For C-Card partners

Why is the C-Card scheme changing?

The C-Card scheme has been streamlined and standardised across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Peterborough and Suffolk, in order to:

  • Make joining the C-Card scheme easier for young people aged 16 to 24 and be less time consuming from a practitioner’s perspective.
  • Retain existing one-to-one discussions, including assessing competency and completing safeguarding risk assessments, for young people aged 13 to 15 joining the scheme.
  • Provide universal and consistent access to condoms and lube across the three counties.

The C-Card scheme remains a multi-component condom distribution scheme, in line with NICE Guideline NG681; providing a range of sizes to meet the needs of young people: Regular, Trim, Extra Large, non-latex and lube.

Reducing expenditure by not purchasing/providing more expensive condoms e.g. Extra, Intensity (ribs and dots) and Taste (flavoured), will enable limited resources to be used more effectively, e.g. the anticipated increase in young people 16+ joining the scheme.

Young people between the ages of 13 and 24 will still be able to access an appropriate range of free condoms and lube, whether they are having sex, thinking about having sex or are just curious about condoms, from a wider range of C-Card venues who have received guidance and training, where appropriate.

Intended outcomes

  • Young people (13 to 24) have universal and consistent access to C-Card condoms and lube across Bedford, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk.
  • More young people aged 16+ will join the scheme.
  • C-Card collection points (partner agencies) are competent (knowledge and skills) and have appropriate resources to enable young people to easily and efficiently join the scheme and obtain more condoms, as required.
  • C-Card collection points are able to order C-Card resources and collect and return C-Card data easily and efficiently.
  • Terrence Higgins Trust staff able to co-ordinate and administer the C-Card scheme more efficiently and effectively.
  • The C-Card scheme is compliant with national and organisational standards and guidelines.

Aims of the C-Card scheme2

  • Timely information and advice: young people need access to timely information and advice about all aspects of relationships, sex and sexuality.
  • Easy access to condoms: young people can get condoms easily once they have been properly assessed and supported to ensure they know how to use condoms safely.
  • Trusting young people: once they have their C-Card young people must be trusted and supported to get condoms freely and easily.

Terrence Higgins Trust has developed this website for young people to find out more about the C-Card scheme and where they can obtain condoms and lube via C-Card collection points (partner agencies). Chlamydia screening kits will also be available from most C-Card collection points.

C-Card Points

  • Young people aged 13 to 15 are able to join the C-Card scheme following a short consultation with a trained practitioner who has a valid DBS certificate.
  • Young people aged 16 to 24 are able to join the C-Card scheme without a consultation with a practitioner.
  • All young people aged 13 to 24 are able to pick up condoms or lube with a C-Card valid for their age.

C-Card Lite Points

  • Young people aged 13 to 15 are unable to join the C-Card scheme at C-Card Lite collection points.
  • Young people aged 16 to 24 are able to join the C-Card scheme without a consultation with a practitioner.
  • All young people aged 13 to 24 are able to pick up condoms or lube with a C-Card valid for their age.

C-Card Lite Points should improve access for young people aged 16+ at great risk of poor sexual health (unintended pregnancy/STIs etc.), some of whom may have struggled to join (register onto) the scheme previously and/or may not have wanted a compulsory discussion and condom demonstration with a practitioner.

Providing age appropriate C-Cards (under 16 or 16 to 24) when young people join the scheme will give a brand/identity to accessing condoms and lube and a sense of collective belonging with their friends and peer group.

Terrence Higgins Trust will continue to provide outreach to young people disproportionately affected by sexual ill health, enabling them to join the C-Card scheme, complete a chlamydia and gonorrhoea test/screen and receive relationships and sex education (RSE), as and when appropriate.

Think you would make a good place to register or pick up condoms?

If you are interested in becoming a c-card provider please contact your local Terrence Higgins Trust service for further information:

1NICE Guideline (NG68), STIs & Condom Distribution Schemes, April 2017.
2C-Card Condom Distribution Schemes: Why, what and how. Brook and Public Health England, 2014.