North Yorkshire-based Pye Tait Consulting is working in partnership with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) – the Regulator for the private security industry – to undertake a full and thorough review of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), which measures private security solution suppliers against independently assessed criteria.
The Private Security Industry Act 2001 required the Regulator to establish: “A system of inspection for the 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 ACS is to raise performance standards and 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 regulated by the SIA and the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (as amended).
The ACS is a single scheme with sector-specific approval based on a relevant set of qualifying criteria.
It’s an offence for a company to claim that it’s an SIA Approved Contractor if that’s not the case. This includes indirectly claiming to be an SIA Approved Contractor by displaying the ACS accreditation mark. The penalty is a fine of up to £5,000.
For its part, the SIA is a public body sponsored by the Home Office. It supports the key priorities of the Home Office by contributing towards the reduction and prevention of crime and public protection. It also has a responsibility to support business growth.
The Regulator now welcomes views on the ACS from the buyers of security services, ACS assessing bodies and security industry stakeholders (eg enforcement partners and trade, professional and employer representative bodies). A separate survey aimed at gathering the views of private security contractors will be launched next month.
Dr Joanne Harvatt of Pye Tait Consulting explained: “We would be very grateful if the readers of Risk UK would complete this survey and forward the link to other appropriate stakeholders and buyers.”
*Those who would like to take part in the current survey should access the following link: www.pyetait.com/ACSReview_BuyerStakeholderSurvey Completing the survey should take approximately ten to 15 minutes. More detail is available by visiting the ACS Review portal: www.pyetait.com/ACSReview
**Respondents’ views will be treated confidentially by Pye Tait Consulting and reported anonymously to the SIA