Compare Approved Contractors

Most approved contractors score their performance against the ACS standard every year. These scores are then verified by independent assessors.

Businesses approved through one of our accredited passport schemes are not required to submit scores.

Can the score show how good a company is?

The score can give an indication of the overall quality of an approved contractor, but it does not tell the whole story.

This is because:

  • The company may get a low score overall but score well in a particular aspect of their business operations
  • The company may get a high score overall but score poorly in a particular aspect of their business operations

We recommend that you also look at factors such as the contractor's reputation in the marketplace or the quality of its tender response.

You should also consider reading the contractor's assessment report. We can give this to you if the approved contractor gives us permission to do so.

How does the scoring system work?

The contractor is scored against 78 achievement indicators. These cover topics as diverse as staff training, financial management and the company's health and safety policies.

The pass mark for each indicator is the required achievement level, so:

  • a positive score (like +1) shows that the company is doing more than it needs to
  • a 'fail' mark shows that the company is falling below the standard we expect of them

If we find that a company is falling below the standard we will work with them to improve that area of their operations. If they do not, we will withdraw their approval.

The maximum overall score that can a company can achieve is 145.

What scores do companies tend to achieve?

We show the average scores below, broken down by size of organisation. We measure the size of an organisation by the number of licensable staff it has.

Number of licensable staff Average score
Up to 10 32
11 to 25 48
26 to 250 66
Over 250 113

These figures are drawn from the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

We have used the median as the average. This is calculated by arranging the scores in order from the smallest to the largest and then selecting the middle score.

Due to COVID-19 we gave approved contractors the option to delay their ACS assessment by 3 months if it was due between April and June 2020. Because of this, and the changes we have implemented as a result of the pandemic, we have not updated the ACS benchmarking data. We expect to be able to update this data towards the end of this year.

The diagram below shows the percentage of approved contractors achieving certain scores.

Image shows a pyramid diagram in which assessor scores are grouped by quartile