HMCTS Common Platform: registration for defence professionals

Register for a Common Platform account for viewing and managing cases in criminal courts.

Applies to England and Wales

About Common Platform

Common Platform is a case management system for HMCTS, the judiciary, and professional court users, including defence solicitors and barristers.

Defence solicitors and barristers will need to register for an account before any hearings they attend where Common Platform is used.

With an account you can:

  • link yourself to a case or defendant so the Legal Aid Agency is informed for payment purposes
  • self-serve case materials, including the initial details of the prosecution case (IDPC) and the pre-trial readiness form (PET form) in the magistrates’ court
  • serve documents on the court for magistrates’ Common Platform cases

Common Platform is in use in all criminal courts across England and Wales.

Access a case

Once your organisation has registered and you have activated your account, you can start accessing cases in Common Platform.

How to register

To register for an account, your organisation must complete the registration form with the details of anyone who needs access.

The form should be completed by an account administrator. If you are the account administrator, you will be named as accountable for the platform in your organisation.

Download the registration form in Microsoft Excel (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 170 KB)

Download the registration form in CSV format (CSV, 1.56 KB)

Only complete the 2 input tabs:

  • Organisation details – input
  • User details – input

Once complete, email the form to for validation.

We will then add your organisation and users to the system.

If you are a self-employed, freelance or ‘direct access’ barrister, you should register to Common Platform as a defence organisation consisting of one person. You will be assigned the role of ‘advocate’ so you can check-in for hearings and ‘organisation administrator’ so you can amend your own details.

What happens next

Once in the system, each user will receive an email from with further details. Please check junk and spam filters for this notification.

As an individual user, you must then activate your account and complete the security set-up process.

Read our guide on how to activate your Common Platform account.

Get help and guidance

If you need help with registering, email

See our guides on using Common Platform:

If you need help getting a unique reference number for a case, or have a business related query on a Common Platform case, contact the courts and tribunals service centre (CTSC).

If you need further help or have questions that are not addressed in the guidance, you can contact us on our helpdesk.

Courts and Tribunals Service Centre

Telephone: 0330 808 4407
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm
Closed on bank holidays


Telephone: 020 3989 6060
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturdays, 8am to 2pm
Closed on Sundays and bank holidays

If you are not a defence solicitor or administrator, email

We aim to respond to emails within 5 working days.

Published 29 September 2020
Last updated 310 OctoberJune 20232024 + show all updates
  1. Updated the Courts and Tribunals Service Centres email address.

  2. Removed reference to Companies House in the organisation details tab and have updated the guidance notes tab in the downloadable registration forms.

  3. Updated Welsh translation with recent changes

  4. Added guidance for independent solicitors and consistency changes to get help guidance

  5. Added links to new user guides

  6. Added translation