CSCS smartcards

  • Where can I obtain the look-up tables to decode data stored in the public mifare sector on CSCS smartcards?
  • The look-up tables to interpret the Qualifications, Scheme and Type of CSCS Card stored in Mifare sector 0 can be downloaded from here. The tables are dynamically updated each time a new Qualification, Scheme or Type of Card is created.

  • Can CSCS smartcards be read offline?
  • Yes, CSCS cards can be read offline.

    The card reader software or mobile device app will automatically choose either online or offline mode depending on whether you are connected to the Internet. In offline mode the data displayed on screen is read straight from the CSCS card. In online mode the data on the card is first checked against the CSCS database to make sure it is completely up to date before being displayed on screen.

    Please Note: The first time you try to read CSCS cards online you will be asked to register the CSCS go smart Software by entering your name, organisation and email address.

  • What sort of card readers can be used to view CSCS smartcards using a computer or laptop?
  • There are many card readers that will work with CSCS smartcards.  Prices start from around £40 + VAT and you can purchase them from CSCS’ preferred supplier or from another supplier. Before purchasing check that the readers you choose are PC/SC accordant conforming to protocol T=0 (contact interface) or T=CL (contactless interface) or you will not be able to read CSCS SmartCards.

    Reading a valid CSCS SmartCard will display the cardholder’s details and photograph on the computer screen, which will demonstrate that the card is genuine and will verify the information printed on the card.

    The CSCS SmartCard is a dual interface card, which means it can be read using a contact reader (one where the card is inserted into a slot in the reader), or a contactless reader (one where the card is simply placed on the outside surface of the reader). Contactless readers cost slightly more but read SmartCards more quickly.

    Only PC/SC accordant SmartCard readers conforming to protocol T=0 (contact interface) or T=CL (contactless interface) will be suitable for reading the CSCS SmartCard. A selection of models that have been tested for compatibility are available from CSCS’ preferred supplier.

    Before a reader can be used, it will be necessary to install special CSCS software on to your PC or laptop, and you may also need to load a driver that comes with the reader. The CSCS software is downloadable free of charge here. Alternatively, it will be available to purchase on a CD-ROM as part of a package with a reader from CSCS’s preferred supplier.

    Once the software is running, all that remains is to plug the reader into your computer and insert the card.

  • What should I do if a CSCS smartcard is lost?
  • You should apply for a replacement card in the usual way. The original card will be cancelled so if someone tries to read it online, it would state that the card is no longer valid.

  • What is the technical specification of the smartcard used by CSCS?
  • It is a dual interface JCOP31 36KB Javacard with 1k Mifare.

  • What is the Mifare authentication key code required to access the CSCS data in the public mifare sector?
  • To read the publicly accessible data held in sector 0, your Mifare application must authenticate with the card using Mifare Key A for Sector 0 with a key value of 0xFFFFFFFFFFFF.

  • The CSCS go smart software is prompting me for a user name and password. What should I do?
  • If your company uses a web proxy or Internet gateway appliance that requires user authentication, the CSCS go smart Software will attempt to authenticate in exactly the same way as your web-browser. Therefore, if you are usually prompted for a username/password to access the Internet, the CSCS go smart Software will prompt for these in exactly the same way.

    If you are continually prompted for a username and password and are unable to synchronise CSCS smartcard, please refer to My Web proxy or firewall is preventing connections to the CSCS servers, what can I do? 

  • My web proxy or firewall is preventing connections to the CSCS servers. What can I do?
  • If the CSCS go smart application is unable to communicate with the CSCS servers it is probably because your IT department have defined a policy to prevent such connections. To overcome this your IT department will need to update the rules on the web proxy/Internet gateway to permit HTTPS traffic to the CSCS servers. HTTPS traffic (port 443) should be permitted to any hosts within the *.cscsreader.co.uk domain. At the very least, HTTPS traffic must be allowed to all of the hosts specified in the application configuration file which is by default installed at the following location:

    “C:\Program Files\CSCS\CSCS go smart software\ USGClientWindows.exe.config”

  • I am trying to check a CSCS smartcard but it won't read?
  • The card you are presenting may not be a valid CSCS SmartCard.  Try reading another card.

    If you are using a computer and the problem persists, check that the CSCS go smart Software is running. If go smart is running, close it down and restart it. Go smart needs to be restarted if your computer has been into hibernation mode or your reader has been moved to a different USB port since you last launched the software.

    If you are using a smartphone or tablet device check that the NFC (Near Field Communiction) is enabled in your device settings. Hold the card against the back of the device, near the top (the general location of the NFC reader, though some models may differ) and with the card facing the device.

  • I'm using Windows 7 and when I present a CSCS smartcard, Windows prompts me to install a driver. Why is this?
  • This is because under Windows 7, Microsoft has implemented Plug and Play support for SmartCards. You can either simply ignore or dismiss the prompt to install a driver, or alternatively you can disable the SmartCard Plug and Play service by following the instruction below.

    To disable SmartCard Plug and Play service on Windows 7.

    1. On the Windows 7 computer, click Start, type gpedit.msc in the Search programs and files box, and then press ENTER.
    2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration, click Administrative Templates.
    3. In the details pane, double-click Windows Components, and then double-click Smart Card.
    4. Right-click Turn on Smart Card Plug and Play service, and then click Edit.
    5. Click Disabled, and then click OK.

    6. You will need to reboot your machine for the changes to take effect.

    For enterprise deployments, SmartCard Plug and Play can be disabled by deploying a Group Policy. For information about administrative templates, see (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=152390).

