The benefits of using an SIA approved contractor for your business security

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing a security provider. You’ll want to ensure you make the right decision and can feel confident that your needs and expectations will be met.

Depending on your individual business needs, and the type and frequency of services you require, there will be certain key questions you should ask of a prospective supplier. They include:

  • How long have they been established?
  • How do they vet and train staff?
  • What accreditations and certifications do they hold?
  • What insurance do they hold?
  • What do their customers say about them?

Approved Contractor Scheme

One check to make is whether the company holds approved contractor status, under the Security Industry Association’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme.

The SIA is the organisation responsible for regulating the UK’s private security industry. It manages the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS), which is a voluntary scheme that independently measures private security suppliers against around 90 operational and performance standards.

Organisations who meet the standards are awarded approved contractor status. They must re-register every year and renew their approval every three years.

You can check whether a potential provider is approved by visiting the SIA website (where you can also check someone is licensed, as they are required to be by law).

Each year every approved contractor will be assessed and given a score, which will be verified by an independent assessor. Typically, a company that has achieved a score of 67 or higher would be in the top half of performance for approved contractors generally, while a company that has achieved a score of 150 or higher would be in the top 5%.

The benefits of using an approved contractor:

Choosing a security provider who has approved contractor status can be taken as the minimum level of proof of their commitment to quality, customer service and the licensing of staff members. It also offers assurance that every private security operative supplied by the company will be working within the law.

Additional benefits include:

Best Practice and Continuity of Quality

The employment practices of an approved contractor have been extensively assessed, in respect to quality standards and following industry methods of best practice. Should the firm ever need to use a sub-contractor, they should only do so with another SIA Approved Contractor, thereby maintaining the integrity of your security supply.

Continuity of Service

Any security provider, whether they are an approved contractor or not, should only deploy staff who hold a valid and relevant SIA licence. To do otherwise, would be a criminal offence.

Approved contractors can be given special dispensation to deploy staff who have completed their training and are waiting for their SIA licence application to be processed. They are therefore able to offer greater flexibility and operational effectiveness, when supplying security services.

Clear Customer Focus and Increased Flexibility

You can expect effective and customer-focused procedures to be in place that can help overcome any issues arising in service delivery. The ACS Standard encourages service customisation, rather than 'off-the-shelf' packages. This helps ensure that the services which are delivered are more closely tailored to the precise requirements of a business.

Leadership and Innovation

The ACS is a progressive quality initiative. It is also a voluntary scheme, so you can expect accredited providers to be responsive to change and swift to adopt new methods and best practices.

The Extended Police Family

The status of the ACS is recognised by the police and offers the potential for enhanced working relationships. The aim is to provide practical benefits through 'joined-up' police, business and community initiatives.

As a recognised hallmark of quality within the security industry, the SIA approved contractor scheme is a great place to start. But don’t stop there. Ask for a full break down of all the accreditations, certifications and professional memberships a security provider may hold. For example, the Approved Contract Scheme Pacesetters, which highlights the top 15% within Approved Contractors within the security industry.

That way, you’ll be making sure you have some of the best in the industry looking after your people, property and assets.

For a no obligation chat about your security requirements, or for any more information, please call the team at Venture on 0800 021 3949.