Smartcard User Leaflet

Registration Authorities (RA)

Dorset Registration Authorities (RA) Function is run by Dorset CCG for the CCG, Primary Care Practices and Dorset Pharmacies

The senior responsible officer on the NHS Dorset CCG board, for the RA function, is the Chief Finance Officer.

An NHS Smartcard is needed in order to access most of the NHS clinical software. Smartcards should only be used by the individual to whom it has been issued to, and never left logged onto an unattended machine. This site is designed to provided material to assist in understanding the processes around Smartcard issue and management.

The Smartcard FAQs below may answer your queries.

The RA Process Guidance is available on the NHS Digital website.

The RA Process Guidance clearly explains your responsibilities as an RAA or Sponsor.

The RA Function Local Process and Policies document is the local implementation of the RA Process Guidance.

RA Manager

Steve Howes

The Smartcard user leaflet contains useful information about use of your card and some step-by-step information for when things go wrong.

How to get a Smartcard?

If you work within a practice – Please see your local Registration Authority Agent for the practice, who will ask you to complete a form, check your ID and then request the Smartcard for you.

If you are a locum GP or within the CCG – contact the Smartcard Support Team by email, who will advise you of the process.

If you work within a pharmacy – You will need to complete one or both of the CIS Forms – Request Create User (Sponsor) and Create New User (RAA if you have one). These forms, along with instructions can be found in the Community Pharmacy Assistance section below.

CIS can be accessed via the Spine Portal. CIS will be an option on the menu “Launch CIS care identity Service”. All PC’s should have the portal link as a shortcut.

All staff when using their Smartcard will be able to access CIS. They will have access to update the demographic info on their own profile, check the certificate expiry date, reset their own password and also access the Terms and Conditions of Smartcard use. RA Agents will have full access to all the functions such as creating and amending user access. All Smartcard functions can be done in one place.

How do I unlock my Smartcard?

If you work within a practice – Please see your local Registration Authority Agent for the practice, who will unlock your Smartcard with you using CIS.

If you are a locum GP – contact the Smartcard Support Team who will advise you of the process or contact the next practice at which you are next working at, they will be able to unlock this for you.

If you work within the CCG – Contact the Smartcard Support Team who will advise you of the process.

If you work within a pharmacy – A Pharmacist, a Sponsor or the Registration Authority Agent at your pharmacy should be able to unlock your card using CIS. Instructions for the Pharmacist are in the Community Pharmacy Assistance section below.

If you are experiencing problems with Smartcard software on your PC, you may need to complete a diagnostic test. The results of this test need to be sent to your IT department so they can then see what is missing from the PC and update the software. Alternatively, you can read through the NHS Digital Diagnostic Tool User Guide for further help and information.

To perform the Smartcard software diagnostic test:

  1. Ensure all Smartcards are removed from the readers and download the CIS Desktop Diagnosis Tool
  2. Open the downloaded ZIP file and then open the relevant folder which matches your machine.
    • For 32-bit machine open CISDesktopDiagnosticTool_x86
    • For 64-bit machine open CISDesktopDiagnosticTool_x64
  3. Navigate to your desktop and open the file named CIS_Desktop_Diagnostic_Log_YYY-MM-DD_HH-SS. This should contain all the information required from your machine.
  4. Send this document to your IT department for further analysis.

Under the Smartcard system (CIS) it is possible for RA Agents, Sponsors and Pharmacists to unlock cards and renew certificates. Read, or download, the PC Requirements, explaining what is required on a PC to be able to unlock Smartcards.

Pharmacies must now have two people within their organisation to act as a Sponsor or Registration Authority Agent (RAA).

Sponsors will be responsible for ensuring that a person in their area is suitable to have a Smartcard and they must also agree what level of access that person should have (e.g. Pharmacist, Dispenser etc.). They should complete the Request Create User form below. Every pharmacy must have a Sponsor. We will not be able to create new card, amend card details or add access to a users card without sponsorship from that pharmacy.

Registration Authority Agents will be responsible for undertaking the mandatory identity checks and should complete the Create User form below. Only RAA’s can undertake identity checks. A person cannot be both a Sponsor and an RAA. For pharmacies that have Sponsors already they will need to establish an RAA at their organisation. The alternative will be that the Sponsor can continue to sponsor staff but until they have their own RAA the applicants will need to attend a Dorset CCG location to have their ID checks done in person by one of our RAA’s at Dorset CCG.

For those pharmacies who do not have either a Sponsor or a RAA they can send CIS RA forms for us to sponsor new applicants if they are are on the General Pharmaceutical Council Register, however, the applicant will have to attend Dorset CCG for ID checks. We are unable to sponsor staff that are not on this register, therefore the organisation MUST establish a Sponsor to get cards for Dispensers or Technicians who are not on any register we can check.

If you want to be an RAA for your pharmacy read the RAA briefing document. You must then complete and sign the RAA Acceptance of Terms.

The completed and signed RAA Acceptance of Terms must then be e-mailed to

Pharmacy ID checks – The NHS Digital site which is shown below gives help on what ID information is relevant.

