Security News

Security News for the SIA ACS (Approved Contractors Scheme)

Welcome to Total Training Consultancy’s news and information section. Here you will find all the latest news and information on various security matters, including SIA ACS, Government regulation and legislation and other National Security News.




19/01/2018 – SIA publish findings from first phase of ACS Review

The SIA, along with Pye Tait, have recently conducted an extensive review of the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS). Overall feedback from the consultation shows that the existing ACS is functioning well, although a number of improvements have been identified.  A summary of the main findings and recommendations from the first consultation and the SIA’s response is available here SIA ACS Review Update


31/08/2011 – Door Supervisors – would physical intervention training help you in your role?

Knowing how to escort people from premises safely is important to door supervisors, who may have to deal with this type of situation as part of their role. Disengagement skills are also useful if, for example, a customer has grabbed hold of you.

The SIA developed physical intervention training that is included in the nationally-recognised door supervisor training. It is a compulsory part of the new qualification introduced last year.

However, it is not just available to those who are qualifying now. If you trained prior to the introduction of the new qualification, you can take this training on a voluntary basis as the physical intervention training is offered as a stand-alone unit. By taking this unit, you can make sure you are aware of how to use these techniques, helping you to manage difficult situations with minimal risk of injury to yourself and members of the public.

The unit comprises a day’s training and is widely available. Existing Door Supervision licence holders are eligible to take this module. To access the training, you can find a training provider in your area by checking the list on the SIA website. The provider will be able to advise you of the location of the training and how much it will cost.

04/08/2011 – SIA ACS – Commitment to Regulation Conference Announced

A second SIA conference to discuss plans for the future regulation of the private security industry will be held in Sheffield on 12 October.

The Commitment to Regulation conference will consider the developing proposals for the new regulatory regime, outline progress since the last conference, and discuss the security requirements for the London Olympics and Paralympics Games 2012.

The SIA is this year hosting two conferences to ensure that there is adequate opportunity for consultation and discussion on the future regime. The Sheffield event follows the previous conference in London in March where the SIA’s Blueprint for regulation was outlined and discussed.

Places for the October conference are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration closes on 28 September 2011.

For further information and to download the booking form visit:

19/05/2011 – The SIA ACS: Five Years of Continual Improvement

The SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme celebrated five years of successful operation in March this year. Underpinning this success is the long-term improvement achieved by approved contractors. SIA assistant director of the ACS Andrew Shephard explains.

Information on the latest scores achieved during ACS assessments has today been published by the SIA. Each approved contractor is assessed annually, receiving a score that indicates the extent to which it has exceeded the good practice standards required by the ACS. Measures of good practice are detailed in the ACS self-assessment workbook, allowing approved contractors and assessors to determine a score based on the number of good practice elements in place.

Continual improvement is central to the ACS and using scoring in the assessment encourages contractors to strive to improve. Approved contractors may use their score to track and measure progress against the ACS standard and to compare their overall performance with others.

With more than 3,000 ACS assessments now conducted, the SIA has consistently refined and added to the statistical information published. Most recently we have calculated separate figures for each size of organisation (micro, small, medium and large) to enable approved contractors to make a more meaningful comparison of their score to help plan further improvements.

Performance above the required level results in a +1, +2 or higher score. Performance below the required achievement level results in a -1, -2 or lower score. The minimum overall score that a company can achieve and still be approved is zero. Zero is a satisfactory score, as it demonstrates that the company is meeting the ACS standard and following recognised industry good practice.

Over the past year approved contractors have again demonstrated their commitment to raising standards with an average increase in score of 12 – roughly equating to 12 new good practice elements implemented and independently recognised. Assessment scores have increased every year since the launch of the ACS in 2006. Each approved contractor has, on average, improved their score by 26 since first becoming approved. This achievement is all the more impressive when it is considered that the ACS standard itself has been raised over time, meaning improvement is required simply to maintain the same score.

The information published today gives an insight into the highest levels of scoring as well as into the rates of improvement. Almost 10 per cent of approved contractors have now achieved a score of 100 or above. Whilst no approved contractor has yet recorded the current maximum possible score of 159, some have come close.

There is evidence that buyers of security services are increasingly paying attention to assessment scores. 85% of buyers who responded to a recent SIA online survey required their security provider to be an approved contractor, with the most frequently identified reason being that the ACS “provides reassurance on quality and management”. More than 60% of respondents indicated that assessment score was an important factor in selection of a supplier. Given the commitment shown by approved contractors and the attention from buyers we expect that improvement in assessment scores will continue and as a result standards will continue to be raised.

21/04/2011 – SIA Reminder – ACS review closes today

To participate in this year’s Approved Contractor Scheme review, responses from ACS companies, security suppliers and security buyers must be received by Thursday 21 April 2011.

ACS Assistant Director Andrew Shephard said:

“We have had a good response so far, but we can never have too much feedback. We are encouraging all ACS companies, security suppliers and security buyers to respond to the review. This will help us to build an accurate picture of the shape of the private security industry.”

The questionnaires can be found here:

The Approved Contractor Scheme conditions for approval are subject to annual, independent review.

