Costs and turnaround times

The cost of an AccessNI check and the time taken to search criminal records and give a disclosure certificate depends on the level of check. Each week AccessNI updates delivery times for all levels of check and lists turnaround times for certificates.

What an AccessNI check costs

AccessNI charges a fee for each criminal record check:

Basic £18.00
Standard £18.00
Enhanced £33.00

The person needing the check usually pays but some employers pay for AccessNI checks.


If you’re a volunteer in a role which needs a standard or enhanced check, AccessNI will provide the check free to a volunteer who:

“ their time in a position in a non-profit organisation, free of charge, doing something for the good of the community or a voluntary group, for which they may get travelling and other out-of-pocket expenses, and which is not for their own benefit or for the benefit of a close relative.”

AccessNI charges for a standard or enhanced check if:

  • you are volunteering directly for a statutory organisation
  • you are volunteering for a non-profit organisation in a position which delivers statutory services under contract or in a specific project, where that organisation receives government funding to pay for volunteers’ checks

A statutory organisation is an agency established by government. A not-for-profit organisation is a non-governmental body which does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders.

Processing an AccessNI disclosure certificate

 A disclosure certificate gives an individual's criminal history information. The table below shows average turnaround times for processing applications.

But some certificates can take longer. When AccessNI refers an application to the police, it might take six weeks before the disclosure certificate is issued.         

Why an application goes to the police

There are certain circumstances when AccessNI must refer an application for a check to the police. They’ll do this because:

  • the person has convictions, cautions or warnings
  • police holds information about the person other than convictions, cautions or warnings
  • the person has applied to do homebased work in their own home such as child minding
  • the person lives in or has lived in Ireland within the last five years                                                              

Week beginning 19 August 2019

AccessNI check  Date application was received Processing target Average time to issue certificate

Basic (application by an individual)

16 August  95 per cent within 14 days three days
Basic (application by a Responsible Body) 19 August  99 per cent within seven days three days
Standard 19 August  99 per cent within seven days three days


14 August 

70 per cent within 10 days

95 per cent within 21 days

98 per cent within 28 days

five days for online applications

seven days for paper applications

Tracking applications

You can track your application for a criminal record check online. Individuals and registered bodies need to log in to their nidirect account. and use the tracking facility.

Paper applications for registered bodies

Registered bodies that send paper application forms for checks can use the AccessNI case tracking for an update about an application. They can find out if a certificate has been issued and if any criminal information was disclosed.

AccessNI doesn't provide information about a certificate if more than 90 days have passed since the certificate was issued.

Download the case tracking update form.  You must send a separate tracking request form for each application.

You can send completed forms by email or post to AccessNI:

Once the tracking request has been received, AccessNI will issue an update within seven days.

Complaining about AccessNI's service

If you want to complain about the time taken to process your check, you can complain to AccessNI.

If you believe information is inaccurate on your basic, standard or enhanced certificate, you need to tell AccessNI and raise your concern as a dispute.

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