ACS Quality Assurance

The credibility of the Approved Contractor Scheme and its associated accreditation mark is assured by our active programme of approved contractor monitoring.

The annual independent assessment of each contractor generates information and a comprehensive report against the 87 ACS indicators. Supplementary information regarding approved contractors is received from a variety of other sources, including police partners and other security companies. Any improvement needs, complaints or allegations are assessed and action is taken where appropriate.

Activity levels and the nature and number of sanctions applied are summarised below. The table is updated every month and may not correctly reflect the current position. Information presented is current as of 28 February 2018.

2017-2018 Financial Year

Independent assessment* 791
Improvement need(s) identified* 127
Licence dispensation restricted or withdrawn 0
Complaints or Allegations Investigated 726
Served Notice of Withdrawal 91
ACS Withdrawals 27

* These figures do not include assessments undertaken via accredited passport schemes.


  • Independent Assessment - All approved contractors must undergo an independent assessment every year. Numbers shown do not include assessments that were undertaken prior to approval.
  • Improvement Need(s) - An improvement need arises when an independent assessment finds that the required achievement level has not been met on one of the 87 ACS indicators. Improvement needs must be addressed within a defined period. The numbers shown relate to the number of companies at which improvement needs have been identified.
  • Licence Dispensation - Authorisation to deploy security staff while their licence applications are being processed is given to an approved contractor in the form of an SIA Licence Dispensation Notice (LDN). We may place restrictions on this authorisation, or we may withdraw it altogether.
  • Complaints or Allegations Investigated - All allegations concerning non-conformance with ACS requirements are investigated. Numbers shown relate to cases closed following appropriate action.
  • Notice of Withdrawal - A Notice of Withdrawal is issued to an approved contractor when we believe that it no longer meets the requirements of the Approved Contractor Scheme. The withdrawal process allows 21 days for appeal to the SIA and a further 21 days for appeal at a Magistrates’ Court or Sheriff Court. These figures include all notices issued, including those issued for non-payment, etc.
  • ACS Withdrawals - Withdrawal is the final response applied when a company is found not to meet the criteria for approved contractor status.

Licensing Enforcement Activity

We have a range of sanctions available to us that fall short of criminal proceedings but can be highly effective in securing compliance quickly whilst avoiding costly formal proceedings. These include the issuing of written warnings and improvement notices for non-compliance, and the revocation or suspension of licences.

More information on our enforcement activity