Virtual and Smart Cards FAQ Information for employers and training providers
Our FAQ page for individuals with an EUSR registration answers questions about getting started with virtual cards and plastic smart cards. This page contains information for employers and training providers under these topics:
- Virtual cards
- Smart cards
- CSCS Partner Cards
- Existing EUSR registrations, renewals and replacement cards
All cards used to access CSCS sites must now be checkable by the CSCS Smart Check app, which launched on 1 April 2022. Any individuals accessing CSCS sites with an EUSR card must get a virtual card (or plastic smart card) to replace their plastic card if it was issued before February 2022. Our CSCS partner cards are all SHEA schemes, NCO (Gas), NCO (Water) and Utility Network Construction Supervisor.
When were virtual cards introduced?
Since 14 February 2022, all new EUSR registrations have been issued with a virtual card instead of the previous plastic card.
Why the change?
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) mandated that all CSCS Partner Card schemes must upgrade to a ‘smart’ solution by 1 April 2022. EUSR introduced virtual cards (and plastic smart cards on request) for our CSCS Partner Card schemes and for all other EUSR schemes on 14 February 2022.
CSCS also introduced its Smart Check app on 1 April, which is used at all CSCS-controlled sites to check all CSCS Partner Cards.
The use of virtual cards significantly reduces the plastic we, and our employers, are using in line with our sector-wide drive toward greater sustainability.
What is a virtual card?
As with the previous card, the new virtual card is a record of the active EUSR registrations held by an individual. Instead of a plastic card, individuals download an app called Vircarda to their smartphone or tablet which displays a digital EUSR card – just like the ApplePay wallet stores bank cards.
Is the online card checker still available at eusr.co.uk?
Yes. An individual’s details can still be checked by entering them on the EUSR register search, available 24/7, at www.eusr.co.uk.
How does the Vircarda app work?
When the app is first installed, the individual enters the registration and PIN number provided from an SMS message and creates a Vircarda account. The virtual EUSR card is added, from the data EUSR stores on an individual in our Quartz system, to the wallet in their account. Each time the virtual card needs to be checked, Vircarda generates a secure, short life QR code that can only be read with a compatible QR reader app (Checarda or the CSCS Smart Check app). Generic QR reader apps cannot read the QR codes generated by Vircarda.
How do individuals download the virtual card app?
To access their virtual card for the first time, a newly registered individual is sent an SMS message with a registration and PIN number for an app called Vircarda. When they download the app, create a Vircarda account and log in, the app contains their virtual EUSR card, including details of all active EUSR registrations. An individual can install the Vircarda app on a smartphone or tablet device (either Android or Apple).
To access their virtual card on an ongoing basis, the individual simply opens the app installed on their smartphone or tablet device and views the virtual card held within the Vircarda app.
Why does EUSR need mobile numbers for individuals?
All new EUSR registrations now come with a virtual card by default. Mobile numbers are required when submitting registration applications in QuartzWeb so a virtual card can be issued.
How do I submit mobile numbers with registrations?
Mobile numbers are submitted as part of the usual registration processing. When creating a Batch, QuartzWeb Administrators can upload mobile numbers directly through QuartzWeb via individual upload or via the spreadsheet template available in QuartzWeb. The mobile can be either a company or a personal number, but it must be unique to the individual.
What if an individual doesn’t have a smartphone or tablet device?
They will need to request a plastic smart card when the QuartzWeb Administrator submits a batch for registration processing. The QuartzWeb Administrator must contact the EUSR Support team (on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 745 1310) who will manually process the request as an exception to allow the plastic smart card only to be issued. Note: As this is a manual process, this could mean up to two working days being added to the registration processing time.
The plastic smart card contains a chip that can be scanned by the checking app, Checarda. If they have a mobile phone that isn’t a smartphone, they can still use that number when their registration is processed so their EUSR record is complete, but they’ll need to request a plastic smart card as they won’t be able to use a virtual card without a smartphone or tablet. If a plastic smart card is not requested at the point of batch submission, then it can still be requested later using our replacement card process.
