Glossary

Defined termDefinition
Accounts (Deposit Interest) RulesThe Notaries’ Accounts (Deposit Interest) Rules 1989as amended by the Notaries (Access to Justice Act) (Consequential Provisions) Rules 1999.
Accounts RulesThe Notaries Accounts Rules 1989 as amended by an Order of the Master of the Faculties dated the 21st day of February 2012.
Accredited activitiesIn the CPE Regulations accredited activities are those activities that have been accredited by the Master of the Faculties as providing active and relevant learning objectives in the basic requirement in notarial practice, conveyancing, or probate.
Administration of oathsThe exercise of the powers conferred on a Commissioner for Oaths by — (a) the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1889 (c. 10); (b) the Commissioners for Oaths Act 1891 (c. 50); (c) section 24 of the Stamp Duties Management Act 1891 (c. 38) [Paragraph 8 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)], but “Administration of oaths” does not include the administration of oaths other than for the purposes included in the statutory definition quoted here; the administration of an oath by a notary for the purpose of the preparation of a notarial act is a notarial activity.
Anti-money-laundering and anti-terrorism legislationThe Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11), the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (c. 29) and the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/692).
Appointed representativeA firm or person who runs regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm directly authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as referred to in Practice Rule 20.1, and defined by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (c. 8).
Authorised PersonIn relation to a Reserved Legal Activity, “Authorised Person” means a person who is authorised to carry on an activity by a Regulator [Section 18 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
BankThe branch, situated in England or Wales, of a Bank as defined by Section 87(1) of the Solicitors Act 1974 (c. 47), as amended by paragraph 9 of Schedule 6 to the Banking Act 1979 (c. 37) [Accounts Rule 2.1].
BriberyAs defined in Section 1 of the Bribery Act 2010 (c. 23), and includes promising or giving a financial or other advantage to another person with the intention of inducing the improper performance of a function or activity, or to reward a person for the improper performance of a function or activity, and accepting an offer or promise of this nature as an inducement to perform a function or activity improperly or as a reward for the improper performance of a function or activity.
Building SocietyThe branch, situated in England or Wales, of a building society as defined by paragraph 11(5) of Schedule 18 to the Building Societies Act 1986 [Accounts Rule 2.1].
Business clientA client that is a company or other business entity.
Client (Chapter 9 – Accounts)Any person on whose account a notary holds or receives client’s money [Accounts Rule 2.1].
Client (general definition excluding Chapter 9 – Accounts)“Client” includes any person who has instructed a notary or on whose behalf instructions have been given to carry out a reserved legal activity or other legal activity in respect of which the notary will charge a fee [Practice Rule 2.1].
Client accountA current or deposit account at a bank or deposit account with a building society in the name of the notary and in the title of which account the word “client” appears [Accounts Rule 2.1 and Trust Accounts Rule 2.1].
Client’s MoneyMoney held or received by a notary on account of a person for whom he is acting in relation to the holding or receipt of such money either as a notary or, in connection with his practice as a notary, as agent, bailee, stakeholder or in any other capacity; provided that the expression “client’s money” shall not include – (a) money held or received on account of the trustees of a trust of which the notary is a notary-trustee; or (b) money to which the only person entitled is the notary himself or, in the case of a firm of notaries, one or more of the partners in the notaries firm [Accounts Rule 2.1].
Commissioner for OathsRelevant Authorised Persons under the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), which includes notaries, have the right to use the title “Commissioner for Oaths” and to provide the service of Administration of Oaths in England and Wales [Section 183 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Conduct and Discipline RulesThe Notaries (Conduct and Discipline) Rules 2015 (as amended).
Conduct of litigationThe issuing of proceedings before any court in England and Wales, the commencement, prosecution and defence of such proceedings, and the performance of any ancillary functions in relation to such proceedings (such as entering appearances to actions) [Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Consumer or Consumer ClientAn individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession [Regulation 4 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2013/3134) and section 2(3) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (c. 15)].
Consumer Rights legislationIncludes the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013(S.I. 2013/3134) and the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (c. 15).
Contingency FundThe fund maintained and administered by the Master of the Faculties and the Registrar referred to in the Notarial Contingency Fund Rules 1981 as amended by the Notarial Contingency Fund (Amendment) Rules 1993.
Continuing Education CourseA full day’s course of professional post-admission education meeting the requirements of Post-Admission Rule 10.
Continuing Professional Education period1st November to 31st October in the following calendar year [CPE Regulation 2].
ConveyancingConveyancing is defined in CPE Regulation 2 with the same meaning as Reserved Instrument Activities.
CPE credit pointOne CPE credit point equates to one hour of continuing professional education [CPE Regulation 8.1].
CPE RegulationsThe Notaries (Continuing Professional Education) Regulations 2010.