If you want to be a sponsor for your pharmacy read the sponsor briefing document. You must then complete and sign the Sponsor Acceptance of Terms.

The completed and signed Sponsor Acceptance of Terms must then be e-mailed to

Smartcard Forms

All the forms required for Smartcard creation and modification are listed below. These forms can be completed, scanned and emailed to along with a photo if required.

Please note that on the request forms below the user ID information should be entered fully. For example the passport country, number and expiry date need to be accurate. The same is true of driving licenses. On the address ID we need the name of the company/organisation and the date it was issued, just entering ‘utility bill’ is not correct. These must be dated within the last 3 months.

Please read, NHS Employers Identity Checks if you are unsure about required forms of identity or what to send.

CIS – Request Create User

The CIS – Request Create User form needs to be completed by the Sponsor for the pharmacy. This indicates that you are happy for this person to have a card and the level of access (e.g. Dispenser). If the pharmacy has an RA Agent the form should be given to them. If you do not have an RA Agent then send this form directly by email to

CIS – Create User

When the RAA receives the CIS – Request Create User form from the pharmacy Sponsor they must then complete the CIS – Create User form. This is to record the ID checks that have been carried out by the RAA. You need to complete the CIS – Create User form and send it to the Smartcard Support Team. If you have an RAA they will be able to complete the ID checks prior to it being sent. This will mean the user will not have to attend a Dorset CCG location to have their ID checked.

CIS – Modify User

The CIS – Modify User form should be used to request amendments to user details (such as name, photo etc.). The completed form should be sent to the Smartcard support team for the change(s) to be made.

CIS – Assign Position

The CIS – Assign Position form can be used to request a position be assigned to a user to allow access at your site. The CIS – Assign Position form is also used to remove a users access for your pharmacy.

SCR Pharmacy Access

You may be aware that from 1 April 2017, a new process for pharmacies and pharmacy staff to register for access to Summary Care Records (SCR) was introduced.

Smartcard Unlocking

Smartcards can only be unlocked by the RA, Sponsor or Pharmacist with the specific store on their Smartcard (not locum). Please refer to the Smartcard user guidance leaflet to review how to unlock Smartcards.

If the advice in the Smartcard user guidance leaflet does not work:

  1. Search for the relevant user within CIS
  2. Open their profile, scroll down to ‘Smartcard Details’ and click on the ‘Service’ button
  3. Click ‘Unlock Smartcard’, enter the card in to the second reader and click ‘Continue’
  4. The user must be present to enter their own password
Smartcard Self-Service Unlock
You can now unlock your own Smartcard using the self-service portal. You must register first in order to use this service and you must have an NHSmail account.

It is policy for all RAA’s when assigned to an RAA position at a practice, pharmacy or CCG to be trained in RAA responsibilities, ID checking responsibilities and Smartcard Management Systems (CIS).

The requester/sponsor for the new RAA must have Sponsor activity on their Smartcard (all practice RAA’s have this).

The new RAA should read the RAA Briefing Document and complete the form that is in Appendix 1 to say they have understood the responsibilities of being an RAA.

The Smartcard Support Team will then send an email to the requester advising them that the RAA role has been added to their Smartcard and that they now need to attend the face to face training for Registration Agent Advanced.

The email will include upcoming training dates at both our offices in Dorchester and Poole and information on how to book onto one of the sessions.

You will be required to attend one of the face to face training sessions. Failure to do so will result in your RAA role being removed.

CIS Tips

CIS Launch Care Identity Service

CIS Launch Care Identity Service is live and can be found in the Spine Portal.

Certificate Renewals Issues

If the self renewal process gives an error or just keeps showing a revolving symbol, check that your Smartcard is not a series 01,02 or 03. Check the number on the reverse of your Smartcard in the bottom right hand corner, if it starts with the numerals 01,02 or 03 then you will not be able to renew it. You need to email and ask for a new card.

If it is a newer card you should try to ‘repair’ the card in the service section of the users profile in CIS. Finally, if this does not work send an email to and ask for a new card to be printed.

Smartcard Authentication Issues

If you get the revolving arrows going round and round whilst in CIS Smartcard Unlock or the Issue Certificate function, this is a known national issue.

The problem is related to the type of Smartcard readers being used. Some card readers which are located in keyboards have this issue. The resolution is to use 2 Omnikey readers and replace the keyboard with a keyboard that does not have a smartcard reader.

If you are a GP practice call Healthcare Computing on 0345 4501209 and they will help resolve the issue. Pharmacies will need to call their own IT support. If you feel able to sort the issue yourself there are two documents which may help you correct the smartcard unlocking issue:

Useful Tips

When entering ID Check information in CIS, Driving Licence Details must be entered in capital letters.

CIS Smartcard Printing

When you try to “Create a new user” in CIS everything works well, you add all the details, create the profile, you can also add the position the user requires. However, when you come to try and issue the card, the system will not allow you to do this. You should ask the other RA or Sponsor to send an email to with the name, UUID and reason for print (new user) of the new Smartcard. We will check the NI number, driving and/passport number and then print the smartcard and post this to you.

