Terms and conditions

ScotlandsPeople Purchasing Terms and Conditions for Credits, Certificates (Extracts), Images and Tickets

1. Agreement

These pages and any page it links to explains ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk terms and conditions upon which we will sell you Pay per view/Pay as you go Credits to purchase our digital images, or to purchase a Certificate (also known as an extract), or images from our image library or to sell you tickets for a Search Room seat at our ScotlandsPeople Centre.  You must agree to these Purchasing Terms and Conditions to make a purchase from ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk and by placing an order on the Website you agree to accept them. All orders are subject to acceptance by us.

If you do not agree with any of these Purchasing terms and conditions you must not purchase any credits or certificates, or images from the Website or a ticket for a Search Room seat at our ScotlandsPeople Centre. You should read and accept the full ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk Website Terms and Conditions of use before making a purchase.

We can update and/or revise the terms and conditions at any time without notice. Please check them regularly for changes as they are binding on you.

You will agree to any changes if you make any purchase from ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk after the terms and conditions have been updated and/or revised. If you do not accept these updated terms and conditions you should not purchase any Credits or Certificates, or Images.

2. Who we are

ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk is a Government website owned, operated and managed by National Records of Scotland (NRS), (a non-ministerial Department of the Scottish Government) whose office is at New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YT or contact us.

3. Accessing our Records through free to search indexes

You can only use Credits and Certificates, and Images from the library, for personal or professional family history research (as a self-employed genealogist), private study or education, or for historical or statistical research.

You can search through the indexes of our historical records free of charge. However, there is a charge to view the digital image of an individual record within certain record sets.

Digitising paper records is costly and normally involves additional cataloguing and transcription work to ensure that the records are searchable. When we decide to digitise and index a collection of records, we either work with commercial or academic organisations or we do the work ourselves and make digital copies available through ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.

The prices we charge for viewing and downloading digital images and images from our image library are set out in our charges.

The legislation covering registration service fees can be found on the legislation.gov.uk website.

4. Pay per view/Pay as you go Credits

Access to the digital images of certain record sets on this Website is based on a system of credits. Credits are available to purchase, are valid for a period of two years from time of purchase and will expire if you do not use them in that time.  However, a purchase of additional credits before the expiry date activates a new session of two years for any unexpired credits held in your account at that time.

Credits purchased do not have any monetary value and cannot be refunded. The number of credits required to purchase an individual digital image or set of digital images will be clearly displayed within this Website.

5. How to make a purchase

To make a purchase you must first register on the Website. In order to register on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk you will be providing us with some personal information which we shall process in accordance with our privacy policy.

When you purchase from our Website you will be guided through the process of placing an order by a series of simple instructions.

A purchase on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk can be made by debit or credit card, or by using a PayPal account, and shall be processed as soon as payment has been authorised by your card issuer, or by PayPal, via our secure payment gateway provider. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and JCB.  We can be contacted on +44 131 3144300 during opening hours on a working day. We do not hold your credit card or debit card, or PayPal account, information, including your account number, anywhere on our database at any time and this information will not be passed on to any third parties by our secure payment gateway provider.

Credits cannot be used to purchase certificates or to pay for day search seats at the Scotlandspeople Centre or to pay for images from our image library. 

We will send you an e-mail acknowledgement detailing the credits/certificate(s) or images you have ordered once the order has been accepted and to let you when your order has been dispatched. When you receive the confirmation of your order e-mail you will be granted access to the record(s) purchased.

6. Vouchers

Promotional discount codes can be redeemed for credits and this will be clearly displayed as part of the Terms and Conditions of the promotion. Promotional voucher codes do not have any monetary value.

Vouchers purchased prior to September 2016 can only be used once on the website and will expire following their first use. 

7. Price and Payment

Prices can be found in our charges. All prices are in pounds sterling and inclusive of the current rate of Value added Tax (VAT) applied in the UK.

Payment can be made by any of the methods specified in the payment section of the Website. Payment will be debited and cleared from your account at the time of order.

All credit/debit cardholders are subject to validation checks and authorisation by the card issuer. If the issuer of your payment card refuses to or does not, for any reason, authorise payment to us, we will not be liable for any delay or for non delivery.

Payment transactions are made through our secure payment gateway provider. These payment transactions are always encrypted. Your payment card details, PayPal account details  and personal information will not be shared with any other organisation.

8. Description of Products

We will take all reasonable care to ensure that all descriptions, details and prices of products on our Website are correct at the time the relevant information was entered onto the system. Although we aim to keep the Website as up to date as possible, the information including product descriptions may not always reflect the position exactly at the moment you place an order.

Any description given is for information only. No warranty (expressed or implied) is given concerning the quality, condition or suitability for any purpose of any products purchased.

We have taken great care in presenting the products on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk as accurately as possible. The images you see will depend on your monitor’s display and colour capabilities. We are therefore unable to guarantee that the product images you see are an accurate representation of the actual merchandise.

Where any product is priced inaccurately on the Website due to system or typographical errors, we reserve the right to correct any and all errors when they do occur and cancel your order and refund you.

We may change our prices or the number of credits charged to view an image from time to time.

9. Legibility of the Electronic Images

Where the electronic image purchased is found to be illegible you can report this when viewing the affected image and selecting the onscreen option ‘Report an Issue’ or alternatively you can contact us.  We will find out if the quality of the image can be improved or if a transcript of the document is available. 

