The Approved Contractor scheme as regulated by the SIA is designed to raise standards regarding performance, along with assisting the private security sector by helping to introduce new opportunities.
Developed with input from industry representatives, the scheme is entirely voluntary and covers areas of the industry that are SIA-regulated, and fall under the Private Security Industry Act 2001. The scheme is singular, but requires sector-specific approval depending on relevant qualifying criteria.
The scheme was first introduced by the SIA after the Private Security Industry Act 2001 required 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”.
In the eyes of the law it is considered an offence to falsely claim you are an approved contractor, including indirectly implying you are approved by including the ACS accreditation mark on any literature or promotional materials associated with your company. If you are caught, you could face a fine of up to £5,000.
The Benefits of Using an Approved Contractor
By choosing an ACS accredited supplier to provide you with security services, you can help fulfil your security requirements to staff, shareholders, consumers and company stakeholders, whilst having peace of mind. This is because approved contractors are fully committed to compulsory licensing of staff, as well as thorough and reliable customer service.
An approved contractor will set your mind at ease, knowing that all private security operatives on your property will be working completely within the law (unless the SIA have withdrawn authority to deploy staff with pending licences, although this can be double-checked using the public Register of Approved Contractors).
So, what else can you expect from an Approved Contractor?
Well, non-approved suppliers are only able to provide staff who physically hold their valid SIA licence, as per the law. Approved contractors, on the other hand, can have special dispensation to provide staff whose training is complete but have pending licences. This brings more flexibility and availability to the table when you are in need of security services.
Approved contractors also provide the confidence you need that your supplier’s employment practices have been through a rigorous assessment process for best practices and quality of service. If the approved contractor decides to sub-contract, they will only involve other SIA accredited, unless special dispensation has been granted, so you can always expect the highest level of security services.
The scheme is also very innovative, and those taking part are quick to develop the best new methods and practices to assure the highest quality services at all times. Since ACS is also recognised by the police, you can expect an enhanced working relationship should they ever need to become involved.
The Benefits of Being an Approved Contractor
The Approved Contractor Scheme and its benefits are highlighted and advertised to government departments, local authorities and businesses in the commercial sector, and will give your organisation a major business advantage over your non-approved competitors.
Approved contractors are added to a register for potential buyers to look up online or via telephone when searching for a suitable supplier. You’ll also have complementary copies of the ACS brochure for prospective customers and employers, which helps points out the benefits they can expect from an approved contractor.
Once you’ve been approved, your organisation can proudly display the approved contractor plaque and certificate for prospective customers and business partners to see. The ACS accreditation mark can also be used on your website, literature and correspondence if you so wish.
Alcumus ISOQAR is one of only five approved bodies to offer assessment to the requirements of the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme. For more information, or to find out more about how our services could benefit you, contact us today.