SPA FAQs & Best Practices

CalNet SPA Help

  1. A CalNet SPA is a CalNet ID. 
  2. A CalNet SPA can become the username for an affiliated bMail account, and it is public.
  3. See CalNet SPA Direct Member vs. Delegated Access for information on how to access a SPA-affiliated bMail account.
  4. CalNet SPAs are used for more than just bMail accounts. CalNet SPAs can be used as a tool for group access to campus services and applications, such as Box or AD. 

Who owns a SPA?

 SPAs, their contents/data, and the shared email account are owned by the institution and the primary department of the employee who creates the SPA at the time the SPA is created. 

Department managers have the authority to modify membership and/or disable a SPA at any time, and manage the content of the account. Department Managers can email to transfer SPAs to different departments or modify SPA membership.

How does a SPA show up in other systems?

Your CalNet SPA will display a slightly different name in bMail and in other systems. In Box, for example, the SPA name is displayed, followed by SP_Account. It does not contain "" The bMail address portion appears only in bMail. See the examples below: 

SPA Name Display: Box

Spa Name Display: bMail


How do SPAs appear in LDAP?

Find information on SPAs and LDAP at: People OU - SPA LDAP Attributes

Can I use a CalNet SPA in Active Directory (AD)?


What are the differences between Delegated Access and Direct Members?

Please see CalNet SPA Direct Member vs. Delegated Access for detailed information.

Can I create a mailing list with the same name as a SPA?

Yes! For more information, please visit this knowledge base article

Can I add a CalNet SPA to a Mailing List?

Yes! For more information, please visit this knowledge base article.

Can I delete a SPA? 

SPAs cannot be deleted at this time. If you want to stop using a SPA and have us delete it in the future, do the following:

Can I share a SPA Calendar?

To share your calendar with other Direct Members, contact  It is not possible to share a Calendar with a delegated access role.

Can I set up a bMail alias for a SPA?

You can set up an alias for a SPA-affiliated bMail account by logging in as the SPA and clicking on the accounts link and then Aliases at: 

What is the return address when an email is sent by a direct member of a SPA?

When you send email by logging in to the SPA as a Direct Member, the return address is the SPA bMail Account name. As a user with Delegated Access, when you access the SPA via your own bMail account and send email, the return address is the SPA bMail Account name followed by the notation: "(sent by"

I tried to create a new SPA but got an "Application Error."

If you tried to create a new SPA but got an "Application Error," first log in to to review your active affiliations and make sure you are currently an employee. Only employees can create a SPA. If you are a current employee and get this error, please email to report the error.

Examples of Access-related Problems


I see that I can log in by typing "+calnetid" and my passphrase, and then I see a drop down menu of a variety of SPAs I have access to.  Are these delegated' accounts or they the ones I own?  There is an account I am delegated ( that doesn't come up in the list, but when I'm in my own email, I see it as a delegated account.  Just wondering how this works! 


The list of accounts you see when you log in as "+calnetid" are the SPAs of which you are a Direct Member. You will not see SPAs for which you only have Delegated Access in this list. You can see a list of accounts you have Delegated Access to by clicking the round person icon (often your photo) at the top right of your bMail screen. You must delegate the SPA accounts to yourself in order to see them in this list.


Is there an 'easy' way to change ownership of a SPA CalNet ID to another person?  Is there a difference between "owner" or "authorizer"?


Since the department owns the SPA, you simply need to add another Direct Member to the SPA to change the "functional owner." Each Direct Member of the SPA has the ability to add and remove other members.

Contact Us

To create SPAs and manage membership, use the Special Purpose Accounts Admin App

If you have any questions regarding SPA CalNet IDs, contact