

3. EPS Release 2 pharmacy staff will need an appropriate user role profile (URP) registered with the NHS CRS User Directory before they can use any EPS Release 2 compliant dispensing system.

4. The NHS Registration Authority policies and procedures will ensure that pharmacy staff are issued with Smartcards and registered with the user role profile to meet the e-GIF Level 3 Government Standard.

5. All users who need access to the system such as pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, counter assistants, and dispensing technicians will need to be registered with an appropriate access profile as defined by the local Registration Authority.

6. Pharmacy staff will be allocated access rights dependent on their roles within the pharmacy as deemed appropriate by the sponsor.

7. All pharmacy staff will be registered with an organisation identifier that represents the ODS code of the pharmacy site where they operate the service on a regular basis.

8. The NHS Registration Authority can only add, modify, or delete a user role profile for an organisation associated with that Registration Authority's geographical remit.

9. The only permitted exception to this model is the case of community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and dispensing assistants who may need to legitimately work within many community pharmacies at short notice. In such cases, they will also have a user role profile registered against a generic organisation ODS code for a “locum pharmacy”. In such cases, a warning will be displayed to the user when they log on to a local pharmacy system.

10. All pharmacists, technicians and dispensing assistants with a locum user role profile will be able to work with any EPS Release 2 compliant system connected to the service at any pharmacy site in England.

11. If a user does not have a user profile for the site they are in or the locum pharmacy profile they will not be able to use the service.

12. In Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service, dispensing contractors will have access to a part of the NHS Care Records Service known as the Personal Demographics Service. If a user attempts to access a record in the PDS that has previously been flagged as sensitive, an alert will be generated by the service. These will be sent to the appropriate authority within NHS England. Note, a record is kept of everyone who looks at information the NHS CRS holds about a patient. Patients can ask to have a list of everyone who has looked at their records and when they did so.


Migration of Pharmacists with Release 1 Cards to Release 2

Smartcard R2 GuidanceEPS01 cards that are used for EPS Release 1 will not operate in an EPS Release 2 system. This means that all sites currently using EPS Release 1 will need to ensure staff migrate to the EPS Release 2 Smartcard and sign the RA01 terms and conditions. This migration will take place as part of the EPS Release 2 implementation activities.

A number of factors will need to be considered when deciding the specific action required. These include:

  • Planned go live dates
  • Circumstances of the individual pharmacist; In particular, do they work at one site or a range of sites
  • Ensuring business continuity of EPS Release 1 functionality throughout the nationwide transition to EPS Release 2.

If by upgrading pharmacist EPS01 cards to NHS CRS Smartcards, a pharmacy is left without an individual with an EPS01 card to operate the Release 1 system, the Registration Authority can consider the following options:

Option 1: Issue the pharmacy with an EPS01 ‘premises card’ to ensure continuity of EPS Release 1 functionality until the pharmacy upgrades to an EPS Release 2 dispensing system. This card will be retained in the pharmacy. There is no requirement for a face to face meeting for a ‘premises card’ to be issued. They can be posted or delivered to the pharmacy with a letter of receipt (EPS01 form). The Passcode will be sent separately. If a receipt is not confirmed within a specified period, the card will be cancelled.

Option 2: Issue an EPS01 card to one or more staff within the pharmacy with an EPS Release 1 dispensing system. If this is agreed locally as an alternative to the ‘premises card’, the EPS01 cards can be upgraded remotely to EPS Release 2 Smartcards when the site enables EPS Release 2.

A number of factors will need to be considered before determining the most appropriate option. These include:

  • Speed of obtaining the card particularly if a face to face interview is required. This would be required for option 2
  • Staff that will require a card for Release 2. With option 2 the staff will complete and sign an RA01 terms and conditions form for their EPS01 card to become their NHS CRS smartcard when the site implements Release 2.

