PSNC Briefing 013/20: Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them

PSNC Briefing 013/20: Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them

This PSNC Briefing explains for community pharmacy Smartcard users/administrators, Local Pharmaceutical Committees, system suppliers and local Smartcard Registration Authorities (RAs) about Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how these get updated.

PSNC Briefing 013.20 Smartcard Role and Activity codes and how to update them

Read more at: Briefing: Updating Smartcards for multi-site and Summary Care Record (SCR) usage and within one-pager PSNC IT factsheets: Smartcard processes and tipsUsing Care Identity Service (CIS) Smartcard model overview, Smartcard escalation process and SCR checklist. If you have queries on this PSNC Briefing, please contact Daniel Ah-Thion, Community Pharmacy IT Lead or

COVID-19 update: Before and during the start of the COVID-19 2020 pandemic, PSNC supported NHS Digital’s work to look at adjusting the flexibility of Smartcards whilst maintaining integrity of the Smartcard system. Developments during 2020 included:

  • NHS Digital confirmed their position regarding RA flexibility “Wider use of National Locum Pharmacy Agency code and position (FFFFF) can be used. It is important that RAs keep a log of users given this access for exceptional reasons so that it can be revoked as appropriate at some point in the future.” (24th March 2020 NHS Digital website).
  • Those pharmacy team members with the pharmacist and 5F codes on their card were granted SCR rights associated with the 5F code for at least one year. This bulk adjustment performed by NHS Digital meant that if the staff used the 5F at various pharmacy premises, they could still access SCR information. A new card role, “National Locum Pharmacist + SCR – COVID-19”, was added to smartcards from late April 2020. The new Smartcard code is planned to automatically expire after one year. This activity was performed centrally so that no action should have been required by pharmacy team members or local RAs.” (From April 23rd 2020).

Local RAs can also perform identity verification where required via videocon methods during the ongoing pandemic in accordance with guidance from NHS Digital guidance intended for RAs here about identify verification.


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