Update February 2021

The process of applying for an entrance certificate can now only be completed online. Applications received by post or email will no longer be accepted. The online form can be found here, please note you will need to create an account or login to an existing one to apply for your entrance certificate.

Entrance certificates 

We issue entrance certificates to certify that an individual is a fit and proper person to enter into a traineeship. This is just one of the stages that fitness and properness will be assessed during your career as a solicitor. You can find out more about what 'fit and proper' means below. 

An entrance certificate is an essential document that all trainees must have before starting their traineeship. When the trainee has their entrance certificate, they must then return a training contract signed by themselves and their employer.

This page will give you a breakdown of how to apply for an entrance certificate, with FAQs and guidance notes signposted along the way.

All you need to know about an entrance certificate

Application forms for an entrance certificate must be received by the Society at least four weeks before the commencement date of your traineeship. Any applications received late must be accompanied by a statement explaining the reasons for the late submission and will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Society's Admissions Sub-Committee.

We strongly recommend submitting your application eight weeks before starting your traineeship, particularly during the peak months of May-August, to reduce the impact of delays and issues.

You should have your entrance certificate in hand prior to the commencement of your traineeship, however if you do not have it and have applied for it in good time, you can commence work with your traineeship provider but must not designate yourself as a trainee solicitor until the certificate has been issued.

    Entrance certificate application form
The process of applying for an entrance certificate can now only be completed online. The online application form can be found here.

Disclosure Scotland application form

A Standard Disclosure Scotland check must be carried out by the Law Society for all entrance certificate applicants. The form should be submitted to the Law Society online along with your entrance certificate application form, so that we can countersign it.

You must download your application form from Disclosure Scotland's website. There is a fee of £25 for the check, which must be made directly to Disclosure Scotland before subitting your application to the Society. You are required to include your payment reference number within your application form. More information is at the bottom of this page.

Adhering to the following steps will help to ensure your entrance certificate application form is completed correctly:

  • If you have a traineeship but cannot find the name of your firm in the drop-down menu, please include the firm’s name in the free text address box underneath
  • In the ‘Qualifications’ section, please include the name of the university along with your period of study (i.e. 2017 – 2021 or 2019 - 2020), even if you are still to be awarded the DPLP
  • Upload a copy of your LLB Certificate (not a letter of award)
  • Submit your full transcript showing all the modules for your LLB
  • Check that any documents you submit are clear and easy to read

 

Adhering to the following steps will help to ensure your Disclosure Scotland application form is completed correctly:

  • Submit a Word document – not a PDF
  • If you have middle names, please include all of them on the form
  • Ensure your address history covers a full 5 years, including the month. For example, if you apply in 06/2021, make sure your address history goes back as far as 06/2016.  Addresses should be listed in reverse order, starting with your current address.  If your current address is your family home address, please put the month and year in which you moved back there most recently
  • If you don’t have enough space on the application form you can send an email with extra addresses to legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk
  • Make sure your address ID matches your current address
  • Fill in the form up to and including section 6
  • Pay Disclosure Scotland directly using the payment portal
  • Remember to include your payment reference on the form

We aim to issue you with your entrance certificate about six weeks from when you submitted it. This time may vary, depending on the volume of applications we are processing at that time. You will receive updates by email as your application passes through the various stages within our online process.

The fit and proper test

Applying for entry to the profession at trainee level is one of the stages at which fitness and properness is assessed. A person will not be granted an Entrance Certificate unless they are deemed to be a 'fit and proper person to be a solicitor'.

Read our fit and proper guidance.

The guidance seeks to set out:

  • the Society's key indicators of a fit and proper person
  • matters which might cause concern as to a person's fitness and properness
  • the process of application
Disclosure Scotland form - online application

If you are looking to make a Disclosure Scotland application, please note that paper versions are not being accepted during the COVID-19 outbreak period. Instead please follow the link below to find a Word Document version of the application form. You will be given the option to select 'application type'; please select 'standard'.

Disclosure Scotland application form - Word Document version.

You should complete the form up to and including section 6, then attach it as a Word Document to your online entrance certificate application form for us to complete the countersignature section. We will then submit the form to Disclosure Scotland on your behalf. Please do not send it directly to Disclosure Scotland.

Payment of the £25 fee should be made to Disclosure Scotland directly prior to submitting your application to the Society. More information on how to be pay can be found in the Disclosure Scotland application form.

If you have any questions, please contact legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk