Pre-admission applicant screening

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has announced a temporary relaxation in the requirements for a face to face ID check for standard applications. This change came into effect on 24 March 2020.

The nominated solicitor can now complete the ID verification process via video using either scanned images of the ID documents or the applicant can present/show them to the nominated solicitor during the video call. View the DBS announcement.

You must complete screening, if you are applying for:

  • admission to the roll and you have lived in the UK for a period of 12 continuous months, during the last five years
  • early assessment of your character and suitability
  • restoration to the roll.

This helps us to assess your character and suitability to be a solicitor.

Screening is carried out by Atlantic Data Ltd 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

You will need to allow a minimum of six weeks for this to be completed. The fee is £39.

Trainee solicitors

We will contact you eight weeks before the end of your training about the screening.

Other routes to admission

You will need to contact us to arrange for details to be sent to you.

When you have done the screening

The DBS will send you a Standard Certificate. If there are disclosures we will need the original. We advise that you send this by secure post. We will not need the document if there are no disclosures.

The results of the screening must be less than six months old when you apply.

Have you lived outside of the UK?

If you have lived in the UK for less than 12 months, during the last five years, you will not need to do the screening.

We will check your name and current address by documents instead. You cannot use one form of identification for both name and address.

For example, if you provide your driving licence as proof of your name you must provide another form of identification for your address, such as a utility bill.

Please do not send original documents. The documents on this list 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

Overseas criminal records check

You must provide an original criminal records check from any country you have lived in, for 12 months or more during the last five years. The check(s) must be less than three months old and include an official translation if not in English.

You may find the following helpful if you need an overseas check: Government guidance on Criminal records checks for overseas applicants.

These documents should be sent with your AD1.