CPE Training RecordA record of a notary’s continuing profession education activities in the form provided in Schedule 2 to the CPE Regulations.
Customer Due DiligenceThe measures described in Regulation 28 of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
Data controllerThe natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law [article 4.7 of the GDPR], which includes notaries providing services to the public.
Data protection principlesThe principles set out in Part 1 of Chapter 2 of the Data Protection Act 2018 (c. 29).
Data subjectAn identified or identifiable natural person [article 4.1 of the GDPR].
Designated SocietyThe Notaries Society and the  Scriveners Company, and such other bodies as the Master of the Faculties may from time to time designate for the purposes of the Conduct and Discipline Rules for dealing with complaints relating to the services provided or charges made by a notary who is a member of that Society.
Ecclesiastical notaryAny person appointed as registrar of either of the provinces of Canterbury or York, as registrar to the Archbishop of Wales, as legal adviser to the General Synod to the Church of England, as legal secretary to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, as registrar of any diocese in England or Wales, as an officer of the ecclesiastical court in Jersey or Guernsey, or as the deputy to any such officer, may apply for admission as a notary public for ecclesiastical purposes only, upon satisfying the Master of the fact of such an appointment [Qualification Rule 4].
Employed notaryA notary who provides notarial services to the public as part or the whole of his or her employment, whether employed by a notary or notarial firm or a non-notary, except in the context of Practice Rule 11.1 where a special definition applies for that purpose.
Employer notaryA notary who employs one or more notaries for the provision of notarial services to the public.
Equality legislationIncludes the Equality Act 2010 (c. 15).
FacultyA faculty issued in the name of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury and under the seal of the Court of Faculties by authority granted in the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533 (c. 21) appointing a person to the office of notary.
Faculty OfficeThe Court of Faculties of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury [Trust Accounts Rule 2.1].
Fidelity insuranceInsurance against financial loss suffered by a third party in consequence of any dishonest or fraudulent act or any omission by a notary in connection with his or her practice as a notary [Practising Certificate Rule 6.1.2].
GDPRRegulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27th April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (General Data Protection Regulation).
Information Commissioner’s OfficeThe UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights.
Inspection questionnaireThe questionnaire approved by the Master of the Faculties as the basis for an inspection of a notary’s practice under the Inspections Regulations.
Inspections RegulationsThe Notaries (Inspections) Regulations 2014.
InspectorAn inspector appointed by the Master of the Faculties to inspect a notary’s practice under the Inspections Regulations.
Legal activityReserved Legal Activity and any other activity which consists of one or both of the following — (i) the provision of legal advice or assistance in connection with the application of the law or with any form of resolution of legal disputes; (ii) the provision of representation in connection with any matter concerning the application of the law or any form of resolution of legal disputes [Section 12(3) of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Legal OmbudsmanThe ombudsman appointed by the Office for Legal Complaints established pursuant to Section 114 and Section 115 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29) to deal with complaints about authorised persons including legal practitioners and others, authorised in England and Wales.
Legal Ombudsman OrderAn order made by the Legal Ombudsman to deal with a complaint that is found to be justified, which may require the service provider to apologise, give back any documents that might be needed, put things right, if more work can correct what went wrong, refund or reduce the legal fees, or pay compensation if someone has lost out or been badly treated.
Legal Ombudsman Scheme RulesThe scheme rules made by the Legal Ombudsmanabout complaints made from 6 October 2010 (version including amendments that apply to complaints referred to the Legal Ombudsman from 28 January 2015) about authorised persons including legal practitioners and others, authorised in England and Wales, explaining which complaints are covered by the Legal Ombudsman and how it will deal with them.
Legal Services ActThe Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29).
Limitation periodThe maximum period of time during which a claim can be brought in relation to a particular matter, as provided for in the Limitation Act 1980 (c. 58).
Locum tenensA notary engaged by another notary to provide notarial services on a temporary basis, but not an employed notary.
Master of the FacultiesThe overall head of the Faculty Office and the Regulator of notarial activities in England & Wales under the Legal Services Act.
Master’s RulesAll the rules and regulations made by the Master of the Faculties pursuant to Section 4 of the Public Notaries Act 1843 (c.90), Section 57 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41) and/or all other relevant legislation. The Master’s Rules are listed on the Faculty Office website here.
Money Laundering RegulationsThe Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017(S.I. 2017/692).
Money Laundering Reporting OfficerReferred to in the Official AML Guidance as the “Nominated Officer”, the Money Laundering Reporting Officer in a Notarial Firm is the notary to whom anyone in the practice handling relevant business who knows or suspects, or has reasonable grounds to suspect, that a transaction involved money laundering must report. A sole practitioner notary does not appoint a Money Laundering Reporting Officer but must report knowledge, suspicion or reasonable grounds for suspicion of money laundering to the National Crime Agency [Official AML Guidance section 3.5].
