Amended fees to benefit Access NI registered bodies

Date published: 07 March 2019

The Department of Justice has announced that it is to reduce fees for Basic and Standard Criminal record checks made through AccessNI.

From 1 April 2019, the cost of basic and standard checks will be reduced from the current fee of £26 to £18.

The reduction will benefit individual applicants and also local business and statutory agencies which may cover the cost on behalf of applicants.

Over 30,000 applications are made each year for basic and standard checks which provide information on criminal records for employers and other registered bodies.

The change follows a full review by AccessNI of its financial cost recovery model. The review showed the introduction of on-line applications and digital certificates by AccessNI have allowed significant efficiencies to be made in processing costs for standard and basic checks.  In comparison, the cost of a similar check in other parts of the UK remains at £25.

Enhanced checks will remain at their current cost of £33. There are approximately 110,000 enhanced checks made each year.

The amendments will also see the one off registration cost for new organisations increase from £150 to £195. This will not affect current registered bodies. There will also be a small increase in costs for adding additional members as countersignatures for organisations, rising from £10 to £13.  These increases are expected to have limited impact on registered bodies.

Secondary legislation to allow the amendment of the fees has been laid in the Assembly today.

Notes to editors: 

1. AccessNI has undertaken a full review of its financial cost recovery model.  Under the provisions of Managing Public Money (NI) the fees charged by AccessNI must cover the cost of running the service.  The branch has projected these costs and its anticipated income from 1 April 2019, through to end of the current contract for the provision of its key IT service in September 2022.

2. A cost recovery review exercise will take place annually, but the present 3 year cost prediction by AccessNI suggests that;

  • The cost of an enhanced check is likely to increase from £33 to £35 from 1 April 2020; and
  • The cost of basic and standard checks is likely to increase from £18 to £20 on 1 April 2022 and the cost of enhanced checks is likely to increase from £35 to £37 on the same date.

3. These increases will only be brought into effect if they are required to ensure the veracity of the cost recovery model and will be the subject of further amendments to legislation. 

4. The rise in initial registration costs for a new organisation and costs for adding additional countersignitories are being made in line with inflation. It is the first increase to be made to these fees since AccessNI began operations in 2008. 

5. For further information visit nidirect/accessni website 

6. 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 on 028 9037 8110.

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