When you want to send us a request to print a replacement card (damaged, stolen etc.), please email Smartcard Support and ask us to print the card for you. This does not need a second authorisation. You must let us know the reason for a new Smartcard. Please note for pharmacies all lost/stolen Smartcard reprints need to be collected from the office in person for security reasons.

Dorset CCG run face to face training sessions for all new RAAs and Sponsors. The sessions are run at both of our offices Dorchester and Poole.

All new RAAs and Sponsors are required to attend one of the training sessions, failure to do so will result in your smartcard RA/Sponsor position being removed. If you are an existing staff member undertaking one of these roles and would like to attend you are very welcome to come along.

For information on the CIS training sessions please email

Short video demos have been made available for RAAs to view as a quick reference guide. They are all very short (between 1 and 4 minutes) so are ideal if you just need to brush up your skills in a particular area. To access this page you will need a password which is ‘IAM123’. Further instructions on how to access these password protected videos are at the top of the page.

The following documents are Trifold quick reference documents on particular subjects in CIS. They are ideal to be printed and laminated for your desk, to remind you how to do something without having to refer to the full training notes.

CIS – Reporting Guide – Shows you an example of how to run reports within CIS

CIS – Directory – Document explaining who should use the documents below (RAA, Sponsor or Users)

CIS – Assign Access To User – Give a user a position for your site to give them access to your systems

CIS – Assisted Renewal of Certificates – Where an RAA helps a user renew their certificates

CIS – Batch Management – Only for RAM use – User can request batch updates from the RAM on the Smartcard Support Team at Dorset CCG.

CIS – Create Access Control Position – Create a new position that can be assigned to users at your site

CIS – Destroy/Cancel Smartcard – Cancel a Smartcard so it can no longer be used

CIS – Generate Report – How to generate reports on smartcard users

CIS – Issuing Smartcard – How to issue a Smartcard (only for Smartcard Support Team because a card printer is required)

CIS – Manage Requests – Shows how Smartcard Support Team manage requests in CIS

CIS – Register New User – How to request a Smartcard for a new user (where user has never had a card before)

CIS – Repair Smartcard Certificate – Equivalent to cancel card and re issue (can be used where Smartcard certificates have expired)

CIS – Search Directory – Can be used by all users to find a profile

CIS – Updating My Profile – Users can update their own profile for basic contact information and also to reset passwords

CIS – Verify a Users Identity – Help to check ID correctly when requesting a new card

CIS – Unlocking a Smartcard – How to unlock a Smartcard that has been locked by the user entering the password incorrectly.

Contact Tina Christopher, Registration Authority Coordinator, Dorset HealthCare:

Phone: 01202 277166 or 07717 468900


Canford House,
Discovery Court,
551-553 Wallisdown Road,
BH12 5AG

Vespasian House,
Barrack Road,


It will be up to the practice to initially deal with this through local disciplinary procedures. Breaches in security should be reported to the Registration Authority Manager – Steve Howes, 01202 541604 or by email to

No. The national model requires the sponsor to be a different person to the one dong the ID checks and issuing the card or changing permissions.

No. This would be a breach in national and local policy. It is accepted that staff work in teams but a member of staff should remove their card when not present and all staff should have their own smartcards.

The certificates on each card will last 2 years. You will then get a notification to self-renew. You can self-renew your certificates 3 times, after that a new smartcard will need to be issued.

I also work at a pharmacy, who can unblock my smartcard? Any pharmacist should be able to unlock your smartcard or renew the certificates. If you have an RA or Sponsor at your pharmacy they will also be able to unlock your smartcard or reset the certificates.

No card – no access. There is no fall-back log-on process available.

If you think you have lost your smartcard please email and ask them to cancel the lost smartcard. They will then issue a replacement and send it out to the surgery. The replacement card will be sent out locked. You will need to ask your RA to unlock this for you, ensuring you enter your own password.

Speak to the RA in your practice, they will be able to unlock this for you. Smartcards cannot be unlocked remotely. You can also make an appointment to come in to the CCG (Vespasian or Canford House) and we can unlock this for you. You must be present and enter your own password for the card to be unlocked.

Check your role profile associated with the job role you are selecting when you log-on.

Please speak to Healthcare Computing who will be able to ensure the latest smartcard software is installed.

Locums should have their own smartcards. The Practice RA/Sponsor should add a position to their smartcard for your organisation, and also remove this once the locum has moved on.

The card contains a unique user identifier number and your PIN (which is encrypted) and a photo. No other personal information is stored on the card.

For problems with a PC, smartcard reader or software call the Healthcare Computing help desk on 01425 470888. For issues relating to the smartcard permissions, lockout or general queries, please contact the Smartcard Support Team on

Anybody with a smartcard can access CIS. Smartcard users will be able to update some details on their own profile (email, phone number), check certificate expiry date and change their own password. RA/Sponsors will be able to access the full range of functions such as creating users, amending user access and details, unlocking smartcards etc.