Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) Review

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The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a Public Body sponsored by the Home Office. It was established under the Private Security Industry Act 2001 – which covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – to regulate certain activities within the private security industry. It supports the key priorities of the Home Office by contributing to the reduction and prevention of crime, and to public protection. It also has a responsibility to support business growth.

The SIA operates a compulsory licensing system of individuals working in private security. It also manages the voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), which measures private security suppliers against independently assessed criteria.

ACS is a quality management scheme that raises performance standards in the private security industry and helps security suppliers to access new opportunities. The scheme is voluntary and was developed in consultation with representatives from across the industry. The scheme provides a hallmark of quality within the private security industry.

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ACS Review

Pye Tait is working in partnership with the SIA to undertake a full review of the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) to ensure it remains a relevant and trusted scheme.

A redeveloped ACS will continue to drive improvement in the way security companies operate. The SIA will ensure the scheme will help approved contractors to offer greater professionalism, improved customer service and higher standards, leading to a private security industry that has pride in itself, its people and the way it operates.

This research has engaged with a range of security businesses, buyers of security, partners (e.g. the police and other law enforcement agencies and local authorities) and stakeholders to capture their views of the present ACS Scheme – for example, its advantages and disadvantages, and how it can be improved.

Research activities have included:

  • Online surveys for security businesses, stakeholders and buyers of security
  • Telephone interviews
  • Workshops, focus groups and round table discussions

We are now in the final phase of the research – internal discussion on the recommended changes.