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Last updated: 5 December 2023

Check with your own GP if they will write the medical certificate for you. If they are unable to help or charge an excessive fee, apply with ShootCert.

We can only offer assistance via this website's contact form or by email. We don't publish an email address on this website so use the contact form in the first instance and we would be happy to help. All enquiries, questions, and conversations are in writing so we can track and locate previous correspondence if required. In some circumstances, the verifying Doctor may call you or your GP to expedite some complex situations.

In some rare cases, when ShootCert cannot provide a medical certificate due to an individual's highly complex medical history, we may not be able to offer the service for our standard fee. In these cases, we provide a full refund.

If an applicant chooses to cancel their application for whatever reason, we do not provide a refund in these cases. As soon as you have paid, a formal request is made and multiple parties are informed in writing. This cannot be undone.

No, we cannot accept your notes in this format because there's no way we could tell if something was missing.

In a small minority of cases, some GP practices want to charge a fee for sending your medical notes to ShootCert however according to the BASC legal team:

"Charges for SARs may only be made if the request is "manifestly unfounded or excessive" but a request for a patient's full notes has been held by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as NOT being excessive".

We will negotiate with your GP as effectively as we can to move things on to avoid excessive fees. In most cases, they are happy to comply.

Regardless of your GP's reasons for their excessive fees or refusal to engage, Data laws provide that everyone has a right to access their data. The complaints process we use is advised as the best course of action by the Information Commissioner's Office; we follow their guidance. ShootCert will support you throughout the complaints process, providing pre-written complaint letters and any evidence as required. It can seem tedious and it takes time. In these rare cases - what some problematic GPs ultimately hope for, is that we give up and go away! However, our process works. Stick with us - we will be there for you until a successful outcome.

Yes, we can accept hard-copy medical notes. These should be sent directly to ShootCert from your GP using a tracked Royal Mail postal service to:

ShootCert
PO Box 1700
NORTHAMPTON
NN2 1LE

Please note that courier services such as DHL, DPD, or Evri, cannot be used to send to a PO BOX address in the UK.

They can be given to you to forward on to ShootCert however they MUST remain unopened in the GP's original sealed envelope. If collecting your sealed notes from your GP, they may require a consultation beforehand and your ID. Any deviation from these requirements can mean the verifying doctor is unable to produce your medical certificate.

If you already have your medical notes as a hard copy in your possession, read this answer.

No, because you are not registered with a GP practice therefore we would be unable to obtain your medical notes.

Yes, we can return your hard-copy medical notes to you. ShootCert stores your hard copy notes for 3 months from the date of your certificate in case the Police need to query the contents with ShootCert. There is a fee of £12+VAT to cover our admin, storage and postage.

If you choose not to have your notes sent to you, all hard-copy medical notes are securely shredded and disposed of after 3 months at no cost to you.

Yes. It is a requirement by the Home Office and Police firearm departments that a medical certificate provided by a verifying doctor has a GMC number and a current licence to practice as either a GP or is on the Specialist Register with the General Medical Council (GMC) medical register: Learn more. Our medical certificates are accepted by all Police firearm departments in England and Wales.

If you are unable to provide a GP practice email address and you don't have access to a printer, your pre-written consent letters are printed by ShootCert and posted to your home address. You are then required to hand-deliver them to your GP practice. We recommend you do this because it improves engagement between you and the practice for requests of this nature. It also gives your surgery the opportunity to discuss their consent protocols and confirm your identity. Therefore, take some ID with you in case they ask.

In most cases, the medical certificate will be sent to you. You must then add it to your shotgun/firearm application to send to your Police Firearms Department. In some cases, a copy of the certificate may be sent directly to your Police Firearm Department if our verifying doctor considers their report to warrant Police attention.

Generally speaking - for shotgun/firearm certificate renewals - the Police want you to apply about 5 months before your certificate runs out.

In the case of first-time AND renewal applications, an increasing number of Police Firearms Departments now require your entire medical history to be verified - even if your application is for a renewal. Therefore, to avoid delays as policies quickly change, ShootCert will - as of Jan 1st 2022 - require your entire medical history for every application type regardless of which Police Firearms Department you are applying to. Our requirements are clearly worded in the pre-written letter of consent that will be sent to you and your GP after you have successfully applied and paid with ShootCert.

This all depends on your GP and how long it takes them to send us your medical notes. Please see our How It Works page which is a guide to the expected timeline. For all renewal applications, apply early.

Once we have received your medical notes and they have been checked for their suitability, we will endeavour to send you your medical certificate within 5 to 10 working days.

6 months from the certificate date.

