Index of documents supporting the Grant of Approval to Registers of Scotland’s ARTL Service.

  1. What the tScheme Approved Service Mark signifies.
  2. Approved Service - Service Description
  3. Approval Profiles used in the assessment:
    Base Approval Profile tSd0111 3.00
    Approval Profile for a Certification Authority tSd0102 3.01
    Approval Profile for Certificate Generation tSd0104 3.01
    Approval Profile for Certificate Dissemination tSd0105 3.01
    Approval Profile for Certificate Status Management tSd0106 3.01
    Approval Profile for Certificate Status Validation tSd0107 3.01
    Approval Profile for Registration tSd0042 3.02

Back to Grant details

What the tScheme Approved Service Mark signifies

When a trust service carries the tScheme Mark, you can be secure in the knowledge that:

For each service, tScheme approval is regularly reviewed and may be withdrawn.

This Grant of Approval does not affirm or endorse any claims of conformance to standards or adherence to guidelines not explicitly listed as forming part of the service assessment.


Approved Service - Service Description

This service is supplied by the Registers of Scotland Executive Agency (RoS).

RoS has operated the Land Register of Scotland since 1981. Until the advent of ARTL as a live system in 2007, applications for registration of rights to land in Scotland could only be submitted to the Land Register on paper. Normally such applications consist of statutory application forms and supporting documentation including a paper conveyancing deed. Close to 100% of applications for registration are submitted by solicitors acting for their clients. The land registration system is dependent on a high degree of trust between RoS and solicitors. RoS views solicitors as trusted professionals. The Land Register relies on solicitors providing accurate information in the applications for registration that they make.

In consequence of all this, relations between RoS and the Scottish legal profession are close. RoS reinforces this close relationship by maintaining high-level links with the Law Society of Scotland, which regulates the activities of the profession.

The subject service of this Grant of Approval is the Certification Service Provision element of the RoS system known as Automated Registration of Title to Land (ARTL). ARTL is a system under which electronic land registration applications and relative electronic documents may be generated, authenticated and communicated and will automatically update the Land Register of Scotland. The certification service is also used to authenticate Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) data and certifications collected on behalf of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The certification service deploys a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to issue digital certificates to authorised users of the ARTL system. Digital certificates are generated and issued using the Trustis Certificate Factory service, the components of which are already tScheme accredited. Each organisation must appoint at least one member of their staff to fulfil the role of Local Registration Authority (LRA) within the ARTL system. The LRA is responsible for verifying the identities of those users within their organisation authorised to receive an end user digital certificate.

End user certificate requests are pre-approved by the LRA using their LRA digital certificate. The end user certificates are then downloaded securely from a secure site. Only end user certificates can be used to execute the digital deeds within the ARTL system.

Certificates are limited to use in the ARTL system and are only issued to principals or employees of organisations which are licensed to use ARTL. Such organisations are mostly law firms engaged in conveyancing business in Scotland, but also include a number of mortgage lending institutions and local authorities.

The certification service supports only the ARTL Root CA - no other CAs are supported. Certificates issued for use with ARTL are legally valid, support digital signature and non repudiation capability. Certificate status validation information is published by the ARTL Issuing Authority and the ARTL Administrative Issuing Authority in the form of a Certificate Revocation List (CRL). Each CRL is promulgated to two CRL Distribution Points at a minimum frequency of 24 hours. Each CRL is valid for 24 hours. The location of the CRL is written into each certificate issued by the PKI.

Subscribers to the ARTL PKI have their identity verified in a face to face meeting in accordance with level 2 in HM Government Minimum Requirements for Verification of the Identity of Individuals.

RoS is both PKI Policy Authority and Issuing Authority.

Provisions governing the relationship with subscribers and relying parties are contained in the ARTL Base Certificate Policy and the ARTL PKI Disclosure Statement. Appropriate legal steps have been taken, in line with governing law, to ensure that individual certificate holders are bound to relevant and necessary terms and conditions and/or obligations specifying when certificates may be used.

Further details about ARTL are publicly available on the RoS website at:


The tScheme Code of Conduct

Participants in the electronic trust services industry strive: