5 October 2018 | Kevin Stanley
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) has announced the key changes from the latest review of its flagship Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) for private security businesses. The changes will take effect on 1 April 2019.
Evidence from an extensive consultation suggested that the SIA did not need to make fundamental changes to the scheme, but it was clear from the responses there were opportunities to make improvements.
Stephen McCormick, director of operations and standards at the SIA, said: "Since the ACS scheme was launched in 2006 we have made incremental changes which have ensured the standard has been raised.
"The SIA is building on a successful quality standard and have made a number of key changes which will strengthen the scheme.
"Our aim for the future of the ACS is a growing partnership with private security industry businesses that demonstrates the value and contribution they make to UK PLC," said McCormick.
The changes that have been made are rooted in the feedback from the consultation. They include:
An update to the standard placing more emphasis on service delivery and less emphasis on processes to help businesses to drive improvement to the service that they provide for customers.
A revised, streamlined and clearer, Self-Assessment Workbook (SAW) containing the quality indicators that approved contractors must demonstrate have been met.
A revised eligibility and 'fit and proper' criteria to ensure that only sound, sustainable and credible companies are able to join the scheme.
A firmer approach with PAYE. Approved contractors must give justification and evidence as to why their staff are not PAYE. This will make sure that businesses are employing staff on the right basis, and comply with tax and employment law, as well as making sure that employees of approved contractors enjoy proper employment rights.
The SIA is revising its approach to how it markets the ACS and provides support for businesses. This will include more support, via a resource centre, for applicants and existing businesses to meet or exceed minimum ACS requirements.