FAQs - Requests for public register searches and copy documents 

Who can request?

Anyone can ask for a search of the public register.

The Public Guardian notifies local authorities of the registration of all guardianships and of welfare or combined, welfare and financial powers of attorney.

In the first instance we will ask local authority staff to obtain the information directly from a granter, attorney or guardian (the proxy has available to them a full copy of the deed) or via their local central AWI contact before searching the register.

Why make a request?

Local authority or NHS staff may make a request for a variety of reasons. We respectfully ask that all local authorities confine requests for public register searches and any copies of documents to those needed in the exercise of their statutory duties and responsibilities. With this in mind, we will ask you to confirm that requests to share copies of documentation is necessary to allow the local authority to carry out any immediate responsibilities.

Requests to search the public register  from other parties are usually made to confirm if legal authority is in place for a person. 

What information is held on the register and can be shared?

The Register contains the following information:

• Public Guardian’s Reference Number (PG/__ )
• Name of adult/granter
• Date of birth of adult (but only to a statutory partner under AWI)
• Status of the adult/granter (e.g. Not Applicable/Deceased) 
• How many orders relate to same person 
• Order granted (e.g. guardianship, PoA)
• Type of order granted (e.g. financial guardian, combined PoA)
• Date the order was registered
• Expiry date of the order (if relevant)
• Names of the nominated proxy(s) 
• Role of proxy (e.g. sole attorney, joint guardian)
• Status of proxy (e.g. Appointed, Deceased
• If the order is closed / active, where this is known  

What information isn’t shared?

• We can’t provide the address for the adult/granter or for a proxy 
• We can’t tell you about any restrictions
• We can’t tell you about how the attorneys are to act 
• We can’t tell you if documents are pending registration 

How do I make a request?

1. NHS staff who are not part of integrated social work and health care services should email their request to opg@scotcourts.gov.uk  

Requests should include the following information for the individual the search is for:

PG reference if known                                                                     
First name
Middle names
Date of birth
Current address
Previous addresses

2. Integrated social and health care teams (local authority and NHS staff) should check with their own central office/designated AWI contact for any welfare appointments for adults living in their area, before contacting us. Any attorney or guardian should be able to produce a copy of their certificate which includes the powers they have been granted. The designated AWI contact should only contact us if the local authority does not already hold the information. We will require the necessary information, as detailed above, for a search to be conducted.

3. Requests from member of the public, solicitors, organisations and businesses should be made by completing our form and emailing it to opg@scotcourts.gov.uk. This must be completed for each individual search required. 

How long will I need to wait?

• The public register is held electronically and maintained in real time and is available for inspection during normal office hours e.g. 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday excluding bank and public holidays.

• While we aim to process individual search requests within five working days there may be times when it takes longer. 

• Requests will be processed in order of priority. If the request is urgent and there is a need for the request to be prioritised before others waiting to be processed please indicate in the email subject line ‘Request Urgent’. 

• If you are requesting a search for multiple people this will take longer to complete. As this is considered an unusual request we will contact you to ask for more information about the need for the request. Our form must be completed for each individual request. If we conduct the search we will also inform of how long the exercise may take to complete.