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.

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.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 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.

It is essential that you complete the forms in full. Failure to complete the forms correctly can result in delays in your application. Therefore we recommend you follow the below guidance to ensure you are including everything you need.

Guidance for Disclosure Scotland forms

This is to be attached in Word format to your online entrance certificate application form. It is available to download from the Disclosure Scotland website here.

Ensure you include all the necessary ID

This is a top tip and a frequent cause of application delays. You are required to include 3 forms of ID, of which:

1 must be a copy of your birth certificate (no originals please)
1 must be a copy of a form of photographic ID (e.g. passport/driving licence)
1 must be a copy of a document matching your current address (this may be a utility bill/bank statement)

You must also include a passport-sized photo of yourself. Please note, only one photo is required.

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.

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'.

Link: https://www.mygov.scot/email-disclosure-application-form/

You should complete the form up to and including section 5, 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. Further information can be found on Disclosure Scotland's website in the link above.

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