Account representatives will need a digital certificate to access the CRC Registry as they are the only representatives who will be able to buy, sell and surrender allowances on behalf of the participant.
It is a unique electronic file that needs to be downloaded to the Account Representative's computer. In conjunction with a password, it will allow the Account Representative to securely access their compliance account.
For a detailed description of what a Digital Certificate is, please use the link below to access the Chamber SimplySign Frequently Asked Questions:
Digital Certificates should be backed up using the instructions provided by Chamber SimplySign:
Each time an Account Representative wants to access their account in the CRC Registry, they will only be able to do so via their computer with the relevant Digital Certificate and password.
All Account Representatives require a Chamber SimplySign Digital Certificate to be able to access their Compliance Account. The certificates issued are Government Authentication Framework Level 2 which provides the necessary level of personal identity check.
This level of security and identity assurance is required because the Account Representative will be able to buy, sell and surrender allowances on behalf of the Compliance Account Holder/Primary Member.
You can get a Digital Certificate from the Government Gateway approved Chamber SimplySign website:
Account Representatives have a choice of 1 year or 3 year Digital Certificates. At the end of the period, you will have to renew your Digital Certificate. An email reminder will be sent from Chamber SimplySign to each Account Representative when renewal is required. If you renew the certificate before it expires you will not need to go through the full application process again.
If you let your Digital Certificate expire, you will have to undergo the full application process again and this will take time. We encourage you to renew your digital certificate as soon as you get the request to do so; this way you will avoid problems with not being able get on the system at critical times (e.g. when you are required to buy your allowances).
No as there is no requirement for you to order or surrender allowances during the introductory phase of the scheme. However, if you lose your CCA exemption please contact the CRC team for further guidance on how you need to proceed for the remaining years of the introductory phase.
It is not possible to define the length of time it will take to obtain the Digital Certificate as it depends on how quickly the Account Representative responds to requests for information and how quickly the information can be verified. Typically the process will take a few days, but it can take up to four weeks from start to finish.
Trustis offers email support to every applicant but also a Platinum Support option for a small additional fee which amongst other benefits provides a telephone support service, which will ensure that acquiring your Digital Certificate and preparing your PC is as swift and hassle free as possible. The Platinum Support is free of charge with 3 year Digital Certificates.
We advise that you apply for your Digital Certificate from now onwards. Please remember that at least one Account Representative per participant should have:
- Been nominated on the CRC Registry by the Primary or Secondary Contact;
- Obtained their Digital Certificate;
- Received their Known Facts letter from the CRC Administrator and received the accompanying PIN letter from the Senior Officer; and used these to
- Enrol and access their Compliance Account no later than the 31st May 2012.
During the Digital Certificate application process there is a browser compatibility check that you can use to automatically test your browser settings in order to ensure that the Digital certificate will work. This ‘browser check’ will prompt you to make any adjustments that are necessary. In some cases you might be required to download and install an update or patch. You may require some support for this step from your IT department. This test is an invaluable step to ensure your Digital Certificate installation runs seamlessly and works when the process is completed. Chamber SimplySign offer you email support for free or a dedicated phone support with their Platinum Support package.
Additionally, a pre-requisites guide for obtaining a digital certificate is available at:
The Account Representative will be required to pay Chamber SimplySign (the approved Government Gateway service provided by Trustis) for the Digital Certificate not the CRC Administrators. You will be prompted for payment by Corporate or Personal credit/debit card when making your application for a Digital Certificate.
You are required to pay for Digital Certificates separately to the CRC subscription fee because the certificates are independently issued by Chamber SimplySign which the Government has approved to provide this service.
A Government Gateway approved Digital Certificate from Chamber SimplySign costs:
- 1 Year Digital Certificate: £35.00 + VAT including e-mail support during the life of the certificate
- 3 Year Digital Certificate: £105.00 + VAT with free of charge Platinum Support for the life of the certificate
- For overseas Account Representative(s) please contact Trustis. Please indicate in your email that you are an overseas applicant.
Chamber SimplySign 1 Year Digital Certificate applicants can also choose to purchase a Platinum Support package at £1.00 per month which provides them with:
- During business hours, access to a support consultant on the phone for live assistance at any point throughout the vetting process and certificate lifecycle
- A free of charge replacement certificate for the user if:
- they lose it through computer failure, upgrade or change perhaps
- they change their name by getting married for example
- they have implemented password protection and cannot recover the password
- they report the certificate has been compromised
For more information please visit the SimplySign website:
Note that you will not be charged by Chamber SimplySign if you do not pass the identity checking process.
The checks undertaken can include reviewing publicly available databases, a personal statement from the Account Representative and other information to ‘verify their identity’ (i.e. details from their passport, driving licence and utility bill). In a limited number of cases, certified copies of documents may also be required to verify the Account Representative’s identity.
The following details are required:
- Full name
- Date of Birth
- Place of Birth (Town, County, Country)
- Current UK home address
- Contact telephone number
- Contact e-mail address
Optional details on the initial online application are:
- Driving license number
- Passport number
- Passport expiry date
- Utility supply number
The more information you can provide upfront, the better your chance of being verified quickly. So it would be useful for you to have these details to hand when you apply for your Digital Certificate.
