For companies who provide security services, achieving SIA ACS approval can be extremely beneficial, distinguishing your business from competitors and instilling confidence that the services provided are of the highest standards.
What Is SIA ACS?
SIA stands for the ‘Security Industry Authority’ who are a government organisation responsible for regulating the private security industry and ACS is the ‘Approved Contractor Scheme’ which they offer. This recognised scheme provides a hallmark of quality for those within the private security industry and is a source of confidence and reassurance for those acquiring security services.
SIA ACS approval is voluntary, it is not a compliance standard. The main objectives of the scheme include putting in place a framework that helps regulated businesses to create and encourage best practices that raise their performance standards. This benchmark for quality is a way for your business to be instantly recognised as having met the established requirements of performance and having been independently assessed and verified.
What Are The Benefits Of SIA ACS?
There are many advantages to having SIA ACS certification that benefit not only the organisation but its staff, customers and shareholders including;
- Entry in the SIA Register of Approved Contractors, emphasising your status as a top level provider of private security services.
- Authorisation to use and display the ACS Accreditation Mark on your organisations website, social media, stationery etc.
- An instilled confidence from customers in the quality of service that you provide.
- Access to tender opportunities you didn’t have before where ACS is a required as a pre-requisite.
- A demonstrated commitment to quality, management and customer service.
- Proof that the staff and security personnel supplied are suitably fit and trained to perform their roles effectively.
- Verifies that your services have been independently evaluated against recognised standards.
- Provides a valuable advantage over competitors in the market.
What Are The Routes To Approval?
If you are looking to gain ACS accredited status then there are two routes to consider.
The Standard Route as it’s referred to is open to all security companies and requires no previous certification accreditation. This process entails an in-house self-assessment that is verified by a qualified, independent assessor from an SIA approved assessing body.
How to apply for the Standard route
- On the gov.uk website you can find out details of how to apply for ACS approval as well as pre-eligibility checks and details on the application process.
- There you will also find the ACS Self-Assessment workbook which is a PDF document that you can download.
- If you meet the required standard then request an ACS application form from gov.uk and they will send you one.
- Fill in the application form and send it back once complete along with payment for the required application fee (details of which can be found on their website).
- Once received your application will be processed and the SIA will carry out the necessary checks.
- If eligibility for approval is confirmed then you will be allowed to arrange an assessment with your chosen assessing body.
- The assessing body will evaluate your company and produce a report for you, a copy of which they also send to the SIA.
- They will then review their report and make a final approval decision.
- If your company is approved then you will need to pay the registration fee.
If your company is already approved via one of the SIA accredited passport schemes such as NSI, or is looking to apply for guarding or cash services then you may be eligible for the ‘Passport’ route to ACS approval. This route allows qualifying companies the opportunity to achieve ACS status without requiring them to go through a separate ACS assessment.
How to apply for the passport route
- Go onto the gov.uk website where you can find out about eligibility and details on the passport route application process.
- Request an ACS application form from the gov.uk website
- Fill in the application form and send back once complete with all required proof required such as certification, documentation etc. At this point you will also need to pay the application fee.
- SIA will process your application and carry out the necessary checks.
- From their findings they will make an approval decision.
- If you are successful and gain approval then you will need to pay a registration fee.
SIA ACS Consultants
If you are unsure of where to start with gaining ACS accreditation then JR Consultants are here to help. Our SIA ACS consultants have the knowledge, experience and unique expertise required to provide the best guidance, support and advice to help clients successfully gain accreditation.
If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our SIA ACS consultancy services then please do not hesitate to contact us and our advisors will be happy to help you.
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