What is a Notary?

A Notary is a qualified lawyer, whose work includes the preparation and execution of legal documents for use abroad, and attesting the authenticity of documents.

A Notary is appointed by the Court of Faculties of the Archbishop of Canterbury and are subject to regulation by The Faculty Office.

Can a Chartered Legal Executive apply to become a Notary?

Yes. Since the introduction of the Notaries (Qualification) Rules 2017 Chartered Legal Executives are entitled to apply for admission as a Notary. Qualification as a Notary is a three stage process. 

Stage one – Academic

Anyone wishing to become a Notary must have undertaken and attained a satisfactory standard in a course or course of studies covering following ‘prescribed’ subjects:

Public & Constitutional Law; The Law of Property; The Law of Contract; The Law of the European Union; Equity and the Law of Trusts; Conveyancing; The Law and Practice of Companies and Partnership; Wills, Probate and Administration; Roman Law as an Introduction to Civil-Law Systems; Private International Law; Notarial Practice.

The first eight of the above, form the Academic stage of training.  Exemptions can be sought for those subjects for which you have already reached a satisfactory standard.

Most applicants need to complete one or two more modules before the Certificate of Exemption can be issued. Certain Level 6 units provided by CILEx Law School have been approved by the Qualifications Board as suitable for the purpose of gaining an exemption.

You cannot proceed to stage two until you have received a certificate of exemption. 

Stage two – Professional training

The next requirement is to undertake the Notarial Practice Course, which is run by the University College, London. It is a two-year distance learning course, and covers the final three areas in the in prescribed subjects list above.

Stage three – Admission

Upon successful completion of the Notarial Practice Course, applicants will need to apply to the Faculty Office for Appointment as a Notary, and admission to the Roll of Notaries. The formal application needs to be accompanied by completed Certificates of Fitness and Good Character.

Newly qualified Notaries must be supervised by another Notary for the first two years of their practice. Newly admitted Notaries must also participate in Post-Admission Education by attending the specified day courses or seminars on Notarial Practice. These requirements are specified in the Notaries (Post-Admission) Rules 2009.

For any additional information, please see The Notaries Society  or  The Faculty Office