National Crime AgencyA non-ministerial government department formed under Part 1 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 (c. 22) with functions including securing that efficient and effective activities to combat organised crime and serious crime are carried out and gathering, storing, processing, analysing, and disseminating information that is relevant to activities to combat organised crime or serious crime.
Non-accredited activitiesIn the  CPE Regulations non-accredited activities are those activities that are listed in Schedule 1 to the CPE Regulations and in respect of which CPE credit points may be claimed to supplement the three accredited CPE credit points that must be acquired during each Continuing Professional Education period as a minimum.
Notarial actAny act that has validity by virtue only of its preparation, performance, authentication, attestation or verification by a notary and includes any such act carried out by electronic means [Practice Rule 2.1].
Notarial activitiesActivities which, immediately before the implementation of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29), were customarily carried on by virtue of enrolment as a notary in accordance with Section 1 of the Public Notaries Act 1801 (c. 79), but excluding reserved instrument activitiesprobate activities and the administration of oaths [paragraph 7 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Notarial entityA body corporate or partnership established for the provision of notarial services, but not including a sole practitioner notary.
Notarial firmUnless the context clearly indicates otherwise, “notarial firm” includes a sole practitioner notary and a professional partnership (including a limited liability partnership and any other body corporate) the members of which are authorised to provide legal services.
Notarial misconduct(1) Fraudulent conduct, (2) Practising as a notary without a valid Notarial Practising Certificate or in breach of a condition or limitation imposed on a Notarial Practising Certificate, or (3) serious misconduct which may inter alia include failure to observe the requirements of the Conduct and Discipline Rules or of the Notaries Practice Rules or falling seriously below the standard of service reasonably to be expected of a notary or persistent failure to provide the standard of service reasonably to be expected by a notary, or (4) conduct unbecoming of the office of notary which may inter aliainclude being convicted of a criminal offence (other than a minor Road Traffic Offence) [Conduct and Discipline Rule 2.1].
Notarial servicesServices provided by a notary to the public in that capacity (see also the definition of a notary’s practice).
Notaries GuaranteeTHE NOTARIES’ GUARANTEE LIMITED, a company limited by guarantee (company number 2810402) providing Fidelity Insurance cover for members of The Notaries Society who apply for members and whose application is approved by the directors of Notaries Guarantee.
Notaries SocietyThe representative body for notaries who are members of the society.
Notary-conveyancerA notary who provides conveyancing services as a notary and subject to the regulation of the Master of the Faculties.
Notary-probate practitionerA notary who provides probate services as a notary and subject to the regulation of the Master of the Faculties.
Notary-trusteeA notary who is a sole trustee or co-trustee only with one or more of his partners or employees [Accounts Rule 2.1].
Notary’s practiceIncludes the preparation and performance of notarial acts and any other service undertaken as a notary whether or not such service may only be undertaken by a notary [Practice Rule 2.2.1].
Oath of a NotaryThe oath required by Section 7 of the Public Notaries Act 1843 (c. 90) before a person may be admitted and enrolled as a notary.
Official AML GuidanceThe anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing guidance for the legal professions as may from time to time be approved by the Treasury under Section 330and Section 331 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (c. 29), Section 21A of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11), and Regulation 42 and Regulation 45 of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/2157) [Prevention of Money Laundering Rule 2].
Official Secrets ActThe Official Secrets Act 1989 (c.6)
OmbudsmanA person who has been officially appointed to look into complaints about an organisation.
Personal dataAny information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person [Article 4.1 of the GDPR].
Personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measuresInclude personal data relating to—(a)  the alleged commission of offences by the data subject, or(b)  proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by the data subject or the disposal of such proceedings, including sentencing [section 11(2) of the Data Protection Act 2018]
Post-Admission RulesThe Notaries (Post-Admission Supervision and Training) Rules 2019.
Practice RulesThe Notaries Practice Rules 2019.
Practising certificateA practising certificate issued pursuant to the Notaries (Practising Certificates) Rules 2012, without which a notary may not provide services to the public [Practising Certificate Rule 3.1].
Practising Certificate RulesThe Notaries (Practising Certificate) Rules 2012.
practising certificate year1st November to 31st October
Prevention of Money Laundering RulesThe Notaries (Prevention of Money Laundering) Rules 2008.
PrinciplesThe general principles set out in Practice Rule 4 [Practice Rule 2.1].
Private clientAn individual requesting notarial services in a private capacity.
PrivilegeAlso referred to as “legal professional privilege”, privilege is a principle that certain documents and information provided to lawyers by clients may not be disclosed.
Probate activitiesPreparing any papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate, or a grant of letters of administration for the purposes of the law of England and Wales or in relation to any proceedings in England and Wales [paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Proceeds of Crime ActThe Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (c. 29).