We will endeavour to rescan the image in order to improve the quality of that image and make it available on the website.  Where it is not possible to do this we will provide a transcription of the legible wording as it appears in the original document from which the image was taken, but this will only be for the specific named person of your search.

Where the search result links to an incorrect or missing image you can report this when viewing the affected image and selecting the onscreen option ‘Report an Issue’ or alternatively you can contact us.      

We will endeavour to locate the correct image and update the link on the website.  You will be refunded any credits used to view the incorrect or missing image.

10. Ticket for a Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre

You can purchase tickets on the website for a Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre located at General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3YY by selecting the date, search room and seat reference number from the available tickets.

The ticket for the Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre provides access to ScotlandsPeople at one seat at a computer terminal, in one of the search rooms, on one specified day only.

Tickets for a Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre are non-refundable and may not be copied, transferred or re-sold to other parties.

Tickets may be transferred to another suitable date where not less than 24 hours working days notice of the Search Room Seat date has been provided to contact us.

We reserve the right to change a Search Room and/or Seat number due to unforeseen circumstances, but will endeavour to contact you in advance of the Search Room Seat date should this be case.

Where the ticketholder is to be accompanied by a carer, the carer will be admitted free of charge to provide assistance to the ticketholder whilst they occupy their purchased Search Room Seat.

11. Cancellations and Refunds

For the avoidance of doubt you enter into a contract for a purchase from us once the confirmation of your order has been sent to the email address provided by you in ‘Your account details’ within ‘My account’. Subject to your statutory rights, you will have no right to cancel your purchase once the contract has been concluded and the credits have been made available within your account or the product purchased.

Refunds may be available in special circumstances and will be made at the sole discretion of ScotlandsPeople Team where the credits and products are unused. Any refunds that are authorised will be made using the same payment type as the credits or certificates, or images  were purchased with.

12. Age of Consent

By registering with ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk you are confirming that you are 13 years of age or older if you are a resident in the United Kingdom, or meet the age limit for consent in your country of residence.

A purchase of credits or certificates, or images on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk or tickets for a Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre can only be made by adults of the age of 16 years or over using their own account details.

Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult to use a Search Room Seat at the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

13. Our right to amend products and records

We reserve the right to withdraw or edit any products and records from the Website at any time.

14. Suspension or Termination of your rights to Credits

The records on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk Website are either subject to Crown copyright, rights related to or affording protection similar to copyright, owned by National Records of Scotland or licensed to us and may only be used in accordance with this Agreement.

We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your credits forthwith where we reasonably suspect you are in breach of these Purchasing Terms and Conditions or the Website Terms and Conditions of Use.

15. Assignation

You may not assign or otherwise transfer any of your rights under these Terms and Conditions.

16. Indemnity

Without prejudice to any rights or remedies available to us, you shall indemnify National Records of Scotland against all actions, suits, claims, demands, costs and expenses which we may suffer or incur as a result of or in connection with any damage or loss which may result directly or indirectly from a breach by you of your obligations under these conditions or any negligent or wrongful act or omission by you.

17. Limitation of Liability

Nothing in these Terms and Conditions shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or that of our servants, agents or employees, or from our fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation or any other liability that cannot be excluded or limited by applicable law.

We will not be liable to any user for any loss or damage, whether in contract, delict (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, even if foreseeable, arising under or in connection with:

(i) use of, or inability to use, our Website; or

(ii) use of or reliance on any content displayed on our Website.

This includes (but is not limited to) the loss of your:

  • income or revenue;
  • profits, sales, business, contracts, benefits or other payments;
  • anticipated savings;
  • tangible property or intangible property, including loss, corruption or damage to data or any computer system;
  • business opportunity, goodwill or reputation; or
  • any indirect or consequential or special loss or damage.

Any liability we have for losses you suffer arising from the purchase of credits or certificates shall not exceed the purchase price of the relevant credits or certificates and is strictly limited to your losses that were reasonably foreseeable.

We shall not be responsible for any breach of these Terms and Conditions caused by circumstances beyond our control.

18. Delays in Enforcing these Terms and Conditions

Any failure by us to enforce any right available to us under these terms and conditions shall not affect our decision to exercise or enforce that right at a later date, nor shall the waiver by us of any breach by you of any provisions of these terms and conditions be taken to be a waiver of the provision or provisions itself.

In the event that any of these terms and conditions are held to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal for any reason, the remaining terms and conditions will still apply.

19. Governing law

These terms and conditions are governed by and construed in accordance with Scots law and subject to jurisdiction of the courts of Scotland.

20. Entire Agreement

These terms and conditions, including any terms, conditions and policies expressly reference herein shall constitute the entire agreement between you and us, and shall supersede and cancel any prior or contemporaneous agreements, except as expressly provided otherwise by National Records of Scotland. Except in respect of liability that cannot be excluded under applicable law, you acknowledge that you have not relied on any representation, warranty, condition or undertaking apart from those (if any) expressly set out herein.

21. Contacting us

If you have any questions relating to these terms and conditions or your use of this Website then please write to:

ScotlandsPeople Customer Services,
National Records of Scotland (NRS),
New Register House,
3 West Register Street,

or contact us.


These terms and conditions were last updated on 30 April 2018.