Smartcard admin: moving from Release 1 to Release 2

Smartcard admin: moving from Release 1 to Release 2

Archived information about the Smartcard model for Release 1


Obtaining an R1 Smartcard involved a simplified process compared with an R2 card.

This was because EPS Release 1 (R1) 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 R1 cards

The Smartcards issued for R1:

  • can be used anywhere in England;
  • are not specific to a particular locality;
  • are not issued linked to accessing the system in a specific pharmacy;
  • should work in any pharmacy;
  • are required once only in the pharmacy to provide access to the EPS via all networked computers; and
  • are only required for pharmacists and locum pharmacists.

As paper prescriptions remain the legal entity in R1, if staff do not have cards to access the system, staff can continue to dispense the prescription manually.

This is different to the model for Release 2.


The card user policy requires that the custody and use of an R1 card 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.

Migration of pharmacists with R1 cards to R2

‘EPS01’ cards that are used for R1 will not operate in an R2 system.

This means that all sites currently using R1 will need to ensure staff migrate to the R2 Smartcard and confirm agreement with the relevant terms and conditions. This migration will take place as part of the R2 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 (e.g. do they work at one site or a range of sites);
  • ensuring business continuity of R1 functionality throughout the transition;
  • staff will need to accept terms; and
  • speed of obtaining the card particularly if a face to face interview is required.

If by upgrading pharmacist R1 cards to R2, a pharmacy is left without an individual with an R1 card, the Registration Authority historically considered issuing an R1 card to another member of staff.

If this was agreed locally R1 Smartcards may be upgraded to R2.

Staff will wish to consider R2 Smartcard arrangements.


Q. I registered for my R1 (EPS01 terms) card in one area but have recently moved and am seeking to upgrade to a R2 (RA01 terms) card in another part of the country. Does the RA need to undertake a full identity check?
A. 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.

Related resources

Guidance: Smartcard migration of users R1 to R2 (HSCIC pdf, archive 2010 document).



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