What if an individual doesn’t have a mobile number at all?
Mobile numbers are now required when submitting a batch for registration processing in QuartzWeb. If an individual doesn’t have a mobile number, they will need to request a plastic smart card. Their training provider can submit a batch for registrations via QuartzWeb and must contact the EUSR Support team (on email@example.com or 0121 745 1310) who will manually process the request as an exception to allow the plastic smart card only to be issued. Note: As this is a manual process, this could mean up to two working days being added to the registration processing time.
Does the mobile number provided need to be a company mobile?
No, it can be either a company mobile number or a personal mobile number. It needs to be a number unique to the individual so they can receive the SMS message with secure registration and PIN login details.
What if an individual loses their phone or changes their mobile number?
Transferring a virtual card to a new device is straightforward. The individual will download the Vircarda app to their new device, launch the app and click the login button in the middle of the registration screen. They should then enter the email address and password they used when they first registered with Vircarda, click on the ‘Add Card’ button and select the card(s) from the list. When the card has downloaded, it will automatically be removed from the old device (provided the old device is still online). If they change their mobile number, individuals must update that number in the Vircarda app and should contact EUSR Support (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 745 1310) to update their EUSR ID record as well.
Can a virtual EUSR card be installed on more than one device at a time?
No. The Vircarda app can be installed on multiple devices, however, the virtual cards within the app can only be stored on one device at any one time. This is a security feature designed to ensure an individual’s card is not compromised.
Does it cause a problem with virtual cards if an individual has more than one EUSR ID number?
The virtual card app works with only one EUSR ID per person. If any individual has multiple EUSR IDs, please contact EUSR Support on email@example.com or 0121 745 1310 and we will combine their EUSR ID records.
How are virtual cards checked for validity?
When asked to produce the card, the individual will open the Vircarda app on their smartphone or tablet device and show the virtual card. Each time the virtual card needs to be checked, Vircarda generates a secure, short life QR code that can only be read with a compatible QR reader app (Checarda or the CSCS Smart Check apps), which can be used with or without internet access once installed. Generic QR reader apps cannot read the QR codes generated by Vircarda.
Alternatively, the individual’s details can still be checked by entering them on the EUSR register search (available 24/7 at www.eusr.co.uk).
Is the virtual card expiry date different to the EUSR registration expiry date?
Yes. A virtual card has an expiry date on the front that is not linked to any of an individual’s EUSR registrations. When the virtual card expires, if an individual still has a live EUSR registration they will receive a push notification on their smartphone or tablet which prompts them to add the new card to their virtual wallet.
Many of the sites that individuals work on have little to no mobile phone signal – do virtual cards work under those circumstances?
Yes. Before attending site, an individual should download the Vircarda app and load their virtual card to their smartphone or tablet device. This only needs to be done once. The Checarda app will also need to be downloaded by the card checker before attending site. The Checarda app can then be used with or without internet access to check the validity of both the virtual cards and the plastic smart cards. The Checarda app is already used by many Site Managers/Supervisors for other CSCS Partner card schemes, and also extensively in other industries.
What does a virtual card cost?
The cost of an EUSR registration has not changed, individuals simply receive a virtual card instead of a plastic card to accompany their active registration (see our price list for more details).
What if an individual still wants or needs a plastic card?
A new plastic smart card can be requested if needed, for an additional fee of £2 plus VAT per card (see our price list for more details). This plastic smart card looks and feels the same as the previous EUSR card (including all of the EUSR registration details on the reverse) but there is a new card expiry date and a contactless symbol which means the card contains a chip that can be read by the Checarda app.
Are plastic smart cards issued automatically?
No, they are only issued where requested at the point of submitting a batch for registration in QuartzWeb. The default EUSR card is a virtual card.
