Guidance

Professional users’ court and tribunal access scheme

Access to HMCTS buildings via a smartphone identity application (ID app) or ID card for professional court and tribunal users

About the scheme

Security checks apply to all users going through security at a court and tribunal building, including those who work within them and users of the services.

Registered legal professionals will be able to enter court and tribunal buildings using an ID app on their smartphone or identity card without the need for a full security search each time.

This scheme has been trialled in 5 courts since September 2018 and was extended to include a further 5 courts in November 2018. It is now being rolled out nationally with completion expected in early 2020.

Who is eligible

Registration for the national scheme has begun with the Bar Council, which has developed a secure smartphone application for its members to use as identity for the scheme.

Users can scan a barcode to enable entry without further security checks, other than random screenings, which will apply to approximately 10% of users.

HMCTS is working with other legal associations who also wish to participate and open the scheme for their members.

How to register

Members of the Bar Council can access their identity information via the Bar Council’s secure My Bar portal.

Electronic ID cards verify users’ practising status and are only available to legal professionals who regularly use a venue which is participating in the scheme.

Courts operating the scheme

The scheme is in operation at 25 courts:

  • Brighton Magistrates’ Court
  • Canterbury Combined Court
  • Cardiff Crown Court
  • Central Family Court
  • Chester Crown Court
  • Croydon Combined Court
  • Guildford Crown Court
  • Leeds Combined Court
  • Maidstone Combined Court
  • Manchester Minshull Street
  • Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court and Family Court
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne Combined Court
  • Northampton Combined Court
  • Nottingham Crown Court
  • Portsmouth Combined Court
  • Reading Crown Court
  • Southampton Combined Court
  • Southwark Crown Court
  • St Albans Crown Court
  • Swansea Crown Court
  • Tameside Magistrates’ Court
  • Winchester Combined Court
  • Wolverhampton Combined Court
  • Wood Green Crown Court
  • York Crown Court

The scheme will continue to be rolled out to Crown Courts, followed by civil and family courts, some tribunals and magistrates’ courts.

Published 24 June 2019
Last updated 9 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. Add 10 new courts operating access scheme.
  2. First published.