Click on the link below to download the published guidance for contractors on the Release 2 smartcard model and the migration of smartcards for Release 1 to Release 2:

Release 2 Guidance Leaflet


Smartcard Administration

Certificate Re-newal and Re-seting Passcodes 

Smartcards contain two digital certificates for the purpose of authentication. As a security measure, to support protecting against unauthorised access to patient information, certificates must be renewed every two years. Pharmacy staff can use the self-service portal to re-set passcodes and re-new certificates. Click on the link below to download a guide to the  self-service portal:

Guide to using the Self Service Portal to: Set your Passcodes and Renew your Smartcard Certificates

If you are unable to access the Self Service Portal you should check with your system supplier. This function is available through the majority of pharmacy systems.

You can renew your certificates twice without visiting your Registration Authority, at the third renewal you must visit your Registration Authority who will verify your identity and renew your certificates. If certificates on a smart card are not re-newed before expiry, it will no longer be possible to use their card to access the Electronic Prescription Service. In this situation, a face-to-face meeting with the Registration Authority is required to renew the expired certificates. Contact the RA for more information.

Unlocking Smartcards

The Smartcard Service Centre (SCSC) allows you to unlock your Smartcard should it become accidentally locked.

 

Guide to Using the Smartcard Service Centre to Unlock your Smartcard

 

If you are unable to access the Smartcard Service Centre you should check with your system supplier. This function is available through the majority of pharmacy systems.

 


Sponsors

As part of the registration process, the RA manager/agent must ensure that an appointed sponsor has confirmed the access rights of each applicant. Registration Authorities are responsible for ensuring that sponsors understand and acknowledge the responsibilities and obligations of these access rights, and that these are made clear to the user’s employer if appropriate.

Registration Authority managers have been advised to consult with local pharmacy representatives to propose individuals who could act as sponsors. A key consideration is accessibility of sponsors. PSNC is recommending that to ensure ready access to sponsors, a representative in each pharmacy premises is given sponsorship responsibility, for example the pharmacist-in-charge or branch manager. In the medium term, advances in technology may reduce the benefits of having a sponsor in each pharmacy premises.

All Sponsors must be registered and be issued with a Smartcard before they can act as Sponsors.


Fallback Smartcards


Each Registration Authority has processes in place to grant the temporary access to NHS CRS applications including EPS Release 2. Contact your Registration Authority to find out what local arrangements are in place for temporary access to EPS Release 2.

The fallback smartcard solution ensures that NHS CRS users have continued access to compliant applications in the event a user has lost or forgotten their smartcard, or their smartcard has been stolen or damaged

The user is able to temporarily associate their current user role profile (URP) with a blank fallback smartcard. Where the user has lost their smartcard, the functionality will automatically cancel the original smartcard so preventing improper use if found by someone other than the user. Where the user has forgotten their smartcard the functionality will suspend the original smartcard for the duration of the self service fallback issuance or 12 hours, whichever is longer. A self service fallback smartcard is created by RA managers on receipt of an RA09 form from a sponsor or custodian (a clinician or manager responsible for a particular area). A user who needs to use the self service fallback smartcard obtains the card from the sponsor or custodian and then registers the card using the smartcard service centre. When returning the smartcard the user must return to the smartcard service centre to un-assign the smartcard and then hand it to the sponsor or custodian, within the 12 hour period allocated.

Detailed information is available in the guidance document: Arrangements for temporary access to NHS CRS Applications.


Cancelling a Smartcard

If a Smartcard is no longer required, for example a member of the dispensing staff has left, the pharmacist or pharmacy manager should advise the local Registration Authority prior to a user leaving an organisation. The Registration Authority will then need to follow the appropriate access removal process.

Leavers with no intention of returning to an organisation in the near future, where a Smartcard is required to access NHS CRS compliant applications, for example users having a change of career or those retiring, should have their Smartcard and its certificates revoked using an RA03 form.


Frequently Asked Questions

Quick links:

Registration FAQs

Administration FAQs (including locked cards)

Sponsor FAQs

How are levels of access determined?

Role Based Access Control is the key to the security of data held on the Spine. It controls what a user can do and what as a consequence they can see. Role Based Access Controls help to preserve patient safety and confidentiality.