Can a plastic smart card be requested at any time?
If a plastic smart card is required, the most cost-effective time to request one is at the point of submitting a batch for registration in QuartzWeb, for an additional cost of £2 plus VAT per card. Plastic smart cards can also be requested for existing registrations using our replacement card process on our online shop. Individuals looking to replace their existing plastic EUSR card with a new plastic smart card will be charged £2 plus VAT in addition to the standard replacement card fee (see our price list for more details).
What happens to the virtual card when a new plastic smart card is requested?
When a new plastic smart card is requested (for example if an individual gains a new registration), then a new virtual card will also be issued automatically. The original virtual card (and any original plastic smart card) will be cancelled and will not be readable by the Checarda app. This cancellation will happen 14 days after the issue of the new card(s) to allow time for any new plastic smart card to reach the individual.
Will individuals need to request a new plastic smart card with each new registration?
No, this is optional. The chip within a plastic smart card is updated for new registrations when it is read by the Checarda app. All registrations held on the chip within a plastic smart card display on the Checarda app, even when it isn’t printed on the plastic smart card. All registrations are also available for checking on the online register at www.eusr.co.uk.
If individuals want an updated plastic smart card and they know they will be receiving multiple registrations in a short space of time, they should wait until the final registration is processed to request their new plastic smart card.
Is the plastic smart card expiry date different to the EUSR registration expiry date?
Yes. The chip in a plastic smart card has a lifespan and since it cannot be guaranteed after that time, we’ve added an expiry date to the front of the card. This shows the date the plastic smart card needs to be replaced and does not reflect the expiration date of the EUSR registration(s).
How many registrations can be printed on the reverse of the plastic smart card?
Up to 16 registrations can be printed on the reverse of a plastic smart card. For most individuals, this will mean all live registrations are printed. For those with 17 or more registrations, the Checarda app will display all registrations when the plastic smart card is scanned, even if they’re not printed on the card. Additionally, all registrations can always be checked via the online register at eusr.co.uk – available 24/7. One of the advantages of a virtual card is there are no physical space restrictions. Virtual cards display all registrations held by an individual.
What do the new cards mean for CSCS registrations including SHEA, Network Construction Operations (NCO) and Utilities Network Construction Supervisor?
Since 1 April 2022, individuals using their EUSR registration to gain access to a CSCS controlled site must produce either a virtual card or plastic smart card. The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has mandated that all CSCS and CSCS Partner cards must be capable of being read by their Smart Check app. Our virtual cards and plastic smart cards are both fully compatible with this new app.
Why might some individuals need two EUSR cards?
The Smart Check app can only read EUSR registrations that belong to CSCS Partner Card schemes. For this reason, EUSR must now issue any registrations that can be checked by this app on a separate CSCS card to other EUSR scheme registrations. For some individuals, this will mean they have two EUSR cards instead of one. The first will hold any registrations that are for EUSR’s CSCS Partner Card scheme registrations, the second card will hold those for other EUSR scheme registrations. Both cards are readable by the Checarda app. This will be the same whether the cards are virtual cards or plastic smart cards.
What about renewals?
If an individual renews an EUSR registration, they will automatically receive a virtual card instead of a plastic card. They can request a plastic smart card in addition to the virtual card if they wish, for an additional cost of £2 plus VAT (see our price list for more details).
What about registrations that don’t expire for another year or more?
The existing plastic card is still valid until the registration expires.
If the individual uses their card to enter a CSCS site, that card must now be checkable by the CSCS Smart Check app. This means those individuals must have a new virtual card or a plastic smart card. See the replacement cards page for more details.
What happens if an individual needs a replacement for their current plastic card which has been lost or stolen?
If an individual loses their current plastic card, they can now request a virtual card as a replacement. They also have the option of requesting an additional plastic smart card. See the replacement cards page for more details.
Find Out More
If you have a question that isn’t listed above, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.00pm, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0121 745 1310.