Skip to main content


Deprecation note Update 10 February: deprecated identity agents and smartcard update

Dates by which NHS Digital will no longer provide support and then access for older product version of the smartcards and Identity Agent (IA) Clients.


This news release updates on the ongoing and new plans to deprecate support for Identity and Access Management (IAM) Platform technology areas and ultimately the dates by which we will no longer allow those technology areas to access the national infrastructure.

After the success of the legacy Identity Agent deprecation work, which resulted in over 95% reduction in the use of unsupported Identity Agents, NHS Digital are now expanding the deprecation plans to include all versions of the NHS Digital Identity Agent that is not supported in the Warranted Environment Specification. This includes version up to and including NHS Identity Agent v2.1.16.

The Identity and Access Management team are finalising plans for how to support NHS Organisations deprecate Gem Series 05 and 06 smartcards and will provide further details soon.

Important dates

Product/service Unsupported Access unavailable
Gem Series 4 cards (Gemplus) 30 March 2022 30 March 2022
BT IA Client 30 June 2021 30 September 2021
HSCIC v1 IA Client 30 June 2021 30 September 2021
HSCIC IA v2 Client 30 September 2022 30 December 2022
HSCIC IA v2.1.16 Client 30 September 2022 30 December 2022
Gem Series 05 or 06 (JCOP41 and JCP 41 cards) 30 September 2023 30 September 2023
CIS (authentication only) 30 September 2023 30 September 2023

NHS Digital will be contacting organisations affected by this deprecation directly. If you have any queries or require any further information, please contact

Reason for change

The NHS Long-Term Plan has two clear areas that support the introduction of NHS Care Identity Service 2 (NHS CIS2) as a priority.

It will:

  • ensure that clinicians can access and interact with patient records and care plans wherever they are
  • mandate and rigorously enforce technology standards, as described in The Future of Healthcare, to ensure data is interoperable and accessible

What action you need to take

For Series 5 and 6 smartcards there is no need to do anything at present, other than be aware that some NHS organisations may be required to start preparing for replacing these smartcards. NHS Digital will begin contacting organisations directly.

For version of the IA that are due to be deprecated, we are asking NHS Organisations to replace this software with the latest version. IA v2.3.2.0 overwrites all current version of the IA on a user’s machine, streamlining the replacement of updating.

If you require a smartcard report for a breakdown of the Series 4 smartcards still in operation within your organisations, please contact

If you are a supplier or you lead a team that delivers a service that currently supports authentication via the Care Identity Service and want to move to NHS CIS2 then please start your planning now. You can find out more information on our website.

We have a team who will also be driving up adoption of the new service over the next few years to allow us to switch off the Care Identity Service so watch out for further communications and engagement notes and events.

Additional information

For more information on the background to these changes and what is changing please read our previous IAM deprecation news article.

Related pages

Contact us

Media enquiries


Phone: 0300 30 33 888

Last edited: 17 February 2022 10:10 am