By marie-merry

What is ACS Accreditation?

The Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is an initiative introduced by the SIA as a quality standard that provides a recognised hallmark of quality within the private security industry. The main objective of ACS is to boost performance standards in the security sector by establishing a structure for regulated businesses to develop, improve and promote best practices.

SIA ACS is not a compliance standard; it is non-prescriptive and can be applied by any organisation irrespective of its size.


ACS emphasises to clients that the security service supplied is of high quality and abides by the different commitments of the specific qualifications for approval. The main point of an approved security contractor is that both the security company and staff are skilled and confident to manage security issues in a secure and proficient manner.

Being SIA ACS accredited is also crucial if insurance is necessary. If an incident arises which entails grievances, breaches, hazards, or unlawful activities and involves an insurance claim if the security company you are using is not ACS accredited there is a high possibility that there could be complications and challenges with the claim. If you have unlicensed security staff, it indicates that you have not put all the procedures in place to safeguard the situation, and what could have been prevented or improved if the staff involved were ACS licensed.

To be a part of SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme, the security company would need to be approved, and licensed in the following areas based on the services they provide:

  • Key Holding
  • Security Guarding
  • Public space Surveillance (CCTV)
  • Cash & Valuables Transit
  • Door Supervision
  • Close protection
  • Vehicle Immobilising


If you are a business that hires a security company for any of these services, you could be at risk if your provider is not ACS approved.


What are the benefits to having an ACS accredited security company?

There were 838 approved contractors as of 8 March 2022. 23% of existing approved contractors are new to the ACS between 2019 and 2022. These contractors operate legally, ethically and employ licenced professionals who have been security screened.


The benefits of using an ACS accredited supplier are numerous, here is an overview of some of those benefits:


Continuity of Service

ACS accreditation means that your security supplier will ensure that your company will continue to operate, at least at a minimal level during an incident. Continuity of service within your security services will sustain resiliency, in responding quickly to an interruption. Continuity of service will save you time, financial stress and your reputation and brand.


Key benefits of continuity of service:

  • ensure your business continues to operate during and after an incident.
  • recover operations rapidly after interruptions.
  • decrease costs and length of any disruption.
  • mitigate risks and financial exposure.
  • improve customer confidence and trust.
  • safeguard your company reputation.



ACS Approved security providers offer agility, flexibility and continuity within their operational processes and services.


N.B – Security providers who are not ACS approved can only employ staff that hold a valid SIA licence, if they don’t it is a criminal offence. In certain circumstances approved contractors can be given a special dispensation which will permit the use staff who have completed their training and are awaiting on their licence



Quality assurance and best practice

When a security provider has an Approved Contractor Scheme status, they are regularly audited by the ACS to ensure that they are still compliant to the required quality processes, services and best practices expected by the ACS.


This will provide confidence that the services provided by your contractor have been assessed and are aligned with lawful and ethical practices.


  • ACS approved companies must show that they have a quality standard chain of supply, that everything they buy from equipment to uniforms has been through quality management regulations by their suppliers.
  • ACS approved companies have proven that they have excellent payment data to both their employees and suppliers.
  • ACS approval guarantees that the security guards supplied are assessed thoroughly, to B57858/2012 standards.
  • ACS status ensures that your security supplier can only sub-contract to other approved contractors, ensuring that quality of services is maintained.




Customer Focus and Tailored Services

The ACS standard encourages and is dedicated to security services customisation and tailored services, ensuring that by working in partnership the customer and security provider will deliver a security that plan that meets the customers expectations and requirements. If a Security provider is ACS accredited, you should expect customer focused procedures and processes.



Working Relationships with the Police

The police recognise the ACS status which promotes a healthy respectful working relationship between security supplier and police. ACS status verifies to the police that that they are dealing with a professional, lawful security firm.


Developing alliances with the police also provides useful and joined-up benefits for business and community initiatives.



Bespoke Facilities Limited are recognised by ACS for our high standards of working practices and processes. We work in partnership with our customers across numerous sectors, the businesses we work with share our moral and ethical values and beliefs. If you would like to enquire about out services, please do not hesitate to get in contact either via out website or call us for an informal chat on 0800 599 9210.