Authenticating User

Before performing an action on a user’s account (e.g. unlocking an account/ resetting a password) you must first be sure of their identity. If the person is not known/recognised you should authenticate the user to verify their identity. You will need to ask them to verify three characters from their user account secret. Follow your local policy on how to communicate with the user about this information and for guidance on what to do if the user forgets their user account secret.

To authenticate a user:

selecting user management1. Click Admin in the navigation bar at the top of the screen and select User Management from the drop down menu.

2. Use the search box to find the account you wish to authenticate

Refer to the Searching for an Entry article for more information

Select Authenticate User3. Click on the user’s Display Name to open the User Details Page

4. From the User Details Page, click the Authenticate User in the Actions box


The user will be required to provide three characters from the security authentication method set by the user (i.e. Security Questions and Answers or User Account Secret). Ask the user to provide you with the characters requested, please notice these are not case sensitive.

5. Enter the characters into the corresponding box and click on Submit. The NHSmail Portal will show a message to confirm if the authentication was successful or not. You must not make any changes to a user’s account until the authentication of the user is successful.

6. Once the user has been successfully authenticated, click Back at the bottom of the page to return to the User Details page

Additional Information

  • You will never be required and you must never ask for their full user account secret
  • User account secret is not case sensitive.
  • The authenticate user functionality will be disabled for 1 hour if the user fails to successfully authenticate after 3 attempts.
  • Decision regarding the number of failed attempts to authenticate using the user account secret is made on an organisational basis- refer to your local policy for guidance on this scenario.

Last Reviewed Date 07/07/2023
Updated on 07/07/2023

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