A user's role relates to the job role they hold in an organisation, the area in which they perform their duties and their level of involvement in patient care. For example: a community pharmacist may be assigned the following role profile:

  • R8003 Health Professional Access Role
  • T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work

A Pre-Registration Pharmacist may be assigned the following profiles:

  • R8004 Healthcare Student Access Role
  • T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work

A dispensing technician or medicines counter assistant may be assigned the following profiles:

  • R8008 Admin/Clinical Support Role
  • T2200 Prescribing and Pharmacy Area of Work

The additional Activity 'B0572 Manage Pharmacy Activities' may be required if the pre-registration pharmacist undertakes any of the following activities ‘Send prescription reimbursement claims to payment authority or update spine if linked to ETP. The additional activity 'B0825 Amend Patient Demographics' may be required by pre-registration pharmacists, dispensing technicians, dispensers and medicines counter staff if they are required to update or remove a patient nomination as part of their role. This will be determined locally as deemed appropriate by the Sponsor.

What arrangements are in place to provide access to EPS Release 2 for non-locum pharmacists who practice across RA boundaries?

Prior to working at a pharmacy based in another area the pharmacist must contact the relevant Registration Authority for that area to organise for the appropriate user profile to be added to their Smartcard. The pharmacist’s sponsor should complete an RA02 form which is sent to RA Agent/Manager for the necessary amendments to be actioned. This can be done remotely i.e. the user does not have to be present.

If the pharmacist has the locum profile on their card, they are able to work at any EPS Release 2 enabled pharmacy in England and are not required to go through this process.

What is the purpose of each of the Registration Authority forms?

RA Form

Purpose

RA01 Part A

Contains the conditions a successful applicant has to agree to prior to becoming an authorised NHS CRS user and being issued with a Smartcard.

RA01 Part B

Captures a user's registration details and their signed acceptance of the terms and conditions, and the sponsor's declaration. (The user must have been given a RA01 Part A.)

RA02

Captures the access profile changes, which when approved by a sponsor can be granted to the user by the RA manager or agent.

RA03

Completed by either a sponsor or RA manager or agent to revoke a users Smartcard, or certificates, and where necessary reissue a replacement Smartcard.

RA04

Completed by a sponsor to record the usage of or change to the profile of a Short-term Access Smartcard.

RA05

Completed when a user changes their name. It may be completed by the user and given to the RA when the users Smartcard is re-issued.

RA06

Allows the sponsor to apply to the RA for a positions access profile to be changed.

RA07

Allows the sponsor to apply to the RA to change the access profile associated with a template.

RA08

Supports the management of RA admin links (organisational restrictions).

RA09

Supports the creation of a self-service Fallback Smartcard.

EPS01 Part A

Contains the conditions a successful applicant has to agree to prior to becoming an authorised EPS Release 1 user and being issued with an EPS01 card.

EPS01 Part B

Captures a user's registration details and their signed acceptance of the terms and conditions, and the sponsor's declaration. (The user must have been given an EPS 01 part A.)

EPS01 Premises Part A

Contains the conditions that pharmacy contractors have to agree to when a pharmacy is issued with an EPS01 Premise card.

EPS01 Premises Part B

Captures the registration details of the Pharmacy and the signed acceptance of the terms and conditions, and the sponsor's declaration.

(EPS 01 (Premises) part A which should be read and understood by all users of the EPS01 Premise Card.)

Where can I obtain a certain smartcard form?

Please contact your sponsor or Registration Authority to obtain the form(s) you require.  

Who can sign the EPS01 (Premises) form?

There are two parts to the EPS01 (Premises) form.

Part A contains the conditions of the EPS01 Premises Card which must be read and understood by all users of the EPS01 Premises card.

Part B of the form should be signed by someone in the pharmacy who has been authorised to sign the form on behalf of the pharmacy owner. The EPS01 Premises Form Part B is also signed by the sponsor.

What arrangements are in place to provide temporary access to EPS Release 2?

Each Registration Authority has processes in place to grant temporary access to NHS CRS applications including EPS Release 2.

There is a Fallback Smartcard solution that ensures NHS CRS users have continued access to compliant applications in the event a user has lost or forgotten their Smartcard, or their Smartcard has been stolen or damaged.

