All CPCS and CISRS operators who apply for a card from 2nd December will receive a new digital ‘smart’ card. The smart cards work through NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and by tapping the smartcard on any NFC enabled device – most modern mobile phones and tablets – the cardholder’s name, photo, categories/courses and endorsements will appear. NOCN Job Cards are working on the next stage of smart cards currently, where qualifications and NOCN Site Right training will also appear on the card as well renewal notifications.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

Near-field Communication, or NFC, is a connecting technology based on RFID (radio frequency identification). Designed to transmit short strings of information to an interacting phone, NFC tags require no internal power and for us, take the form of an ID card. While their appearance may seem unimpressive, their power comes from simplicity because they can be used where other technologies cannot.

What you need to know

  • NFC tags are passive yet powerful
  • They transmit information wirelessly
  • They have approximately a 1” read range
  • They do not require a battery


  • iPhone XS / XR / 11 and newer read NFC natively (no app required)
  • iPhone 7, 8 and may need an app (free to download)
  • Most Android devices have NFC

Even though NFC is a relatively new technology it has seen rapid adoption across the smartphone industry. Android has long been known to have NFC scanning capabilities. Since 2012 the number of NFC compatible Android devices has exploded. Now nearly every Android phone supports NFC scanning.

Like most things Apple the release of iOS 11 saw the iPhone 7 and newer gain NFC read support through an app and the latest iPhone XS, XR and 11 have the ability to scan NFC from the home- screen without the need to install an app. See this iPhone compatibility guide to learn more.

Advantages of NFC

  • High customer perception
  • High smartphone adoption
  • High security / Authentication / Exclusive content
  • High value – Use-cases span the entire customer journey & product
  • Cannot be copied or cloned
  • Content can be updated via secure platforms
  • Future proofed

NFC’s rapid adoption is a result of the technology’s many advantages. Consumers often see the technology as desirable when compared to QR codes, with NFC-enabled products becoming highly sought after.

Because NFC tags include a secure element to thwart duplication, they enable ID authentication and the ability to see exclusive content. This functionality is simply not possible with QR codes.

How to Scan an NFC Tag with an Android Phone

  1. Locate where the NFC tag is located on the smart card (top left corner)
  2. Touch the back of your device to where the NFC tag is located on the object and hold it there for 3-5 seconds
  3. There is no step 3. Your device should open the experience after reading the NFC


  • When trying to scan if an action is not immediately triggered, slowly move your phone around the NFC touchpoint until an interaction is
  • Most Android phones natively have NFC
  • Depending on your phone manufacturer, NFC may be switched off by default. If your phone supports NFC but still doesn’t interact with NFC objects turn on NFC

Turning NFC On and Off

Once you have determined if your device supports NFC, it’s important to understand how to turn the feature on and off. Depending on the manufacturer, it’s possible your device supports NFC but, by default, came with it switched off in the settings.

Activating NFC Android

On your Android device, tap on “Settings” Select “Connected devices or connections”

You should see “NFC” and “Android Beam” options. Turn both of them on!

NFC on iPhone

For iPhone, the steps depend on which model you have.

iPhone XR, XS 11 or newer

  1. Locate where the NFC tag is located on the smart card (top left corner)
  2. Tap the top of your iPhone to where the NFC tag is located on the object and hold it there for 3-5 seconds
  3. Upon read a notification will appear at the top of your screen. Tap it to launch the experience.

iPhone 7 and 8

  1. Download the ‘gototags’ app on the app store (free to download)
  2. Launch the app and select NFC
  3. Locate where the NFC tag is located on the object you are scanning
  4. Tap the top of your iPhone to where the NFC tag is located on the object


  • All new iPhones have NFC enabled natively without the need for an app
  • Phones before iPhone 7 do not have NFC capability beyond Apple Pay

Get a Dedicated NFC Reader App

As detailed above, if you’re using an iPhone 7 through iPhone X, you’ll need a NFC reader, like the Decode NFC App ‘gototags’ on App store.

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