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ACS Eliminated

by msecadm4921

The SIA is to withdraw the Fast Track approval route to gaining Approved Contractor Status from April 1.

The regulator points to industry feedback received during the 2008 review of the ACS scheme was that Fast Track had served its purpose and should be withdrawn.

Fast Track application was put in place to allow security contractors with certain existing approvals a Fast Track first time entry route into ACS. After being available for four years in England and Wales, three years in Scotland and one year in Northern Ireland it is to be phased out. This will simplify the ACS application process and help to reduce the risk of non-conformance with the ACS standard, the authority adds.

In April 2008, the SIA published its response to the ACS Review and agreed to phase out the Fast Track route but only after it had been made available in Northern Ireland. The SIA will cease accepting applications for Fast Track approval from 1 April 2010. This has been agreed by the Home Office.

Details of the ACS reviews can be found on the SIA website: http://www.the-sia.org.uk/home/acs/acs_review.htm

So the two remaining routes to approval will be:

Standard – the company uses an ACS Self Assessment Workbook to assess themselves and there is a subsequent assessment by an SIA accredited assessing body.

Passport – allows companies who hold accreditation recognised by the SIA – such as NSI – to be equivalent to the ACS standard to be approved without an additional ACS assessment.

There are 655 Approved Contractors, which has risen steadily and has lately reached a plateau. The SIA had mooted a total of 700 as a target. See the April print issue of Professional Security magazine for contract guarding views on the ACS and how or whether it ought to change.

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