The Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) provides an opportunity to the estimated 4,000 UK security organisations to demonstrate their credibility, gain new clients, compete for contracts and grow their businesses.
However, the process of gaining approval can be daunting.
To help settle some pre-audit nerves and to support businesses in their pursuit for approval, we offer you here an insight into what to expect on the day of your ACS audit.
PRIOR TO THE AUDIT
Having selected your preferred route to approval (Standard Route or Passport Scheme), chosen your SIA approved certification body (currently 4 to choose from) and passed the eligibility and fit & proper due diligence checks (tick), you will receive an eligibility letter from the SIA confirming that you can move to the assessment stage and can book your audit with your chosen certification body.
- Opening Meeting
Prior to commencing the audit, an opening meeting will be held with the auditor, the organisation’s top management, management representative and if preferred, the ACS consultant who can provide support to the management team. The scope, purpose, schedule and format of the audit is discussed.
- Document Review
The auditor will review the overall effectiveness of the system which includes reviewing documented procedures, instructions and controls. Sampling will be undertaken to establish that procedures are authorised, effective and being followed.
- Interviews with Top Management & Personnel
As part of gathering objective evidence, interviews will be conducted with top management verifying that the organisation has a coherent plan and approach to business. Personnel will be interviewed about their knowledge and understanding of their responsibilities, processes and procedures to be followed.
- Site Visit
Agreed prior to the audit, the auditor will go on-site to visually observe personnel conducting their roles ensuring they are trained, competent, appropriately licenced and again following procedures.
- Closing Meeting
Once the audit has been completed, the closing meeting will be held with the audit findings presented, if the organisation has been successful in meeting the ACS standard criteria and ACS Score awarded.
- Audit Report & Follow Up
The auditor will produce a report detailing the areas audited, staff interviewed and overall outcome of the assessment. The report will detail any corrective actions and timescales agreed for resolving the issues raised.
Although it can be quite daunting, time consuming and cost a few pennies, there are many business benefits for gaining approval.
Taking any stress and uncertainty away, Security Approval provide a professional ACS consultancy service.
We provide complete assistance with paperwork, workbooks, implementing procedures, creating simple management systems and will sit with you during your ACS audit.
If you haven’t already, speak with our advisers today and begin your journey to gaining approval to the SIA Approved Contractor Scheme, firstname.lastname@example.org, 02079369244.