Directions and Guidance

The Faculty Office issues directions to clarify rules. It also offers guidance.  Guidance is often based on feedback from the reports of the Inspectors but might address practical issues following rule changes such as the price (transparency) information requirements (see below) which came into force in December 2019.

There are also links to useful external websites and information such the Guide issued by the Legal Ombudsman to handling complaints.

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts

The Master was asked to provide a direction in the case of a notary, also practising as a solicitor and employed as such by a firm of solicitors, who had been requested by the notary’s employers to agree to certain restrictive covenants contained in a contract of employment to be issued by the firm of solicitors. 

Guidance derived from the Master’s ruling can be downloaded here; this discusses issues arising under the Notaries Practice Rules 2019.

Practice Matters

The Faculty Office has issued guidance notes on topics which have been identified by the Inspectors although a new guidance note would also be issued, for example, to cover practical aspects of key rule changes.

When a new Guidance Note is completed (or updated) it is posted as news and emailed to all the profession but it is also published on this page:

All directions and guidance issued

  • High Risk Countries
    The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (the ‘MLRs’) require the UK regulated sector to apply enhanced customer due diligence in relation to high-risk third countries The list of high-risk countries is set out in schedule 3ZA of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information […]
  • Addendum to the 2023 edition of the Legal Sector Affinity Group Guidance
    This addendum contains legislative updates and shows a change in LSAG’s position and expectations. The areas covered include: Economic Crime Levy considerations for larger firms Discrepancy Reporting Guidance Registers of Overseas Entities update Changes brought in by the Economic Crime Act, including a new POCA de minimis limit of £1,000 A definition of Supply Chain […]
  • Criminal Record Checks – Guidance
    The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 provides a list of certain professions and employment that are excepted from the application of the 1974 Act for which complete knowledge about a person’s background is required for the protection of the pubic. Since 2023 the profession of notaries has been an excepted profession which […]
  • The Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) updates
    The Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) has published the latest update of its HM Treasury approved guidance on preventing money laundering in the legal sector. The changes reflect the recent amendments to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 and include: Guidance on the new requirement to […]
  • High Risk Countries
    The list of high-risk countries is set out in schedule 3ZA of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (High-Risk Countries) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations added Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Tanzania to the list of High-Risk Countries and […]
  • Proliferation Financing
    The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2022 which came into force in September 2022 have created a new obligation for regulated entities to identify, assess and mitigate the risk of proliferation financing.  Key points to note: “Proliferation financing” means the act of providing funds or financial services for use, in whole […]
  • Legal Sector Affinity Group (LSAG) – Advisory Notice
    This notice is supplementary to the main LSAG guidance and does not supersede it. The guidance explores the key risks arising from the legal and illegal use of informal value transfer systems in the Chinese context, along with the circumvention of Chinese foreign currency controls. It also provides practical measures to help mitigate these risks.
  • Guidance on remote notarisation
    This guidance aims to assist notaries in deciding whether it is appropriate to authenticate the signing or execution of a document or otherwise intervene remotely using remote technologies and sets out the procedures to be adopted in such cases.
  • Continuing Professional Education Requirement 2022
    Under the Notaries (Required Continuing Professional Education)(Anti-Money Laundering Training) Order 2022 at least one of the credit points required to be obtained by each notary, whether as part of the basic or special continuing professional education requirement, must be obtained in the subject of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing applicable to the United Kingdom.
  • Notaries Enforcement Guidance
    The Faculty Office has issued guidance setting out how it exercises discretion in dealing with deficiencies when carrying out risk assessments. The guidance seeks to promote consistency, transparency and fairness in our administrative and enforcement processes and provides a basis for our decision making.
  • Covid-19: Guidance on remote notarisation
    The Faculty Office has issued guidance to assist notaries in determining whether it is appropriate to authenticate the signing or execution of a document remotely using video conference technology at a time when social distancing measures apply such as to preclude meeting individuals in person.
  • Spot Check – Price Information
    On 2 December 2019 Rule 14.2 of the Notaries’ Practice Rules 2019 came into force requiring all notaries publicising their practice via a website to ensure that clear information on pricing, redress, service, complaints and regulatory information was available for the public to access on their websites. In advance of this the Faculty Office reviewed […]
  • Anti Money Laundering (AML) Risk Assessment Review
    As part of the practice certificate renewal application for 2020, the Faculty Office required notaries to submit a copy of their practice risk assessment. All notaries are required to complete a risk assessment under Regulation 18 of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2017 (“MLR 2017”). At the start of 2020 the Faculty Office undertook […]
  • Price Transparency Briefing Note
    Note 3 deals with the new practice rules on price and service transparency which come into force on 2 December. Link to briefing note
  • Anti-money Laundering
    Note 2 is on Anti-money Laundering. Guidance Note 2: Anti-money Laundering (Chapter 10) We are launching a series of Guidance Notes on the Code of Practice offering guidance on notarial practice based on the feedback from the Notary Inspections. Note 1 (link below) is on record keeping and file storage. Guidance Note 1: Record keeping […]