The step-by-step guide below sets out clearly what you have to do to gain Type I accreditation.

Please email if you are still unsure of what is required after reading this guidance or you require further information about applying for re-accreditation.

Before continuing you should check that your advice agency is considered Type I under the SNSIAP.

Preparing for accreditation

Step 1 - Get ready to self assess against the organisational standards

Watch the Introduction to the audit function presentation here.

Watch the guidance slides for each of the individual Organisational Standards.

Read the Self Assessment Guidance to help you identify what evidence the auditor will be looking for when you are audited.

Step 2 - Complete your self assessment

Step 3 - Are you ready for Type I accreditation?

Do not send the completed Self Assessment and Application Form to us until Step 7.

Applying for accreditation

Step 4 - Apply for accreditation

When you are satisfied that you are ready for Type I Accreditation you should email the Scottish Government to apply. Your email must include:

  •  Name of your organisation
  •  Main contact details
  •  The topic(s) of advice you wish to be accredited in, that is housing and/or welfare benefits and/or money and debt
  •  Confirmation that you have completed the Self Assessment and Application Form.

Step 5 - Scottish Government forwards your application email to us

We are administering SNSIAP accreditation for the Scottish Government.


Step 6 - Auditor arranges visit

If not already agreed, our auditor will contact your agency as soon as possible after receiving the information from the Scottish Government and agree a date for a desktop audit review in the following quarter, depending on auditor availability.

The auditor will also explain what information you will need to provide and when.

There will be a commitment by all agencies to ensure that all actions, requests, and documentation requested and agreed with the SNSIAP audit function is provided in the agreed timelines.

Failure to comply with these requirements will result in an agencies application for accreditation to be stopped, which where appropriate will result in the organisation being removed from the list of accredited agencies immediately or when the current accreditation lapses.

Agencies will then be required to make a further application for accreditation to the Scottish Government and the SNSIAP audit function will determine when or if this would be able to be conducted, dependent on capacity of the SNSIAP audit function.


Step 7 - Send your forms to us

You should submit your SNSIAP Self Assessment and Application Form (and all supporting documents) via our file-sharing platform to the auditor a minimum of five weeks before the audit visit takes place.

Step 8 - Audit visit

The audit visit takes place - you can find out what to expect here.


Step 9 - Draft audit report sent to you

  • You will be made aware of the outcome of the Audit and the Auditor will forward you a copy of the draft Audit Report, where you have provided all further information requested by the auditor as per agreed timescales
  • You are expected to consider the draft report and where you have any comments these can be discussed with the Auditor before the report is finalised (two weeks maximum)
  • Any changes to the report must be supported by evidence from the agency and agreed by the Auditor.


Step 10 - Final report sent to the Scottish Government

We will send the finalised report to the Scottish Government including a recommendation regarding accreditation.

Step 11 - Outcome

The Scottish Government will inform you of the outcome of your application for accreditation.

What happens if I don’t pass the Audit?

Your agency will be given 12 months to implement the recommendations made in your audit report and you will be audited again via a desktop review.

Please email if you have any questions about this.