Publication scheme

The Certification Officer’s publication scheme makes information available to the public about the work of the Certification Officer.

Publication Scheme

This is the Certification Officer’s publication scheme, drawn up under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The publication scheme fulfils the requirements of the Information Commissioner as set out in his model publication scheme for FOI public authorities supported by the Commissioner’s definition document for Government departments.

About this publication scheme

  • While the majority of information published by the Certification Officer is available free of charge, statutory charges apply in some circumstances. These statutory charges are detailed below.
  • Items marked with an asterix (*) will be provided free of charge

Who we are and what we do

Location and Contacts

The Certification Officer is based in London and has an office in Scotland.

Certification Officer
Lower Ground Floor
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square

Certification Office
Melrose House
69a George Street

What we spend and how we spend it

  • The Certification Officer’s accounts are laid before Parliament and certain financial information is contained in the Certification Officer’s Annual Report. A copy of the most recent information laid before Parliament is available from the Certification Officer by written request*.
  • Public spending, including payment of invoices (details published on the Acas website under transparency data)*.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

How we make decisions

Our policies and procedures

Lists and registers

  • The Certification Officer’s staff is subject to Acas’ staff rules on gifts and hospitality*.
  • The Certification Office maintains registers of: gifts and hospitality received; third party transactions; interests of senior staff (available by written request)*.

Annual Returns and Rules of Trade Unions and Employers Associations:

Copies of the Annual Returns and the rules of all current trade unions and employers’ associations from 1974 onwards are available for public inspection at the Certification Office and, where appropriate, the Office of the Assistant Certification Officer for Scotland.

Also available for public inspection (subject to giving at least one week’s notice) are the Annual Returns, accounts, copies of rules and other documents submitted for the purposes of: the Trade Union Act 1871; the Trade Union (Amalgamations) Act 1964; the Industrial Relations Act 1971; and the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1974.

Annual Returns and rule books of trade unions and employers’ associations that have dissolved are transferred to The National Archives and can be inspected at their premises in Kew. Annual Returns for trade unions and employers’ associations that dissolved between 1 January 2004 and 31 May 2014 are available on The National Archives website, listed under Former Trade Unions and Former Employers’ Associations.

Annual Returns received between 1 January 2004 and 31 May 2014 are available on The National Archives website, listed under Annual Returns.

Annual returns received from trade unions and employers’ associations from 2012 onwards are listed under Trade unions: the current list and schedule and Employers’ associations: current list and schedule.

There is a charge made for the inspection and/or copying of the above records, if viewed at the Certification Office. The relevant charges are outlined below.

The services we offer

Requesting information

A request should be made in writing and sent to:

FOI Requests
Certification Officer
Lower Ground Floor
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square

Alternatively, requests may be emailed to:

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Where the Certification Officer is legally required to translate any information, it will do so.

Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

Information held by the Certification Officer that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing. Any such requests will be considered in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.


There are some statutory charges for accessing information; these are detailed in Certification Officer’s Annual Report.

The information in this guidance marked with an asterisk (*) will be provided free of charge.

There will be a charge of: £2 per Annual Report or rules of a trade union or employers’ association to be inspected at the Certification Office; and 35p per page for each required photocopy, fax or scanned copy.

Where needed, a charge will also be made in respect of retrieval costs for items that the Certification Office keeps in external storage and to recover postage costs.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

If you want to re-use or reproduce our publications for commercial use, or to circulate them for education purposes, you will in most cases need to apply for a copyright licence. The Annual Report of the Certification Officer is subject to Crown Copyright.

Guidance on re-using public sector information, licensing and copyright is available on The National Archives website under Re-using public sector information

Responsibility for the publication scheme

Sarah Bedwell
Certification Officer
Lower Ground Floor
Fleetbank House
2-6 Salisbury Square

Feedback and complaints about the scheme

We want our publication scheme to meet the needs of our customers and stakeholders. Suggestions for particular classes of information to which we might in future commit to publishing under the scheme will be welcomed. Any comments on or complaints about the scheme should be sent to FOI Requests, using the above contact details.