In order to obtain “Approved Contractor” status, a security provider will need to perform several steps and meet the following requirements.
Satisfactory Organization and Management. The SIA state that they before awarding a company Approved Contractor status, they must be satisfied that:
“…the company seeking approval must be a fit and proper organisation, and the company directors must be fit and proper persons”
In practice, this translates to numerous requirements for quality management systems inherent in the business, which depend on the particular security services offered. It also refers to the levels of training and competency of the security personnel.
Resolution of Complaints. A security company with outstanding complaints must have these resolved before it can become approved – this may involve an investigation conducted by the SIA.
Licensing. Directors of the company need to have obtained an SIA license before the ACS will be awarded. This is the standard compulsory licensing required for private security companies, and should already be in place if they are doing business.
Breakdown of the SIA ACS Criteria. Very precise guidelines were laid down in 2006 to help businesses understand the standards they would not reach to attain – and just as importantly retain – their SIA ACS certification. A moment ago we mentioned that a minimum number of your staff must hold a license, for example. This percentage is currently capped at 85%. This does not mean that your remaining employees can work without a license though; instead it means the remaining 15% must have a license application in progress. This is termed as ‘acceptance’ by the SIA, which is another way of saying the request for a license, has been acknowledged and is in progress.
SIA ACS Eligibility Requirements. The criteria for the minimum number of staff holding an SIA ACS license is the same for all staff (and 85/15% balance) –and so long as they fall in to one of the below categories:
1. Vehicle Immobiliser
2. Key Holder
3. Cash and Valuables in Transit
4. Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
5. Door Supervisor
6. Close Protection
7. Security Guard
In some cases, allowances can be made.
Self-Assessment. The first step in the actual approval process is a self-assessment to gauge how close the company is to meeting the SIA requirements for approved contractors. The SIA provide a workbook for contractors to fill in, and it contains over 80 questions that need to be fully answered. The security company will also need to provide justifications for its answers to the self-assessment.
Our experienced consultants will be able to guide you through the whole process of approval, from self-assessment through to making the necessary changes in your business, and then on to submitting the final application to an assessment body.
Do you need help with your ISO accreditations too? we can offer a full in house service to look after your SIA ACS as well as your ISO accreditations. Please contact us for more information and to discuss the services required.