Please note: Each RA will have its own arrangements and you are advised to contact your Registration Authority to find out what arrangements are in place for temporary access to EPS Release 2.

If the pharmacy ODS code changes, do I need to update my smartcard? (i.e. will the smartcard stop working at that premises)

Yes, all pharmacy staff will be registered linked to ODS codes of the pharmacy sites where they operate the service on a regular basis. The exception to this model is the case of community pharmacists/dispensing technician locums who may need to work within many community pharmacies at short notice. In such cases, they will also have a user role profile registered against a generic organisation ODS code for a “locum pharmacy” that allows them to operate the system from any pharmacy.

If the pharmacy ODS code changes all users need to have the new ODS code added to their profile. An RA02 form needs to be completed and sent to the RA Manager to be actioned. This can be done before the removal of the old ODS code to aide transition.

To minimise the disruption caused by changes in ODS codes, a new ODS code should only be requested when a change of ownership occurs and the contractor buys out a business on a non debts and liabilities basis (i.e. the outgoing contractor requires payment for all items dispensed up to the date of sale). More information on ODS codes is available by clicking on the link below:

Allocation of ODS Codes

I registered for my Release 1 (EPS01 terms) card in one area but have recently moved and am seeking to upgrade to a Release 2 (RA01 terms) card in another part of the country. Does the RA need to undertake a full identity check?

No, as long as the pharmacist had their identity checked to eGIF 3 by the first RA, all that is required is for the pharmacist to complete the RA01 form, there is no need for another identity check.

I live in Wales but locum occasionally in England. How do I go about obtaining a card? You will require a smartcard to access the Electronic Prescription Service in pharmacies in England. You will be able to obtain a smart card from the RA in the area that you work.

My Registration Authority has recently requested my National Insurance Number. Do I need to provide this information? The National Insurance Number (NIN) is shortly to become a mandatory field in the Spine User Directory which is the database that contains individual’s user profiles for access to national systems such as the Electronic Prescription Service. The NIN will be used to support registration authorities in identifying individuals on the smart card registration system. The Department of Health has received confirmation from the Information Commissioner and the Department of Work and Pensions that the NIN number can be used for this purpose.

If individuals did not originally provide this information when applying for an EPS Release 1 smart card, they will need to provide this information when renewing their registration or editing registration details.

My RA has asked me to set-up an Account recovery Passcode. What is this? The Account Recovery Pass-code is used by the RA to confirm the identity of a registered User. For example, if support is being provided to the user over the telephone, the RA could ask the user to provide, for example, the 1st, 5th and 8th characters from the pass-code to confirm an individual’s identity. The pass-code is set by the user themselves during the registration meeting with the RA, a face-to-face meeting with the RA is therefore normally required to set this pass-code. At present, when using EPS Release 1, a pharmacist would not be disadvantaged by not having an account recovery pass-code setup but it will be helpful, in the longterm for pharmacists to ensure that the Account Recovery Passcode is set.

My RA has told me that they will not be issuing cards at present. Who should I contact to resolve ths? If an RA is refusing to issue cards or not issuing cards in a timely manner, we would recommend contacting your LPC in the first instance who will be able to take this up with the NHS England Area Team.

What is e-GIF Level 3? e-GIF stands for e-government interoperability framework. It is a set of policies and standards to enable information to flow seamlessly across the public sector. As part of the framework, four confidentiality levels were set (zero to three) representing degrees of impact of disclosure of private information. The levels are layered according to the severity of consequences that might arise. Level 3 which imposes the most stringent security requirements around confidentiality has been adopted for the NHS CRS.

Which EPS functions will prompt the system to look for a valid Smartcard?

The EPS Release 2 functions that a Smartcard will be required for are:

  • Set, change or delete a patient’s nominated pharmacy
  • Download electronic prescriptions from the spine
  • Return electronic prescriptions to the spine
  • Confirm an electronic prescription has been dispensed
  • Submit an electronic prescription to NHS Prescription Services for payment

Can a pharmacy  access nominated prescriptions that have been downloaded without a smartcard (in Release 2)?

