All about Smartcards

All the information you need to ensure that your pharmacy has everything they need to ensure all your team have access to fully functioning individual smartcards that give them relevant role access to EPS and SCR systems.

Information for Smartcard Users

South, Central and West Commissioning Support Unit (SCW) provide the RA (smartcard) service to South Central.  Their contact details are:

Telephone:  0300 5610429


If you are not in this area you can look for your local RA Team here:

New Smartcard Applicants

Each pharmacy is set up with a local ID checker who will carry out ID checks in a face-to-face meeting and register you on the system.  Your details will then be picked up by the RA Team who will print and send out the smartcard to you. 

You can also use the online registration tool called ‘Apply for Care ID’.  Please contact the RA Team to use this or to get details of the local ID checker in your pharmacy.

Telephone:  0300 5610429


Smartcard unlocking – self-service unlock

You can use this service to unlock your smartcard and set a new passcode if:

  • you have your smartcard and a working smartcard reader
  • your smartcard is registered to an allowed email address (a few examples are:,,,

Self Service Unlock Smartcard - Care Identity Management - NHS.UK (

Smartcard unlocking – guidance for local Sponsors and Smartcard Administrators

If you are unable to use the self-service unlock then your card can be unlocked by:

  • a Sponsor or Smartcard Administrator within your pharmacy
  • returning your card to the RA team for it to be unlocked

You Sponsor or Smartcard Administrator in your local pharmacy can log in to the spine portal ( select ‘Launch Care Identity Management’ and follow these instructions to unlock your card:  Unlock a smartcard in Care Identity Management - NHS Digital.

Smartcard Access - Adding access positions (including SCR access)

Each pharmacyhas a Smartcard Sponsor who will be able to access and removew access position on your smartcard.  They can now assign Summary Care Record (SCR) access too.  

If uou are unsure who the Sponsor is within the pharmacy you are working as, contact your RA Team who will be ableto tell you.

For access to the locum pharmacy organisation (FFFFF) you will also need to contact your RA Team.

Telephone:  0300 5610429


NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit

The ambition of the local smartcard team is to change the working model for managing Smartcards within pharmacies, so that there is improved governance around who has access via Smartcards to your pharmacy systems and to SCR.

Each pharmacy site is now being encouraged to have at least one person in their team being set-up to add/remove access for their own staff and to create new smartcard users by carrying out their own ID checks and creating new user profiles in CIS (the software used to manage smartcards).

The attached document Key Benefits of using CIS for Pharmacies details the convenience and many benefits for pharmacies to be able to sort out smartcard issues themselves instead of having to post their cards each time something needs actioning.

A brief outline of the model and all the information and forms required to set-up your key person is shown in the drop-down box below:

A brief outline of the model is explained below:

RA Model

It is important that all community pharmacies across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth appoint sponsors/RA ID Checkers for each pharmacy site. It each the responsibility of each pharmacy or pharmacy organisation to ensure this is completed. Pharmacies not achieving this will remain non-compliant with the Registration Authority Policy.

CSU have issued the following document to highlight the advantages of application:




Details of what’s required are as follows:





Sponsor(s) to be set up in each pharmacy (or for multiples an area manager may be preferable):


  • To approve access for staff
  • To add/remove access in CIS
  • To receive bi-annual reports from the RA Team detailing active users for their organisation. This is to improve governance of staff being registered to organisations they no longer work for and for evidence for the IG toolkit submission
  • To unlock smartcards that are blocked or that are sent for new staff members









Local Smartcard Administrator(s) to be set up in each pharmacy:


  • To unlock Smartcards that are blocked or that are sent for new staff members




Not essential but desirable


RA Agent ID Checker to be set up in each pharmacy (or for multiples an area manager may be preferable):


  • To carry out ID checks on site for pharmacy staff (staff must attend RA office otherwise)
  • To input photo, new user details and ID document information into CIS



A Sponsor or RA Agent ID Checker can be set up by following a simple process in which they need to be appointed by the manager/owner of the organisation (see attached Appointment letter below). Please note that this letter MUST be completed on Headed paper and must include the names, smartcard numbers and ODS codes for all organisations access is required in.


The person who is appointed then needs to complete and sign the attached Sponsor/RA ID Checker Agreement form (below) to confirm they will carry out creating users/assigning access as per national RA Policy.







CSU will then assign the positions to the member of staff as required and send an Omnikey (card reader), as well as emailing some user guides on unlocking cards and assigning access. This completes the process. Further training guides can be sent if required or telephone instruction to ensure the Sponsor/RA ID Checker is competent to manage their team’s smartcards.




Further useful information and documents




nb: Users need to log into their profile page of CIS ( and complete some security questions. Users must have an email account to use this.



For reference only: