The purpose of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) is to protect the public  and to maintain and improve standards in the private security industry. Many  security businesses have obtained approval under the scheme since its launch in  2006 and many buyers and users of security services require that their suppliers  are approved

The ACS Standard has been developed with a wide scope encompassing all  aspects of a business. It enables a holistic view of how an organisation meets the  needs of all of its stakeholders including how it is:

  • being managed and led

  • providing services to its customers

  • providing for and managing its staff

  • considering the society and environment in which it operates

The requirements of the ACS Standard are generic and can be applied to all  organisations regardless of size and sector. The achievement level within the ACS Standard is set to validate existing good  practice; encourage the development of new practices and discourage poor  practice found in some organisations within the industry.


The ACS Standard is comprehensive and organisations do not require separate certification to other standards, e.g. ISO9001 or specific British Standards, in  order to be an approved contractor. However, in meeting ACS requirements,  approved contractors are expected to work to the British Standard Codes of  Practice appropriate to their activities.

The assessment process allows organisations to demonstrate, to an SIA approved  assessor, how their way of conducting their business meets the required  achievement level to become an SIA Approved Contractor. The assessors will  apply the ACS Standard in a pragmatic way taking into account the nature of the  applicant’s organisation and the context in which its services are delivered.


The assessment process will also be used to provide input to the ongoing  development and improvement of the ACS Standard. Any changes proposed to the ACS Standard will be subject to consultation with the Private Security Industry.