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SIA ACS Scheme

The Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is a voluntary scheme managed by the SIA as part of its remit to “raise performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities”. 

Benefits of ACS Status

It aims to achieve this by putting in place a system of inspection for providers of security services. Certification bodies, such as the SSAIB, will undertake the inspection activities on behalf of the SIA to ensure that companies who achieve the required standard can be registered as approved.

The following sectors are covered by the Approved Contractor Scheme:

  • Door Supervisors (In-house and contractors)
  • Security Guarding
  • Cash & Valuables in transit Contractors
  • Public Space Surveillance CCTV Contractors
  • Close Protection Contractors
  • Keyholding Contractors
  • Vehicle Immobilisers (In-house and contractors)

Benefits of ACS Status

The SIA Approved Contractor Scheme is now operational and the SIA are promoting its benefits to a wide range of buyers of Security Services in the Local authority, Government and Commercial sector.

Approved contractors have demonstrated their confidence in the technical and operational competence of their business by opening the organisations technical capability and management to third party inspection and validation. This is a mark of confidence in the management of the business.

Approved contractors may only sub-contract to other approved contractors.

Although it is a voluntary scheme, only Approved Contractors are allowed to deploy security staff under a license dispensation notice (up to 15%) while their application is being processed. This is a distinct operational advantage. Contractors who are not approved cannot deploy security staff who are not yet physically in possession of a valid SIA licence.

Standard Route Application Process

1. Initial Stage

The first stage of the process – when considering applying to become a member of the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme through the standard route – is to assess you are meeting all the minimum requirements of the scheme by conducting a self-assessment using the ACS Self-Assessment Workbook.

The Self-Assessment Workbook (SAW) aims to help organisations wishing to become SIA approved to prepare for a verification visit from one of our SIA Assessors.

2. Submitting Your Application

Once you are satisfied you meet all the minimum requirements,

you can then contact the SIA by following the application process

on the SIA website.

This process will include completing an application form, which you will be required to submit to the SIA along with the appropriate fees - allowing them to conduct their initial checks to confirm you are eligible for approval.

When submitting your application form, you will need to specify which assessing body you propose to use. Simply specify SSAIB.

3. SSAIB Verification Services

Once you have received confirmation from the SIA that you have met the eligibility requirements for those sectors you are seeking approval for, you can then apply to SSAIB for a verification visit.

The purpose of the verification visit is to validate that the requirements of the ACS standard have been achieved or to agree an action plan to help you to achieve the required standard in those areas that the organisation requires further improvement.

SSAIB can undertake verification visits for companies applying and those that require a re-verification visit, even if your initial visit was with another approved certification body.

4. Submitting Your ACS Self-Assessment  Workbook (SAW)

Prior to the date of the verification visit being arranged, you will be required to submit a copy of your ACS Self-Assessment Workbook scores and associated relevant wording against each indicator that will be used as part of the verification visit. A copy of the template used to submit the SAW will be supplied to you in advance by SSAIB, as part of our planning process.

Once the self-assessment requirements and score have been validated, a report will be submitted to the SIA by SSAIB, who will review this and make the final decision of approval.

Next Steps

To obtain an estimate for our verification service, please email or contact SSAIB directly on 0191 296 3242.

The SIA application fee does not cover the cost of the verification visit. The fee for the verification visit is payable directly to the ACS assessing body, namely SSAIB.