AccessNI registered bodies - signatories

Only approved signatories are authorised to manage the registered body’s disclosure process. They make sure the applicant’s identity is checked and approve their application before it is submitted to AccessNI.

AccessNI regularly holds registered body training sessions for signatories and administrators processing AccessNI checks. Find out more on the training for registered bodies page.

Lead signatory and counter signatories in a registered body

As part of the registration process, the body being registered must appoint a lead signatory. The lead signatory must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • never have been removed from the AccessNI register
  • be checked for any criminal records

AccessNI can refuse to register a person or allow them to become a lead signatory if they fail to meet the above conditions. If this happens, AccessNI will ask the registered body to put forward another person.

Once registered, the lead signatory will get a six digit PIN number for processing online applications. They will also be able to appoint counter signatories, who can manage applications on behalf of the registered body.

AccessNI checks the counter signatories for criminal records before they can manage applications. If a counter signatory is unsuitable, AccessNI will not register them and will ask the registered body to put forward another person.

It costs £10.00 to register each counter signatory. AccessNI will issue an invoice for this amount to the Registered Body.  

Find out more about AccessNI registered bodies.

Apply to become a counter signatory

You must be invited by an AccessNI registered body to become a counter signatory. The lead signatory for the registered body will give you their six digit PIN. You will need this PIN to complete your application online.

You will also need to create a new and unique account with AccessNI. You should not complete the counter signatory application by using an existing account.

Once your application to become a counter signatory has been approved, you will be given a unique PIN number. This PIN is different from the lead signatory’s PIN. It identifies that you are authorised to check and approve AccessNI applications on behalf of a particular registered body.

You will need to give this PIN number to applicants applying online for a standard or enhanced check through your registered body.

Managing AccessNI applications online

If you have applied online to become a counter signatory, you can log in to your AccessNI account to:

  • view and submit applications that have been sent to you
  • manage your account
  • track the progress of applications

You can log in to your online account at the link below.

Role of signatories for standard and enhanced checks

When processing applications for standard and enhanced checks, the lead or counter signatories in a registered body must:

  • give their PIN to the applicant to complete the online transaction
  • check the application has been completed and that the information provided by the job applicant is accurate and genuine
  • make sure that the applicant's identity has been verified
  • approve the application on behalf of the registered body
  • strictly follow AccessNI’s guidelines about managing the disclosure certificates and safeguarding the confidential information disclosed

Guidance for signatories

You can download the ‘PIN notification and ID validation form’ below to help process applications and provide applicants with the information they need. You can use the form to:

  • record the ID documents that have been checked for an applicant (organisations should keep this form on their employee file)
  • provide the applicant with your PIN
  • provide the applicant with instructions on how to access the online applications
  • make sure that the information entered by the applicant matches the ID details checked

Download the PIN notification and ID validation form and the guidance on identity checking for signatories.

You will also find more guidance and useful templates for AccessNI employers at the link below.

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