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The NHS England account lifecycle has many possible stages from creation through to deletion. Most are automatic processes but being aware of them will help you handle queries from users.

Terminology:

Account type - usually a personal account (one per user) but may sometimes be an Access account (can be shared - good for walk-in users or training).

Account status - whether it is eligible or ineligible to access subscription content after logging in. At certain times in the lifecycle an account may move between the two statuses.

Eligibility expiry - the date at which an account will automatically change status from eligible to ineligible. When this happens, the account expiry date is updated in line with a grace period.

Grace period - the time between an account entering an ineligible status and it being expired. Set at the national level.

Account expiry - the date at which the account automatically stops allowing the user to log in to anything.

Automatic deletion periods - there are two of these:

  • Unactivated accounts. These are accounts where the user registers but does not activate it (confirm their email address and set a password). After a defined period the account is deleted. This is set at the national level. The countdown on an account can be reset by resending the activation email - see: How to re-send an account activation email
  •  Expired accounts. When an account is expired it will be automatically deleted after a period. This period can be set at the trust level, but cannot be longer than a year - see: Account preferences.

Simplified time-line:

  1. Account is created
  2. Account is activated by the user
  3. Account is set as eligible either automatically by the system or manually by an administrator (if it remains ineligible, go to step 7)
  4. Account is used, much research occurs, knowledge expands and so on
  5. Account nears eligibility expiry (or account expiry) - user is notified by email
  6. Account is updated to keep working (go to step 4), or not updated
  7. Account expires
  8. Expired accounts cleaned up automatically

What the various account properties say about an account:

Eligibility statusEligibility expiry dateActivatedAccount expiry
EligibileFutureYesFuture

Self-registered from within the network or with an approved email domain, or registered without either of the above and subsequently approved by their administrator.

Account can access all allocated content.

IneligibleFutureYesFuture

Self-registered outside of the network and without an approved email domain and not yet approved by their administrator. Appears in the accounts awaiting approval list.

Account can sign in, but cannot access subscription content.

EligibleFutureNoFuture

Registered from within the network or with an approved email domain or created by an administrator, but no password has been set yet (unactivated).

Account cannot sign in.

IneligiblePastYesFuture

Has passed the eligibility expiry date and the account expiry date will have been updated to match the grace period.

The user will have been emailed before it happened about what to do to maintain access.

Account can sign in but not access subscription content.

Eligible or IneligibleFuture or PastYesPast

The account has expired and will be automatically deleted after the set number of days.

Account cannot sign in.