Do you need expert help to become an SIA approved contractor?
This is a question we have been asked many times and the answer is generally no. The ACS application process is designed to be manageable for any company, regardless of size.
It starts with your own assessment of your organisation, which is then verified by an independent (non-SIA) assessor. Experience shows that you and your staff are best placed to carry out your self-assessment. You know how your business operates, and the ACS Self Assessment Workbook will enable you to quickly and easily identify your organisation's strengths and weaknesses.
Read through all of the workbook and complete as much of it as you can. The ACS Self Assessment Workbook Guide and the Tips for Completing your ACS Self Assessment will help you with this. Both documents, as well as the workbook itself, are available for download from this page.
If there are any indicators that you cannot complete or that need clarifying, make a note of them and then contact our ACS team for assistance. The team is available for calls Monday to Friday, 9am-5.00pm on 0300 123 9298. There is no additional cost to you for this support.
Third Party Advice
Of course you may still choose to engage a consultant to help you with your ACS application. That is a matter for you and your business and the SIA has no role to play in approving any consultancy services. You should, however, be clear about what help and advice any consultant is offering you and the costs that will be incurred as a result. We are concerned that some ACS applicants appear to have received unsatisfactory service from consultants engaged to help them achieve SIA approval. Issues reported include inaccurate information, misleading advice, and the provision of quality management systems that are neither tailored to the needs of a specific company nor sufficient to meet ACS requirements.
To avoid these problems we recommend that you research and assess potential suppliers prior to selection. This will help you to determine the best option for your organisation and also help to ensure you get value for money.
You may wish to consider the following:
- What support do you need and how else can the need be met? Is there a development or secondment opportunity for an existing member of staff?
- What other options do you have? It might be worth talking things through with someone that has succeeded in becoming an approved contractor.
- What knowledge and experience does the consultant have? Follow up any references that they may provide. Remember that in relation to the ACS, you have access to the same published information as consultants do.
- Have you specified objectives, outcomes and timeframes in their contract?
- How will you implement and maintain any systems/processes they set up?
Please note: the SIA does not train, approve or enter into any commercial relationship with consultants. Beware of unsupported claims of ACS training and/or links with us.