    Further information about windows 7 and smartcard Plug and Play can be found here:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd979547(WS.10).aspx

  • I am getting an error which states 'Error in stage 6 of applet'
  • This is because under Windows 7, Microsoft has implemented Plug and Play support for SmartCards. You can either simply ignore or dismiss the prompt to install a driver, or alternatively you can disable the SmartCard Plug and Play service by following the instruction below.

    To disable SmartCard Plug and Play service on Windows 7.

    1. On the Windows 7 computer, click Start, type gpedit.msc in the Search programs and files box, and then press ENTER.
    2. In the console tree under Computer Configuration, click Administrative Templates.
    3. In the details pane, double-click Windows Components, and then double-click Smart Card.
    4. Right-click Turn on Smart Card Plug and Play service, and then click Edit.
    5. Click Disabled, and then click OK.
    6. You will need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

    For enterprise deployments, SmartCard Plug and Play can be disabled by deploying a Group Policy. For information about administrative templates, see (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=152390).

    Further information about windows 7 and smartcard Plug and Play can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd979547(WS.10).aspx

  • Can I ask workers who hold a partner scheme card to get a smartcard?
  • Not currently, however, discussions are taking place with the CSCS partner schemes on their implementation dates for SmartCards.

  • How do I use the CSCS go smart software once I've installed it?
  • If you are using a computer, ensure that you have correctly installed the CSCS go smart software and that the appropriate drivers for your Smartcard reader are also correctly installed.

    Make sure the CSCS go smart software is running. You should be able to see the CSCS logo in the system tray in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

    Place the CSCS SmartCard on/in your card reader.

    Note: If you are using a Contact reader, please make sure the card is inserted the correct way around.

    Your screen will display the cardholder’s photo and a card image on the left and the cardholder’s details on the right. The card reading mode is indicated in the top left hand corner of the window.

     

    If you are using a smartphone or tablet device, ensure that the go smart app has successfully installed and is fully updated. Check that the NFC (Near Field Communication) is enabled in your device settings.

    Start the go smart app and place a CSCS card against the back and top of the device (the general location of the NFC reader, though some models may differ). Ensure that the front of the card is held facing the device. Once fully loaded, an image of the card and the information on it will be displayed on the screen of the device.

    Note: the go smart app is not compatible with IPhones or IPads.

  • Where can I find the CSCS apps for reading smartcards with my smartphone or tablet device?
  • CSCS apps are available from Google Play. Once installed all you need to do is place a CSCS smartcard on the back surface of the device.

    Please ensure that NFC (near field communication) is turned on within your device settings.

  • How can I check CSCS cards using the smart technology embedded in them?
  • Reading a CSCS SmartCard electronically is simple and can be used in a variety of ways to meet a wide range of IT requirements.

    For site managers and supervisors who prefer to work from PC’s simply download the free go smart software from the CSCS website to your computer.

    By inserting a card into an inexpensive card reader you can view the information about the worker on the screen. If the PC is connected to the internet, then the data can also be validated online. Managers and supervisors can then choose to print the information or store it on a secure database.

    Card readers start from £40 and can be purchased from CSCS preferred suppliers.

    For those who would rather use smartphones or tablets there is a free go smart app available to download from Google Play or the Windows Store. Using either a tablet device or smartphone works in a very similar way. Firstly, make sure that the NFC (Near Field Communications) has been activated in the device settings. Then just hold the card against the top of the back of the card reading device (the general location of the NFC reader, though some models may differ), with the front of the card facing the device. The information from the CSCS card appears on the screen with the option to save it if required.

    Note: The go smart app is not compatible with IPhones or IPads.

  • How do I install the CSCS software on my computer which is needed to read smartcards?
  • Before you can read a CSCS SmartCard using your computer you will need to:

    • Download and install the CSCS go smart Software
    • Install the driver software supplied with your SmartCard reader
    • Connect the SmartCard reader to your computer
    • Start the CSCS go smart Software
    • Place the CSCS SmartCard in/on your reader

    Follow the instructions on the website to download and run the installer.

    Please note: Some users may find that their IT departments have imposed restrictions that prevent downloading or installing programs on to their computers/networks. If you experience such restrictions you will need to consult with your IT department.

    Connecting the Smartcard Reader to your computer

    Most SmartCard readers connect via USB and are supplied with a ‘Driver’ CD. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for driver installation. Once the drivers are installed, simply connect the SmartCard reader to a free USB port on your computer. Windows should at this point recognise the new hardware and configure the device driver software automatically.

    Starting the CSCS go smart Software

    Once the CSCS go smart Software and the SmartCard reader are installed, you are ready to start reading CSCS SmartCards. To start the software, double-click on the CSCS go smart icon that is on your desktop. A CSCS logo will appear in the system tray (near the bottom right hand corner of your screen).

    When you see the CSCS icon, the program is running in the background. You will not see a window open on your computer until you present a valid CSCS SmartCard.

  • How do I close the CSCS software on my computer?
  • The software can be left running on your computer until you wish to read another card.  However, if you do want to close it, simply right-click using the mouse on the small CSCS icon in the system tray (near the lower right hand corner of your screen) and select ‘Exit’.

  • How do I check for upgrades to the software which is needed to read CSCS smartcards?
  • Upgrades to the CSCS go smart software will be made available online periodically. Providing your computer can access the internet when the CSCS go smart Software is running, you will automatically be informed when a new version is available for download.

  • If the surface of a CSCS smartcard is worn away, how can I tell if the card has expired?
  • When you read a CSCS card using the smart technology embedded in it, the expiry date will be displayed on your screen.  Providing the date on your computer or mobile device is correct, if the card has expired or is about to expire, a warning message will flash on screen – orange if the card expires within the next 3 months, and red if the card has already expired.

    Note: if the card is more than 6 months past its expiry date the cardholder’s details will not appear on screen.