Entrance certificate and training contract FAQs

An entrance certificate is the certificate issued by the Society which certifies that an individual is a fit and proper person to enter into a traineeship. A copy of the entrance certificate application form and current fit and proper guidance notes are available. Your application form for an entrance certificate must be submitted to the Society at least four weeks before the start date of your traineeship.

You will also be required to complete a Disclosure Scotland application form, which can be obtained from www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/request or by emailing legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.

We suggest that you consider submitting the form and documents by recorded delivery or Legal Post.

Together with the entrance certificate, the Society will send to you a standard training contract. This must be completed by the trainee and the firm and forwarded to the Society for registration within three months of the start of the training contract.

If you have any queries in relation to your entrance certificate or training contract, please contact legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk or telephone 0131 226 7411, option 3.


You should have your entrance certificate in hand prior to the commencement of your traineeship. Please ensure that the Education, Training and Qualifications Department receives your application at least four weeks prior to you starting your training. The department must receive all the required documentation (including references and Disclosure Scotland certificate) and notification from your university that you have passed the Diploma prior to issuing the certificate. If you have any queries, please contact the Registrar's Department at legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk or telephone 0131 476 7907.

Any entrance certificate application received less than four weeks before you start your traineeship is deemed late and your entrance certificate may not be backdated. If you are late in applying, the best thing you can do is send in a letter with your application explaining why it is late so that it can be considered when a decision about backdating is being made. However, no decisions about backdating are made until we have received all the required documentation, which includes your two references and the Disclosure Scotland certificate.

The academic referee should be the head of your Diploma course. The other reference is a non-academic reference. Referees must not be near relatives, fellow students or members of your future employer's firm or organisation. Referees must be known to you for at least three years and will be asked by the Society to provide character references.

Your traineeship can start from the date that the university informs us that you have passed your Diploma in Professional Legal Practice.

Assignations are not generally encouraged by the Society because you have entered into a two-year training contract. You are not able to assign your training contract within the last three months of your traineeship. If you do decide that you want to change firms within this period, you have to request a secondment. The main difference between this and an assignation is that the firm you are currently with retains responsibility for your traineeship and discharging it at the end. During a secondment, you must be supervised by a solicitor - they do not have to be Scottish-qualified but, if they are not, you must make arrangements for the submission of your quarterly trainee performance reviews, which will have to be counter-signed by a Scottish-qualified solicitor. You must give the Education, Training and Qualifications Department at least ten working days notice when requesting an assignation or secondment.