Code of Practice


* * Please note a revised Code of Practice is being prepared and will be published here in due course * *

Notaries are regulated by the Master of the Faculties, and are the only persons authorised under the Legal Services Act* to carry out notarial activities*. Notaries are also authorised to carry out other Reserved Legal Activities*, specifically reserved instrument activities*, probate activities* and the administration of oaths*. In addition to these Reserved Legal Activities notaries may provide other legal services (but notaries do not have rights of audience* and are not authorised for the conduct of litigation*). All services provided by a notary in that capacity form part of that notary’s practice* and are subject to the regulation of the Master of the Faculties.

The Master of the Faculties is the only regulator* of notarial activities. A notary holding a practising certificate* is required to provide notarial services* to the public, subject to the requirements of applicable legislation and the Master’s Rules*, in particular the Practice Rules*.  

In common with all other Authorised Persons, notaries have the right to use the title “Commissioner for Oaths” and are required to offer the services of a Commissioner for Oaths* to the public.

Notaries are not obliged to provide conveyancing* and probate services, but if they do so under the regulation of the Master of the Faculties they must comply with special supervision* and continuing professional education requirements.

This approved Code of Practice deals with core areas of Reserved Legal Activities* generally, but also refers specifically to notarial activities* and particular aspects of the provision of notarial services*. Chapters 1 to 8 of the Code explain the Principles* that must be applied by notaries in all services that they provide. The remaining chapters cover specific key areas of a notary’s practice* and guidance for notary-conveyancers* and notary-probate practitioners*.

  • – terms marked with an ‘*’ are defined in the glossary and linked as necessary to further information.