The Home Office statutory guidance for Chief Officers of Police states that when our medical certificate is being provided to the Police firearms department, our doctor MUST have received the patient's medical notes direct from the GP practice and not via the applicant. This is simply to ensure that the medical notes that the verifying doctor at ShootCert receives are authentic, complete and unmodified. However, in some circumstances we can accept medical notes in your possession as long as the following is adhered to:

Hard Copy Medical Notes:
If the medical records in your possession are a hard copy, they MUST be in the GP's original sealed envelope and unopened. Put the envelope in a sturdy/padded bag and send it to:

ShootCert
PO Box 1700
NORTHAMPTON
NN2 1LE

Use a tracked Royal Mail postal service to ensure safe delivery. Your medical records must be the latest copy of your entire medical history and not just a summary.

Please note that courier services such as DHL, DPD, or Evri, cannot be used to send to a PO BOX address in the UK.

PDF or other file formats
If the medical notes in your possession are in a digital format such as a PDF or other format - we CANNOT accept these. This is because there is no way of knowing if the files are authentic or the complete medical notes. In some cases - if that is all that is available. ShootCert has a responsibility to inform the Police that the medical notes have NOT come from the GP but from the patient. This could delay your application or it could mean that your application for a shotgun/firearm application is rejected.

Physical media such as CD's & USB Sticks
In exceptional circumstances, some GP's will provide digital files on physical media to the patient. If you have physical media in your possession it MUST be in the GP's original sealed envelope and unopened. Pop the envelope in a sturdy/padded type envelope and send to ShootCert using a signed/tracked postal service. Please send to the address above.

Medical conditions that could be relevant include:

  • acute stress reaction or an acute reaction to the stress caused by trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder
  • suicidal thoughts or self-harm or harm to others
  • depression or anxiety
  • dementia
  • mania, bipolar disorder or a psychotic illness
  • a personality disorder
  • a neurological condition: for example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or Huntington’s diseases, or epilepsy
  • alcohol or drug abuse
  • any other mental or physical condition, or combination of conditions, which may affect the safe possession of firearms or shotguns.

ShootCerts doctors require sight of your full medical record to enable the doctor to confirm whether you are or have been, diagnosed or treated for any relevant medical conditions, including mental health conditions. You do have the right to withhold certain information from the medical history provided, however, you acknowledge that in doing so, the completed medical proforma certificate may be considered unfit for purpose. For example:

  • Child Protection Letters (these will often mention various family members including very sensitive information)
  • Letters about crime such as reports and police interventions
  • Letters about mental health
  • Letters about pregnancy and sexual life
  • Our application fee is £75+VAT
  • If you require our print and postal service (optional for people without a printer) +£20+VAT
  • If you require your medical certificate posted to you as a hard copy, +£4.95+VAT (this is included in our print and post service).
  • If you require your hard-copy medical notes to be returned to you, the admin and postage fee is £12+VAT.

From the date of your application, if we haven't heard from your GP within 25 days, you will receive an email notification from ShootCert. This is to prompt you to get in touch with your GP to move things on with your SAR.  If we still haven't heard from them after 5 to 10 days after our reminder, please let us know and we will send you a letter for your GP to remind them of their legal obligation to comply.

Your medical notes are kept on file for approximately 3 months. This is so we can refer back to them should the Police query a certificate and application. After this period they are deleted.

Hard copy records are securely shredded unless you want them returned to you https://www.shootcert.co.uk/faqs/#returns. Your application data is archived securely. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information about how ShootCert handles your data.

This is not a problem. We have two other GP practice communication options to choose from during your application:

  • Option 1: you will require a printer to print out the pre-written letters that we email to you. You will be required to take these to your GP in person (recommended)
  • Option 2: Print and post service. ShootCert will print all your letters and correspondence including reminders and post them to your home address. You will be required to take these to your GP in person (recommended)

Tip: take some ID with you in case they ask for it.

  • We can only take payments from your debit or credit card via our website.
  • We cannot accept card payments over the phone, cheques, bank transfers, or PayPal.
  • All card payments are processed by Stripe. You do not need an account with Stripe.

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/find-nhs-number/

You should also be able to find your NHS Number on any letter or document you have received from the NHS, including prescriptions, test results, and hospital referral or appointment letters. If you cannot find your NHS Number in these ways, use the link above or you can ask your GP practice to help you.

We take the security and reliability of email delivery seriously. Outbound email notifications from shootcert.co.uk are authenticated using SendGrid to preserve our domain reputation and optimise inbox delivery at scale. Occasionally though, mail providers are cautious about letting emails pass through their firewall and security measures. Our notifications from our website can end up in your spam or junk folder. If nothing is in your inbox or spam folder, let us know using our contact form. We can easily resend any correspondence you may have missed.