Cardinal Employee Self-Service

Cardinal Human Capital Management (HCM) is the statewide HR system that state employees at centralized agencies use for payroll, time and attendance, and benefits updates. It is operated by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management and named after the Virginia state bird. Cardinal is the Employee Self-Service (ESS) module of Cardinal that state employees can use.

Learn about Cardinal ESS:

(Ready to register? Scroll down to the registration section below.)

Register for Cardinal ESS

Faculty members, University & Academic Professionals, and classified staff may use the online Cardinal state system to manage their health coverage and flexible spending account elections and to print health coverage confirmations. 

You’ll need two things to register:

  1. Your email address. Every university employee has one, including employees who use email addresses in their daily work. *If you are a university employee who uses a email address, see the special tips for email users at the end of these instructions.
  2. Your 11-digit Cardinal ID number.  Don’t know your Cardinal ID? Log into your VCU portal at to find it. See “Locating your Cardinal ID number” below.