Apply for Approval

You will need to pass all of our application checks in order to become an approved contractor.

We can help you with your ACS application. Before you seek advice from third party consultants, please contact us.

What do we check?

You provide private security services regulated by the SIA

You cannot be an SIA approved contractor unless all of the following apply:

  1. you provide private security services in the UK
  2. you offer services in the security activities that we license
  3. you provide those services under contract

Your business is 'fit and proper'

We will check the identity, criminality, financial probity and integrity of the people running your business (often referred to as 'controlling minds').

We will take into consideration:

  • who controls your business and the licensable individuals you supply
  • any criminal convictions or charges relating to your business or its controlling minds
  • the financial circumstances of your business and its controlling minds
  • the integrity of your business and its controlling minds

Your directors are licensed

All directors must hold a valid SIA licence. This includes executive and non-executive directors, shadow directors, parent company directors and corporate entities holding a directorship.

Your staff are licensed

All security operatives you deploy must hold a valid SIA licence.

How do you apply for approval?

There are two ways to become approved: standard and passport. It is up to you which one you choose.

Either way will involve one of our approved assessing bodies, so you should talk to them as well. They may have a view on which route would work best for you.

Standard route to approval

If you wish to follow the standard route to approval then the process is:

  1. you assess your company using the Self-Assessment Workbook (PDF, 2,269kb)
  2. if you meet the required standard, you ask us to send you an ACS application form
  3. you fill in the application form and send the completed form back to us.
  4. you pay the application fee
  5. we process your application and conduct our checks
  6. if we confirm that you are eligible for approval, you arrange an assessment with your chosen assessing body
  7. We give your assessor all of the information you gave us in the application form
  8. they assess your company, produce an assessment report for you and then send a copy to us
  9. we review their report and make our approval decision
  10. if we approve your company, you pay the registration fee

Passport route to approval

If you wish to follow the passport route to approval then the process is:

  1. you get certified through one of our accredited passport schemes
  2. you ask us to send you an ACS application form
  3. you fill in the application form and send the completed form back to us, enclosing proof of your certification
  4. you pay the application fee
  5. we process your application and conduct our checks
  6. we make our approval decision
  7. if we approve your company, you pay the registration fee

Fees you must pay to us

We charge two different types of fee:

  1. an application fee, which you must pay in full when you apply for approval (this pays for us to process your application)
  2. an annual registration fee, which you must pay after you are approved and then every year for as long as you remain approved

Both fees are non-refundable.

The application fee varies depending on the number of licensable staff in your organization:

  • Up to 10 licensable staff: £400
  • 11 to 25 licensable staff: £800
  • 26 to 250 licensable staff: £1,600
  • Over 250 licensable staff: £2,400

The registration fee is the same for everyone: £15 per licensable individual deployed.

Other fees you need to pay

You will also need to pay your assessing body for your assessment.

ACS assessing bodies

We do not usually assess you directly, although we can if we need to. Instead, we ask assessing bodies to conduct the assessment of your organisation on our behalf.

The assessing bodies we are partnered with are:

All ACS assessors must abide by our Assessor Code of Conduct (PDF, 74kb).

You should not proceed with a standard route ACS assessment until we tell you to.

SIA accredited passport schemes

The passport schemes that we accept are shown below.

NSI ACS Passport Scheme

This scheme covers the following licensable activities:

  • Cash & Valuables in Transit
  • Close Protection
  • Door Supervision
  • Key Holding
  • Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
  • Security Guarding

CCAS Passport Scheme

This scheme covers the following licensable activities:

  • Door Supervision
  • Key Holding
  • Public Space Surveillance (CCTV)
  • Security Guarding

Contact us

If you have any enquiries regarding the ACS, please submit these through your online business account (select 'Contact the SIA' and then 'I want to make a business enquiry'). If you do not have a business account you can register for one.

Or you can call us on 0300 123 9298.