Scottish National Standards for Information and Advice Providers

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

The SNSIAP are designed to help not-for-profit organisations providing housing, welfare benefits and money/debt advice in Scotland to assess and improve the quality of their advice services.

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

Accreditation also supports organisations to demonstrate to the public and funders that their advice service is well managed and provides good quality advice.

The accreditation process (both peer review and audit) is being funded by the Scottish Government for a further 3 years until March 2023. Accreditation is available free of charge to advice agencies, subject to availability.

Where can you find the Standards?

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

Before reading the Standards Framework please note the following:

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

Section 2 of the Standards Framework covers the competences that are the basis on which an agency’s Type II/ Type III casework is peer reviewed.  The competences have been updated to ensure they reflect current legislation.
Please note: While the SNSIAP Framework has not changed, the Scottish Government has updated the competencies for advisers (section 2) to ensure they reflect current legislation.

Section 3 of the Framework 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.

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 Sharefile?

Find out about sharing files securely and how to use it during peer review and audit processes.

List of accredited agencies

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.