Criminal record check

Who needs to provide a criminal record check?

We require a criminal record check from the following applicants:

  • those who have spent 3 months or more (in a single period) in a non-UK country in the last 10 years;
  • those who were born and have lived overseas until adulthood.

If this applies to you, please obtain an official statement confirming you do not have any criminal record proceedings pending.

Please do not start your application until you have obtained your check. Criminal record checks should be submitted with your application form. Some countries can take several months to process a request.

The criminal record check should cover the entire country, not just one state or province. For example, we require FBI clearance for the USA and RCMP clearance for Canada.

If you are based in the UK and require a check from the FBI you may obtain this directly from the FBI or via their approved FBI channelers.

Where should I get this statement?

The statement can be obtained from:

  • police or judicial authorities
  • government departments
  • the Home Embassy/consulate of your country

The UK Government website provides useful information about how to obtain overseas criminal record checks, including contact details for the appropriate authorities.

How long are criminal record checks valid?

Statements are only valid for application purposes for 6 months from the date of issue.

This does not apply if you relocated to the UK before the 6 month period expired and have not been a resident in the country concerned since.

What happens if I don’t submit a check?

You have a maximum of 28 days to submit your check if you do not submit it at the time of application. After this period the application will be closed.

If this happens, candidates will be required to submit a new application and pay a further £185 Qualified outside Scotland administration fee.

What if the police authorities in the country concerned need GTC Scotland to confirm that the police clearance is a requirement?

In some countries (e.g. Hong Kong and Singapore) the Police authorities require a letter from the body which has requested the police check before they will process the application.

If this applies to the country where you have been resident contact us before you apply to obtain this letter. If you apply without doing this and your police check is delayed beyond the normal 28 day deadline for provision of missing documents, we will not be able to provide an extension to allow you to obtain this.

Advice regarding Republic of Ireland police clearance

We cannot accept ‘Garda Criminal Records Database’ search results, as these are not official Police Clearance documents. We can only accept Garda Vet statements. These are issued to teachers by the Garda Central Vetting Unit via the Teaching Council Ireland.

Advice regarding South Africa police clearance

We can accept Criminal Record Checks issued by Afiswitch, as well as those issued directly by the South African Police Force.