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Approved Contractor Scheme ( ACS)

Posted: 20/07/2017
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 requires the SIA to establish a "system of inspection for providers of security services, under which those organisations who satisfactorily meet the agreed standards may be registered as approved, and may advertise themselves as such".

The objective of the SIA's Approved Contractor scheme is to raise performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities. The scheme is voluntary and was developed in consultation with representatives from across the industry; it only covers those parts of the industry that are regulated by the SIA and the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (as amended). There is a single scheme, with sector-specific approval based on a relevant set of qualifying criteria.

It is an offence for a company to claim it is an approved contractor when it is not; this includes indirectly claiming to be an approved contractor by displaying the ACS accreditation mark. The penalty is a fine of up to £5,000.

Qualifying for SIA Approval

The objective of the Approved Contractor Scheme is to raise performance standards and to assist the private security industry in developing new opportunities, while better serving customer needs.

Your application will be reviewed against the following:

  • SIA licensed staff. Achieving and maintaining approval is dependent upon your organisation having at least 85% of your security staff licensed at all times, regardless of whether or not they are currently deployed.
  • Fit and proper organisation / management. We must be satisfied that the company seeking approval is a 'fit and proper' organisation. In addition to this, directors of the company must be considered 'fit and proper' persons and must not currently be disqualified from being directors. Known allegations against directors may need to be investigated before proceeding.
  • Licensed directors. All licensable directors must hold a valid SIA licence or, in our view, have taken adequate steps to obtain one.
  • Significant complaints. If there are significant concerns or complaints against your organisation or its senior management, these may have to be investigated further before proceeding.
  • Self-assessment. The Self Assessment Workbook (if applicable) has been completed properly with justification provided for the self-assessment.
  • Payment of the appropriate fees.

Information provided at the time of application will be made available to your selected assessing body for verification. This will include information about directors and the status of employee licensing.

We can assist you throughout the ACS application process - please consider this before seeking advice from third party consultants.

To maintain approval an approved contractor must re-register every year and renew approval every three years. The re-registration process requires re-verification visits from the chosen assessing body, who can provide further information on the assessment requirements for each year of approval.

All approved contractors must adhere to the standard terms and conditions of the Scheme in order to remain approved. However, we may impose additional, specific conditions on any approval as necessary.

Contact Us

If you have any enquiries regarding the ACS please send us an e-mail or write to us at:

Approved Contractor Scheme,
Security Industry Authority,
PO Box 49768,

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