No, a pharmacy system can automatically download nominated prescriptions from the spine without a smartcard being present, for example overnight, however those prescriptions are not fully accessible by the local system without a Smartcard being present. After a smartcard has been presented, and the user authenticated, the prescriptions then become local patient medication records. It will be possible to access the local patient medication records held on the system without a smartcard, subject to the local system security controls. These controls are likely to vary between systems.

Administration FAQs

I don’t have an NHSmail address or access to a mobile phone. Is there any other way to remotely unlock my Smartcard without having to visit the RA Offices?

If an incorrect pin has been entered more than 3 times, the smartcard is locked and needs to be 'unlocked' to be used.

Where a staff member has access to the online Smartcard Service Centre (SCSC) and has either an @nhs.net email account or mobile phone number listed in the Spine User Directory, the system can be used to support unlocking an individual’s smartcard remotely, without the need to visit the RA Office. If an individual does not have either a mobile phone or an @nhs.net email account, it may be possible to use the pharmacies landline if the following apply:

  • The telephone line accepts text to voice conversations (this is available through a number of telephone providers including BT and Virgin and modern VOIP telephone systems)
  • An auto-attendant is not in use (i.e. the message will go straight through to a human)
  • The telephone number has previously been listed on the Spine User Directory

To list a number in the Spine User Directory or to update a telephone number, please contact the local RA.

A sponsor can also unlock smartcards if they have been given this authority by the RA, have access to a computer with two smartcard readers attached and have access to the online card management system. More information about sponsors can be found in the sponsor section of this site. PSNC is recommending that to ensure ready access to sponsors, a representative in each pharmacy premises is given sponsorship responsibility, for example the pharmacist-in-charge or branch manager.

I have recently been issued with a smartcard to operate the EPS Service but this does not appear to be working. What should I do?

Problems with smartcards should normally be referred to the RA in the first instance.

There is a known issue around a recently introduced batch of smartcards. Affected cards can be identified by the serial number on the back that includes the number 5. These new cards are only compatible with the latest version of the Identity Agent Software (known as Identity Agent Version 11). Older smartcards are not affected. If required, system suppliers should be be able to support upgrading the Identity Agent.

Version 11 of the Identity Agent Software is also required to access the self-service portal which supports the self re-set of passcodes.

Sponsor FAQs

Who appoints sponsors and what is the sponsor registration process?

The local RA’s Executive Management Teams' assignment of a sponsor is recorded on an RA02 form. The granting of a Smartcard, and appropriate access rights must be undertaken by the local RA by a face-to-face meeting with the prospective sponsor. This includes the sponsor having their identity confirmed by providing photographic identification and proof in the community documentation. The sponsor must also have signed up to the RA01 terms and conditions of their Smartcard.

As part of the process, the local Executive Management Team agree with the sponsor which staff they can approve access rights for, the scope of the access rights that the sponsor can issue to an individual and whether a sponsor can support the renewal of Smartcard certificates and unlocking of smartcards.

The local RA has a responsibility to ensure that sponsors are adequately trained and where necessary know how to unlock Smartcards and issue Self Service Fallback Smartcards. The local RA will assist sponsors in understanding the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) model.

Can a sponsor approve access rights for staff in different areas?

The local executive Management Team is responsible for agreeing which staff a sponsor can approve access rights for.

A sponsor can only sponsor individual staff within a specific area. For example, if an area manager worked across multiple areas, authority to sponsor staff in each of those areas would have to be granted separately by the local RA Executive Management Team in each area.

A pharmacy is based on a GP surgery. Could the sponsor from the GP surgery also sponsor the pharmacy staff access rights to EPS?

The local executive Management Team is responsible for agreeing which staff a sponsor can approve access rights for and the scope of those access rights.

It would be possible the sponsor in the GP surgery to be granted authority to sponsor the access rights of pharmacy staff including supporting pharmacy staff in resolving problems such as locked Smartcards.

Does the sponsor need to know the individual who they are approving access rights for (e.g. would a pharmacist sponsor need to know the technician they are sponsoring)?

