The accreditation process starts with an agency completing a self assessment using the Self Assessment and Application form and guidance. Identifying the remit of your agency is important as it will determine which accreditation path you take. Accreditation is awarded on the basis of compliance with the Standards and in relation to the remit of an advice service.
By remit we mean the advice that you provide in housing and/or welfare benefits and/or money and debt. If you provide advice in any other areas, for example, employment or family law, these are not covered by the SNSIAP and can’t be accredited.
The remit of your advice is defined in the SNSIAP by the Type and Topic (for example Type II Housing) and sub-topic(s) (for example eviction) as set out in the competences section of the Standards Framework (Section 2). It also includes the background, context and overall purpose of your advice service.
Please remember to use the revised Standards Framework linked to above and not Section 2 of the original SNSIAP competences as they are now out of date.
You will be able to identify which accreditation path your agency should take once you have identified your remit and completed your self assessment. Whichever path you take, your first step must be to complete the Self Assessment and Application Form as this will tell you if you are ready to apply for accreditation or identify gaps or issues that should be resolved before you apply.
You do not have to apply for peer review if you only do Type I work in your agency. Your next step after self-assessment is to apply for Type I accreditation and audit against the Organisational Standards.
Type II and/or Type III
Your next step is to apply for peer review of your benefits casework if you do Type II and/or Type III work in any topics (e.g. benefits). Once you have successfully completed peer review you can apply for accreditation and audit for your Type II and/or Type III advice services.
Mix of Type I and Type II and/or Type III
If you provide Type I advice in a topic (e.g housing) but also provide Type II and/or Type III advice in another topic (e.g welfare benefits) you should follow the Type II/III step-by-step guide as you will be peer reviewed on your Type II and/or Type III cases first.
Once you have successfully completed your peer review in your Type II and/or Type III topics you should then book your audit and accreditation for all topics, as set out in the step-by-step guide.