What is a CPS card?

Espace Produits de certification | 04 Nov 2014
A CPS card (health professional card) is a professional electronic identity card. It contains data identifying its holder (identity, profession, specialism) and also their professional situation (practice or hospital). It helps holders to prove their identity and their professional qualifications. It is protected by an individual PIN. 

Why implement CPS cards?

A CPS card is the key to moving towards e-health now and in the future. It enables healthcare professionals to:
  • Identify themselves and avoid identity theft (via the authentication process) ; 
  • Add electronic signatures to documents ;
  • Send electronic treatment forms to the mandatory state health and supplementary insurance organizations ;
  • Create, add to and refer to the electronic health records of their patients ;
  • Continue practising remotely (telemedicine) ;
  • Use a secure messaging servicefor healthcare professionals ;
Thanks to contactless technology, it can also be used for other applications such as accessing premises.
Once it has been rolled out, each department will be able to insist to see a CPS card each time they need healthcare professionals to identify or authenticate themselves securely on an IT system.

What does the new CPS card offer?

With a new look, incorporating the logos of the French General Medical Councils, the new CPS card is a 3-in-1 card which is 100%:
  • COMPLIANT: it complies with the IAS ECC (Identification Authentication Signature European Citizen Card) directive, which has been chosen for implementing electronic administration1 and the future French electronic identity cards.
  • COMPATIBLE: it works in the same way as the current CPS card, with no changes to the software or existing equipment necessary. It is therefore 100% compatible with workstations of healthcare professionals who already have a CPS card (no changes to electronic treatment form applications or to access to the online rights service or professional services for example).
  • IMPROVED: it has contactless features, making it easier to use on the move and making it possible to use in new ways, plus a new user-friendly application.

How are the cards being distributed?

  • For now on, CPS cards will be allocated systematically and free of charge to all healthcare professionals (private practitioners and hospital staff) registered with the following four Medical Councils: pharmacists, midwives, dental surgeons and doctors. 
  • Other professionals not yet included in the RPPS (Shared Directory of Healthcare Professionals) can request a card and this service is now free of charge. No charge is made for this service due to the fact that it will progressively become mandatory to use the card for certain secure electronic translations.
  • CPS cards are automatically renewed upon their expiry date: healthcare professionals do not have to do anything to get a replacement card. A new card will be sent to them one month before the expiry date of their current card.

CPS card key figures

As of 4 september 2014:

981,412 cards within the CPS group (CPS, CPE – hospital staff card, CDE – hospital manager card, etc.) in circulation including:
  • 590,491 valid health professional cards (CPS) in circulation
  • 380,641 CPE cards
206,206 cards distributed within hospitals including 94,051 CPS cards.

Last update: (4 September 2014)

1 - Electronic driving licences, mandatory as of 2013 by the European Directive of 21 December 2006 and which France is on the point of implementing, already comply with this directive.