Remote access

This information is for employees, partners, suppliers and schools who need to connect to our computer network or use Outlook Web App (OWA) from locations that are not on council property.

This might include locations such as schools, partner and supplier establishments, or colleagues' homes. This is known as remote access.


To protect confidential and sensitive information, our remote access service is secured to Public Services Network standards as defined by the Government's Cabinet Office.

This requires us to have additional security above just a username and password - this is known as two-factor authentication.

These additional levels of security are not required if you are using one of our computers which are connected into any part of our network.

With two factor authentication, your normal password for accessing systems is replaced with a PIN number and a one-time password. You will need to set up this PIN number and remember it. The one-time password will be unique each time you log on. To log on, you will need to enter a one-time password in combination with your PIN number.

There are four methods of obtaining the one-time password: 

  • smart phone app
  • physical token
  • email
  • text message / SMS.

You will need to have been set up with one of these methods in order to be able to log on.

  • The smart phone app requires you to install an app on your smart phone. You'll need a QR code from us to configure the app once you have installed it. When you tap on the app a one-time password will be displayed. This method doesn't suffer when mobile signals are weak and the one-time password is generated immediately. It doesn't cost you or us any money to use this method.

  • The physical token is a small device about the size of a key fob. You press a button on the token to display the one-time password. You will be charged if you lose the token.

  • The email method is available to schools and organisations that are external to the council. The one-time password is sent in an email message to your official email address which has been registered with us.

  • The mobile phone text message / SMS security method enables you to receive the one-time password in a text message to your mobile phone when you're ready to log on. You need to have good mobile phone network / signal coverage for this to work well. There can also be delays in receiving text messages. You will not be charged for receiving the messages, but it will cost us to send them to you. This method is only available to existing users.

How to get set up

To get set up for remote access, contact the Service Desk on 37777 (internal) or 01629 537777 (external), or if you have access to our internal network please use Service Desk Online (opens in a new window). Once you have been set up, please refer to the relevant guidance in this section for details on how to connect remotely.

For the smart phone app, we'll email you a QR code when we've set you up. You'll need the QR code to configure the app once you have installed it. Details about installing the app and using it to login can be found in the Smart Phone App guide.

For the physical token, you'll get an email to ask you to collect the token. We'll let you know when and where you need to collect it from. You'll need to bring some identification with you and sign for the token. Once you have the token, you can follow the instructions in the physical token guide to login.

OWA users should note that the mobile phone that is used should not be the same mobile phone that is used to access OWA. If you have a council issued smart phone, you should access your emails via the push email service. There is no need to use OWA on council issued smart phones.

If you are from an external organisation, please get in touch with your usual contact.

If you lose your physical token or mobile phone

If you lose your physical token or mobile phone, please report the loss to the Service Desk immediately. You will not be able to login remotely until we have set a replacement up.

Where to get help

If you have any problems, please contact the Service Desk on ext: 37777 (internal) or tel: 01629 537777 (external), or if you have access to our internal network please use Service Desk Online (opens in a new window).