AccessNI criminal records checks

How to register with AccessNI


To register your organisation with AccessNI, you must be able to satisfy the conditions of registration. You must:

  • Submit more than 20 eligible AccessNI check applications per year;
  • Be entitled to ask exempted questions under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order (Northern Ireland) 1979;
  • For enhanced checks, be able to confirm that applications will be made for positions that are prescribed in AccessNI regulations. Regulated activity is prescribed;
  • Agree to comply with the AccessNI Code of Practice and;
  • Be over 18 years of age.

The conditions of registration are set out in The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Registration) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007. Read more information on the conditions of AccessNI registration.

You must also provide specific and up to date information to AccessNI for registration to be granted. This includes:

  • organisation status
  • proposed counter signatories and lead signatory
  • the nature of your business
  • the positions of employment you intend to submit the checks for
  • how you intend to meet the threshold of 20 applications per year

Applications to register with AccessNI

Applications to register must be made online. To start the process you must create an account on nidirect and submit your details to AccessNI. AccessNI will process the request and if registration is accepted you will be considered as the lead signatory (LS) for that organisation. You will receive:

  • a 10 digit organisational number;
  • a 10 digit personal signatory number and;
  • a 6 digit PIN number.

Once you have this information you can log into your account on nidirect, This enables you to conduct various transactions, including registering other people in your organisation as counter signatories (CS). When you begin to receive applications you will access them through the nidirect account.

AccessNI may refuse to register an organisation or individual that it has previously removed from the register.

Further amendments can also be made online, such as adding a new signatory.

How much does it cost to register?

Registration costs £195 and includes the approval of a Lead Signatory within the organisation. Additional counter signatories can be registered at a cost of £13 each.

Your registration fee will be charged after AccessNI has assessed your registration documentation, carried out pre-registration checks and invited you to register.

For further information on the registration process, you can contact the AccessNI Helpline on Tel 0300 200 7888 and speak to an adviser.

What is a counter signatory?

A counter signatory (CS) is a person within a registered body who is registered with AccessNI to countersign (or verify) applications before they are submitted to AccessNI.

A lead signatory (LS) is a figure within a registered body who will oversee the AccessNI process within their organisation and manage their account on nidirect. The lead signatory is also responsible for ensuring that AccessNI invoices are paid in a timely manner.

The minimum age at which someone can apply to become a counter signatory is 18 years old.

Changing your registration details

It is your responsibility as a registered body to keep AccessNI informed about any changes to your registration. You will must do so online.

AccessNI Code of Practice

Organisations using the AccessNI service must comply with the AccessNI Code of Practice. The code is there to ensure organisations are aware of their obligations that the information released will be used fairly.

The code also ensures that sensitive personal information, disclosed by AccessNI is handled and stored appropriately and is kept for only as long as necessary.

Read more on the AccessNI Code of Practice.

AccessNI has a privacy notice that outlines its legal grounds for processing the personal data of applicants and signatories, details of the personal information collected, the purposes for which this is collected and how this is used by AccessNI.