AccessNI becomes first UK criminal checking service to offer digital certificates

Date published: 18 July 2018

The Department of Justice has announced that AccessNI will today become the first criminal history service in the UK to offer criminal check certificates digitally.

Graphic for doj news

AccessNI also remains the only UK service offering on-line applications for all types of checks. 

The new digital system will allow applicants to receive criminal check certificates faster than awaiting paper certificates. Customers can then forward the certificate by e-mail to an employer instantly.

Nick Perry, Permanent Secretary said; “Today’s move further demonstrates the Department’s commitment to making the justice system more effective by delivering a modern and efficient service, focused on meeting the needs of its customers. 

“AccessNI plays a vital role in protecting our communities by providing criminal record checks for those applying to work with children and vulnerable adults. Investing in this new technology will provide an end to end digital service which allows the fastest and most secure method of receiving certificates in the whole of the UK.”

Digital certificates will be available to customers who have no information to be disclosed on their certificate. This equates to 95% of AccessNI applications. Certificates which contain disclosed information will continue to be sent out in paper format.  Applicants who do not wish to receive a digital certificate will continue to have the option to receive a paper certificate through the application process.

Notes to editors: 

  1. AccessNI is a branch within the Department of Justice. In 2017/18 it processed over 140,000 applications for criminal record checks.
  2. AccessNI processes 3 types of criminal checks; basic, standard and enhanced.  The type of certificate required by applicants is dependent on the type of work they are seeking.
  3. More information on AccessNI  and the application process can be found at
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 9052 6444.  Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

Share this page

Back to top