GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Criminal Record Check

Who requires a criminal record check?

We require a criminal record check from the following applicants:

  • those who have spent three months or more (in a single period) in a non-UK country in the last ten years;
  • those who were born and have lived overseas until adulthood.

If this applies to you, please obtain an official statement confirming you do not have any criminal record proceedings pending. Criminal record checks should be submitted with your application form. Please do not start your application until you have obtained your check. Some countries, particularly at the present time, can take several months to process a request.

The criminal record check should cover the entire country, not just one state or province. For example, we require FBI clearance for the USA and RCMP clearance for Canada.

If you are based in the UK and require a check from the FBI you may obtain this directly from the FBI or via one of their accredited channelers. Access a list of approved channelers.

Please note, some police authorities require an official statement from GTC Scotland confirming why the criminal record check is required. If this is the case, please contact us directly via email to before you apply and we will issue you with such a statement.

Where should I get this statement?

The statement can be obtained from:

  • police or judicial authorities
  • government departments
  • the Home Embassy/ consulate of your country

The UK Government website provides useful information about how to obtain overseas criminal record checks, including contact details for the appropriate authorities. Another helpful website is canadavisa.

How long are criminal record checks valid?

Statements are only valid for application purposes for six months from the date of issue.

This does not apply if you relocated to the UK before the six month period expired and have not been a resident in the country concerned since.

What happens if I don't submit a check?

You have a maximum of 56 days to submit your check if you do not submit it at the time of application. After this period the application will be closed and destroyed.

If this happens, candidates will be required to submit a new application and pay a further £65 Qualified outside Scotland Administration Fee.

Advice regarding Republic of Ireland Police Clearance

Please note that we cannot accept 'Garda Criminal Records Database' search results, as these are not official Police Clearance documents. We can only accept Garda Vet statements. These are issued to teachers by the Garda Central Vetting Unit via the Teaching Council Ireland.

Please contact the Teaching Council Ireland for further information about obtaining this document.

Advice regarding South Africa Police Clearance

Please note that we can accept Criminal Record Checks issued by Afiswitch, as well as those issued directly by the South African Police Force.