If you do not provide these details in the online SimplySign applications and your identity cannot be verified satisfactorily, you may be asked to submit verified copies of these documents (and/or other forms of identification) in the post.
It is not possible to define the length of time it will take to obtain the Digital Certificate because it partly depends on how quickly the Account Representative responds to requests for information and how quickly the identity can be verified.
Typically the process will take a few days, but it can take longer given the number of checks and you must also account for any configuration or updates your browser might invoke on your PC.
Therefore, please allow up to four weeks from start to finish.
We would advise that you apply for your Digital Certificate no later than 30 April 2012 to ensure you have your Digital Certificate in time for the start of the sale of allowances window on 1 June 2012.
It is not possible to guarantee that a specific individual will be issued with a Digital Certificate. If an applicant cannot be verified to the required Government Authentication Framework Level 2 standard, a certificate cannot be issued. In these cases you will have to find an alternative person to fulfil the role of Account Representative.
You will not be charged by Chamber SimplySign if you do not pass the identity checks sufficiently to meet the required standard.
Yes, you will be able to back up your Digital Certificate to a password protected file, which may be moved onto a CD, for example. You can use this if you change your computer or it is damaged. Please see the documents below for a step by step process on how to do this:
If your computer is lost or stolen, you MUST inform Chamber SimplySign so that your Digital Certificate can be revoked and a new one will have to be applied for.
Click on the link below for a step by step guide on how to back up your Digital Certificate.
If you do not have the administrative rights for the computer that your digital certificate is downloaded to then you will need to obtain these temporarily to be able to back up your certificate (i.e. see the relevant ‘Content’ tab in your Internet Options). An IT administrator logging on to your computer with additional ‘administrative’ rights themselves will not be able to see your digital certificate as it is personal to you.
No. Your Digital Certificate cannot be transferred because it is bound to your identity.
As long as your Digital Certificate is approved in accordance with Government Authentication Framework Level 2 (or higher), it will allow you to access your CRC Compliance Account.
Yes, you should apply in the name for which you have the largest amount of valid identification information, e.g. electoral roll, credit cards, utility bills, passport. If there are any problems verifying your identity, it is likely that further documentation evidence will be requested.
The background checks on your identity will use some publicly available records such as the electoral roll. So, if you have changed your name everywhere except at work then apply for the Digital Certificate in your married name.
If your computer was lost or stolen, you must inform Trustis, via the Chamber SimplySign website at http://www.simplysign.co.uk/online-help.asp as soon as possible so that your certificate can be revoked. For security, the CRC Team at the Environment Agency will have to delete you from the system and will ask one of the other contacts for your account to nominate you again.
If your computer has crashed, and your digital certificate is lost, you will be able to reload it onto your computer if you made a backup following successful downloading of the certificate. If you did not back up your certificate you will be required to purchase a new one and go through the full application process again.
Please note if you opted for Platinum support then your replacement certificate will be free of charge.
You will need:
- To have access to a Microsoft Enrolment Control
- To have access to a suitable Cryptographic Service Provider
Chamber SimplySign Digital Certificates are officially supported on:
- Windows XP
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
However please note that it is likely that they will also work on Windows 2000.
And the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer versions 6,7,8 and 9
- Mozilla Firefox version 3.6.10 through to v7
Chamber SimplySign Digital Certificates are not supported on:
- Apple Macintosh Operating Systems
- Linux Operating Systems
- Mobile devices such as Apple iPhones, Android based phones or other types of PDAs
The CRC administrators cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred in ensuring that your computer can support the Digital Certificate.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are able to obtain and use a Digital Certificate to access the CRC compliance account. This may require you to use a computer with more up to date software or use a computer type that is supported by CRC and Chamber SimplySign. The CRC administrators cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred in ensuring that your computer can support the Digital Certificate.
We have produced a short document of tips which you may find useful when obtaining a digital certificate.
If you see this message then you need to complete the following steps;
- In Internet Explorer, go to tools (Shortcut: Alt+t) then “Internet Options”
- Select the “Security” tab
- Click on the “Trusted sites” zone
- Click the “Sites” button
- Add https://*.gateway.gov.uk and https://crc.environment-agency.gov.uk to the list of sites
You should then be able to continue to enrol and log in as an Account Representative (as detailed in the screenshot guide ‘Enrolling and logging in as an account representative
’) once you have obtained your PIN for enrolment from your Senior Officer. If you have not yet received your PIN you will be able to complete the actions up to slide 12 of the Enrolling and logging in as an account representative guide. Once you get to the screen on slide 12 you will just have to log out and wait until your Senior Officer gets the letter with the PIN in it. Having completed slides 1 -12, when you have the PIN you will just click 'Login using a digital certificate', click on your digital certificate, click login, enter the secure phrase you created and then you will be presented with the screen seen on slide 12 and you can then carry on.
Full instructions are also provided on the reference letter you will get (which will be sent out at the same time as the PIN letter).