Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers

The Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (SNSIAP) are designed to help not-for-profit organisations providing housing, welfare benefits and money/debt advice to the public in Scotland to assess and improve the quality of their advice services.

Their primary purpose is to encourage agencies to adopt a culture of continuous improvement for their advice work.

Accreditation also demonstrates to the public and funders that your advice service is well managed and provides good quality advice.

The accreditation process (both audit and peer review) is funded until November 2019 and we will not charge an organisation that is going through the process.

You can view recent news article and updates about SNSIAP here.

What are the SNSIAP?

The Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (SNSIAP): A Quality Assurance Framework (2009) is the accepted quality framework for agencies providing advice on housing, money, debt and welfare benefits issues.

The SNSIAP framework is owned by the Scottish Government. In 2005 accreditation was introduced to provide formal third party recognition of achievement of the Standards.

Where can I find the Standards?

You can find the Standards on the Scottish Government’s website.

Before reading the Standards please note the following:

Section 1 of the Framework – This covers the six Organisational Standards – these remain current and will be used to measure the performance of agencies at audit.

Section 2 of the Framework – This covers the competences that are the basis on which an agency’s Type II and/or Type III casework is peer reviewed.  Peer review is carried out by a team of trained peer reviewers with current specialist knowledge, skills and experience appropriate to the topic area they are assessing.  Peer review examines the quality of advice given in a sample of the agency’s casefiles.

DO NOT REFER TO SECTION 2 OF THE FRAMEWORK AS IT IS OUT OF DATE. An updated Section 2 containing up-to-date agency and adviser competences can be accessed on the Scottish Government’s website.

Section 3 of the Framework – This is a Good Practice Guide. It was accurate at time of publication in 2009 but you should now refer to the SNSIAP Self-Assessment Guidance to help you to prepare for audit and peer review.

Have the SNSIAP changed?

No, the SNSIAP framework has not changed. However Section 2 covering Competences for Advisers has been updated to ensure it reflects current legislation.

Choose your type of accreditation

Types of information and advice under the SNSIAP

Learn about what type of advice your agency provides under the Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers (SNSIAP).

Type I accreditation

View the Type 1 accreditation process for agencies providing information, sign-posting or referring the user to other available resources or services.

Type II & III accreditation

Learn about the accreditation process for agencies carrying out casework, advocacy, representation and mediation in court or tribunal cases.

CAB accreditation

Read about how Citizens Advice Bureaux must follow the same accreditation process as other agencies offering Type II/III advice with a minor difference.

Learn about the accreditation process

Self assessment and remit

Learn more about the self assessment process and the different remits covered by the SNSIAP.

What to expect from audit?

Learn about what will take place during your audit and what our auditor will do.

Peer review

Find out about the peer review process, how it will be carried out and what happens after it is completed.

Client consent

Learn about the importance of obtaining client consent to use files for peer review for the SNSIAP accreditation process.

Want to know more?

Data protection

Learn about sharing information and the benefits of data sharing agreements during the accreditation process.

What is Nextcloud?

Find out about Nextcloud and how to use it during peer review and audit processes.

List of agencies already accredited

View the agencies that have completed the accreditation process since 2017.

SNSIAP enquiries

Find out how to make a general enquiry about the Scottish National Standards or contact us about audit or peer review applications.