Professional indemnity insuranceInsurance against civil liability for professional negligence [Practising Certificate Rule 6.1.1].
Protected characteristicAge, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation [Section 4 of the Equality Act 2010 (c. 15)].
Provision of services legislationIncludes the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/2999).
Qualified legal practitioner“Qualified legal practitioner” means (i) a person qualified to provide legal services to the public in England and Wales; or (ii) a person qualified to provide legal services to the public under the laws of any other jurisdiction who practises as such in England and Wales [Practice Rule 2.1].
Receiving jurisdictionThe country or administrative subdivision of a country with a distinct legal system in which a notarial act is to be used.
RegistrarThe Registrar of the Court of Faculties, or one of the Joint Registrars.
RegulatorAn approved regulator under the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29).
Reserved instrument activitiesPreparing any instrument of transfer or charge for the purposes of the Land Registration Act 2002 (c. 9), making an application or lodging a document for registration under that Act, and preparing any other instrument relating to real or personal estate for the purposes of the law of England and Wales or instrument relating to court proceedings in England and Wales [paragraph 5.1 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Reserved legal activitiesThe exercise of a right of audience, the conduct of litigation, reserved instrument activities, probate activities, notarial activities, and the administration of oaths. [Section 12.1 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Rights of audienceThe right to appear before and address a court, including the right to call and examine witnesses [paragraph 3.1 of Schedule 2 to the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29)].
Scrivener NotaryA notary who holds the qualifications to practise as a Scrivener Notary from time to time prescribed by the Scriveners Company [Practice Rule 15].
Scriveners CompanyThe Worshipful Company of Scriveners, or the Incorporated Company of Scriveners, or the Scriveners Company.
Special categories of dataPersonal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation [Article 9.1 of the GDPR].
Specified ProfessionAs defined in Rule 24 and the Schedule to the Notaries (Conduct and Discipline) Rules 2015.
Service providerA person who provides, or offers to provide, a service [Regulation 4 of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/2999)].
Services contractA contract for a trader to supply a service to a consumer [Section 40 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (c. 15)].
Signposting noticeA letter or wording incorporated into another document informing customers how to complain, in order to meet the requirements under Section 112 of the Legal Services Act 2007 (c. 29) and Chapter 3.2 of the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules.
Society or SocietiesThe Notaries Society and the Society of Scrivener Notaries.
Society of Scrivener NotariesThe representative body for scrivener notarieswho are members of the society.
Sole practitioner notaryA notary who does not practise in partnership with other notaries or within a notarial firm.
Solicitor-notaryA notary who also practises as a solicitor.
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)The independent regulatory body created by the Law Society, regulating solicitors of England and Wales, law firms of England and Wales, non-lawyers, who can be either managers or employees of firms regulated by the SRA, and other types of lawyer, such as registered foreign lawyers and registered European lawyers.
StaffPersons employed by a notary or a notarial firm on a full-time or part-time basis to assist the notary or the firm in the provision of notarial services.
SupervisionUnder the Post-Admission Rules, the supervision of a notary during the first two years of notarial practice, or in appropriate cases the first three years of providing conveyancing or probate services.
SupervisorA supervisor supervising the practice of a notary pursuant to rule 4 of the Post-Admission Rules.
Suspicious Activity ReportA report alerting law enforcement agencies that certain client activity is in some way suspicious and might indicate money laundering or terrorist financing.
Terrorism ActThe Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11).
Tipping offA disclosure that is likely to prejudice a money laundering or terrorism investigation, for example, informing an individual of a disclosure made to the National Crime Agency. Defined in full by Section 21D of the Terrorism Act 2000 (c. 11) and Section 333 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (c. 29).
TraderA person acting for purposes relating to that person’s trade, business, craft or profession, whether acting personally or through another person acting in the trader’s name or on the trader’s behalf [Regulation 4 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (S.I. 2009/2999) and Section 2.2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (c. 15)], which includes a notary providing notarial services to the public.
Trust accountA current or deposit account kept at a bank or deposit account kept with a building society in the title of which the word “trustee” or “executor” appears or which is otherwise clearly designated as a trust account, and kept solely for money subject to a particular trust of which the notary is a notary-trustee [Trust Accounts Rule 2.1].
Trust Accounts RulesThe Notaries Trust Accounts Rules 1989.
Trust moneyMoney held or received by a notary which is not client’s money and which is subject to a trust of which the notary is a trustee whether or not he is a notary-trustee of such trust [Accounts Rule 2.1].
UndertakingA statement, given orally or in writing, whether or not it includes the word “undertake” or “undertaking”, made by or on behalf of a notary or a notarial firm, in the course of practice, or by a notary outside the course of practice but as a notary, to someone who reasonably places reliance on it, that a notary or notarial firm will do something or cause something to be done, or refrain from doing something.