15/03/2011 – The SIA ACS review for 2011

The Approved Contractor Scheme conditions for approval are subject to annual, independent review.

The purpose of the reviews is to ensure that the Approved Contractor Scheme continues to serve the needs of security suppliers and buyers, and to identify any ways in which it may be improved.

The 2011 ACS Review: Your Views After Five Years of Operation

The nature of regulation within the private security industry is anticipated to change significantly in the next few years and with this in mind, this year’s review seeks to build a picture of the current status.

  • If you are a security buyer and would like to participate in this year’s review, please click here.
  • If you are a security supplier (but not an SIA approved contractor) and would like to participate in this year’s review, please click here.
  • If you are an approved contractor and would like to participate in this year’s review, please click here.

Download the questions from this year’s review (download size 95kb).

07/03/2011 – The SIA ACS reaches its 5 year anniversary

Reports from the SIA’s website reveal that the SIA’s Approved Contractor Scheme has now passed its fifth year of operation.

The scheme continues to grow, and in the past year 137 approval decisions have been made. The SIA is receiving approximately 15 requests for new applications each month.

Around 125,000 licensed operatives work for approved contractors, with ACS employed operatives making up an estimated 70% of those working in the industry.

Andrew Shephard, Assistant Director Approved Contractor Scheme said:

“During the past five years the scheme has enjoyed a steady rise in applicant numbers. The current figures show that companies continue to see the scheme as a valuable asset both in their operational and marketing activities.

“Looking forward, we anticipate the scheme will continue operating as it does today for around another two years. ACS is then expected to evolve and continue as an approval scheme for the industry, building on the successes of the scheme so far, so that security suppliers can continue to show that they meet these quality standards.”

The more companies that meet the ACS requirements, the more standards are raised within the private security industry. At February 2011, more than 700 suppliers held ACS status.

For more information follow this link 

28/02/2011 – SIA ACS Forum Announcement

The SIA have announced the dates for the next ACS Forums.  These forums are designed for approved contractors to exchange ideas with each other, as well as receive information from the SIA about ACS updates and licensing; and hear from expert speakers.

The six regional events will take place on the following dates:

  • Stoke: Fri 1 April
  • Doncaster: Weds 6 April
  • Belfast: Fri 8 April
  • Edinburgh: Tues 12 April
  • Swindon: Thurs 14 April
  • London: Weds 20 April

 For further information, contact the SIA directly.

2/2/2011 – SIA January Update gives information on their Annual Stakeholder Conference

This year the SIA will host two conferences instead of the usual annual event. This is to ensure that there is adequate opportunity for consultation and discussion as plans for a new regulatory regime are developed. The second event will be held later in the year. The conference is to take place in London on the 30 March 2011. The day will consider plans and timescales for the SIA ACS phased transition to a new regulatory regime.

The delegate fee is £160 + VAT at 20% for the day (total cost £192) and includes registration, lunch, refreshments, drinks and canapés.

Please click here for more information and to download the booking form.

22/12/2010 – SIA Chairman Looks Back at 2010

Baroness Ruth Henig the Chairman of the SIA has given an update on the SIA website. It starts by saying ” It has certainly been a year of change for the SIA; the Government announcement of a ‘transition to a new regulatory regime’ has presented new challenges for the organisation and it now begins to work with the industry to shape the future of regulation of private security.”

In the update under the section on Working with Stakeholders and the Future of Regulation, Baroness Ruth Henig states “New regulation will build on the successes of SIA licensing and the Approved Contractor Scheme, and because of the timescales involved to ensure things are done properly ministers have said that there will not be any major changes to SIA regulation or ACS before the London Olympics 2012. We intend to protect the investment licence holders and companies have made in training and SIA licensing so that they are not disadvantaged under the new system. But it is important that everyone in the security sectors understands that at present the current law remains in place.”

For the full contents of Baroness Ruth Henig’s update please click here

01/12/2010 – Chief Executive of the SIA writes a letter to the private security industry

Bill Butler the CEO of the SIA has written and sent an open letter to licence holders, and others in the private security industry to ensure everyone is properly informed on the future for the Regulator and licensing.

The SIA is leading the industry to determine how the private security sectors in the UK will be regulated in the future, ensuring that this builds on the successes of SIA licensing and the Approved Contractor Scheme (SIA ACS) to date.

Ministers have said that there will be no major changes to SIA regulation or the SIA ACS before the London Olympics in 2012.

For the full contents of Bill Butler’s letter please click here

25/10/2010 – SIA ACS Champion of the Year

FGH Security Limited was announced as the SIA ACS Champion of the year 2010 held at the Security excellence award held in London (21 Oct).  The category for ACS Champion is in its third year and is supported by the SIA. The award recognises approved contractors that have taken exceptional steps to raise their operational standards and promote good practice within the industry. For more information on the ACS Champion of the Year, click here

  • How may we help?

    Our team of Quality, Security and Training consultants are experienced at helping organisations of all sizes to achieve their accreditation goals.

    If you would like to find out how we could help you, please contact us.

    “I am delighted to note [your client]’s recent achievement of ACS status. It was clear that this firm had received sound advice and expert assistance.

Other sites of interest include:

Security Industry Authority (SIA) Skills For Security City & Guilds