Apply for screening

Background checks/screening

You must complete our background checks/screening so we can assess your character and suitability to be admitted as a solicitor.

You also need to apply for screening if you are doing an early assessment of your character and suitability application. Or you wish to be restored to the roll.

How screening is carried out

For those living in the UK, it is done by Atlantic Data and includes the following checks:

  • identity
  • financial, covering bankruptcy, insolvency and county court judgments
  • standard criminal records check issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

This is usually done face-to-face but can be via video call in some circumstances. 

If you have lived outside the UK continuously for more than 12 months in the past five years, you will need an overseas criminal record check. Find out more.

How to pay

Payment is via credit or debit card. The fee is £34.

LPC route

Trainees will receive an email from us eight weeks before the end of their period of recognised training to tell them to apply for screening.

SQE route (including qualified lawyers)

You will need to have a mySRA account to apply for screening. Find out how to get a mySRA account.

We recommend you do not apply for screening until you are ready to apply for admission. This means you know the outcome of any relevant SQE assessments or exemption applications and have completed all qualifying work experience (where applicable).

This is because your screening results must be no more than six months old when you apply for admission.

When you have done the screening

For checks in the UK, Atlantic Data will send you a standard certificate. If there are any disclosures, we will need this certificate to be scanned and uploaded.

If you have no disclosures, we will approve your application and you will be sent an email notification. The admission application form will now show in your mySRA account.

Your screening must be no more than six months old when you apply and we make our decision.

Lived outside the UK for more than 12 months in the past five years

We will check your name and current address by documents instead of DBS screening. You cannot use one form of identification for both name and address - and all documents must be less than three months old (other than your driving licence or passport). 

For example, if you use your driving licence as proof of name then you must also provide another form of identification for your address such as a utility bill that's dated within the past three months.

You will need to scan and upload the documents in your mySRA account. These documents are acceptable:

Proof of name Proof of address
Passport Utility bill
Driving licence Driving licence
Birth certificate Bank statement
Marriage certificate Council tax bill
ID card NHS medical card

Please note, for the purposes of our own checks, utility bills can include gas, electric, satellite television, landline phone and water bills but not internet or mobile phone bills. They must all be less than three months old.

Criminal record checks outside the UK

You must provide an original criminal record check from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past five years. You still need to do this even if the whole 12 months does not fall in the five years. For example, if you have lived in the UK for four years and six months, we will need a check for the full 12 months before this.

The check(s) must be no more than three months old and include an official translation if not in English.

We are aware that these authorities do not provide criminal checks:

  • Hong Kong
  • Kazakhstan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Singapore - Non-national
  • Myanmar (Burma) - Non-resident

We will accept a completed copy of our statutory declaration in place of a criminal check (PDF, 2 pages, 56KB) for these authorities.

Please also contact us if you are having any difficulties obtaining a criminal check from another authority.

You may find Government guidance on criminal records checks for overseas applicants helpful.

Ready to apply

You will need to have a mySRA account to apply for screening. Find out how to get an account.

Apply for screening

Log in to mySRA to apply, go to start a new application