A selection of frequently asked questions relating to ordering an apostille on your criminal record background check.
What is a criminal record background check?

A criminal record background check is a certificate or document that shows your history in regards to criminal offences which may have been made in the past. In most circumstances the back ground check shows no history. If you have previously committed an office the document will confirm the offences made, the date of the offence and the punishment which was received for them. You are able to obtain different levels of background checks which vary the information shown on the document. If you are unsure which version of the check to obtain you should contact the people requesting your documents.

Where can I obtain a criminal record background check?

There are a number of different organisations that can provide a criminal record background check. The most common ones that we process are either Disclosure Scotland or DBS (Disclosure Barring Service). If an employer is happy to receive a basic criminal record check then you are able to obtain this from Disclosure Scotland yourself, this will only show unspent convictions. If the employer is requesting a more detailed document then they will need to obtain a DBS application form. You cannot apply for this yourself and you will need to obtain this in conjunction with your employer. In addition you can request a background check from The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). They issue a document called an ACRO as it is issued by the ACPO Criminal Records Office.

Does my background check need to be signed by a solicitor?

This will depend on whether your document has been signed by the issuing officer. If your document has been signed by someone at DBS, Disclosure Scotland or by a police officer then further solicitor certification is not required. If the document has been signed by someone at the relevant body they will often stamp this as well.

Many of the basic disclosure documents are not signed when they are submitted to us. We can arrange for the document to be checked and certified by one of our solicitors. This will save you time and money visiting a local solicitor. It also avoids errors with incorrect certification.

ACRO certificates should be signed by an authorised person at The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and do not need any further signature form a solicitor.

What is ACRO or ACPO?

ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) is an alternative criminal record check which shows all data on the PNC (Police National Computer). This document is called the ACRO as it is issued by the ACPO Criminal Records Office. The certificate will show any criminal record within the UK. If criminal history taken place outside of the UK has been disclosed with the authorities in the UK, this will also show on the ACPO. You can order an ACPO online and this can take up to 40 days to be delivered from the date of order.

Who are Disclosure Scotland?

Disclosure Scotland are an organisation who issue Criminal Record Checks based on people’s history. They provide this information to Companies who wish to find out if any of their current/potential employees have Criminal history. Typically this history will be looked into when people are going into jobs where they shall be working with Children or Vulnerable adults. This is to ensure that the company only employ individuals who are suitable to work in the specific field.

How long does it take to get the apostille on a background check?

The apostille service for a criminal record check typically takes just 1 to 2 working days. If your document needs our solicitor certification service then we can provide this within the same time frame.

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To order an apostille on your criminal record background check please print the order form available on our website here. Most documents are legalised with the apostille in just 24 hours. Order your apostille today!

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We issue the apostille in just 24 hours.


For any further advice on getting an apostille for your criminal record background check please do not hesitate to contact us.