No. It is not necessary for the sponsor to know the individual they are approving access rights for. The sponsor must reassure themselves that the user requires the level of access requested; therefore if they do not know the individual, 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.

What are a sponsor’s responsibilities?

Sponsors need to:

  • Be familiar with the application they sponsor users for (e.g. EPS)
  • Be familiar with the different types of access profiles to approve
  • Understand which users registrations they can support within the scope of the authority granted to them by the Executive Management Team
  • Be aware of the method identified by the local RA for specifying access profiles to ensure that access profiles submitted follow national guidelines and requirements
  • 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
  • Understand how to support access profile change and removal requests, and the revocation of Smartcards and Smartcard certificates
  • Understand how to support Smartcard certificate renewal and the unlocking of cards/re-setting of Passcodes
  • Understand the local arrangements for Self Service Fallback Smartcards and local arrangements for the sponsor to support the issuing of these, where appropriate
  • 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.

Sponsors Workload

What do sponsors do in practice?

Sponsor responsibilities are:

Sponsor Responsibility What does it mean in practice?
Approve registrations of NHS CRS users (RA decides which individuals a sponsor can approve e.g. for one premises, support staff only etc.) Signs the RA01 form to approve the individual’s access to the NHS CRS. The form must then be passed to the RA. The sponsor doesn’t have to be present e.g. the form could be posted.
Support access profile change e.g. adding or removing an individual’s profile to additional pharmacy premises or granting a pre-reg trainee an additional activity. As above – signs the RA02 to approve the individual’s access profile change request. The form must then be passed to the RA. The sponsor doesn’t have to be present e.g. the form could be faxed to the sponsor and then posted on to the RA
Support the revocation of Smartcards and Smartcard certificates. The RA03 form needs to be completed and signed by either the RA agent or a sponsor (in this case, not both).
If the RA agrees, a sponsor may also be granted the authority to: Renew a user's Smartcard certificates if confident of the user's identity. Note: users are encouraged to renew their Smartcard certificates themselves online (provided they have not yet expired) via the Self Service Portal.

Certificates should only be renewed if they are within three months of expiry or there is the belief that they may have been compromised (i.e. transactions have been found that may not have been performed by the user and the Smartcard has been entirely in the care of the user).

Sponsors can only renew certificates for existing users.

Certificates can only be renewed by the sponsor in the presence of the user because the user will need to reset their Smartcard Passcode. The sponsor will need to verify the user’s identity by comparing the photograph on the Smartcard with the user.

To re-new certificates in the pharmacy, the sponsor requires access to a computer with two Smartcard readers and access to the online card management system.

If the RA agrees, a sponsor may also be granted the authority to: unlock a user's Smartcard and reset Passcodes. Note: The online self service functionality allows a user who knows their User’s Unique ID (12 digit number on the Smartcard), and Account Recovery Passcode, and who has an @nhs.net email account or mobile phone defined in the Spine User Directory to self unlock their own Smartcard. If the user doesn’t have this information listed in the Spine User Directory, the sponsor could assist.

A sponsor can reset a user’s Passcode when the Passcode is:

  • Unknown or forgotten
  • Smartcard is locked because the Passcode was entered incorrectly three times

To do this the sponsor must have been given this authority by the RA, have access to a computer with 2 Smartcard readers attached and have access to the online card management system.

To reset/unlock a user’s Smartcard, a sponsor must verify the user’s identity at a face-to-face meeting and reset the Passcode. The user’s identity should be confirmed by:

  • The photograph on their Smartcard or via the Account Recovery Passcode
  • If the identity cannot be verified, the applicant is required to produce documentary evidence to the RA
  • If the identity still cannot be verified, the incident is reported to the RA manager. It may be necessary to cancel or revoke the locked Smartcard.
If the RA agrees, manage the distribution of Self Service Fallback Smartcards.

Sponsor needs to sign the RA04 form which is then passed to the RA who authorises access via the Self Service Fallback Smartcard.

Self Service Fallback Smartcards can only be accessed by individuals who are already registered with their own Smartcards.

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