AQS Process

The application and annual renewal process for AQS follows the six steps outlined below.


When you are ready to apply for the AQS, you should complete and submit the AQS Application Form and your supporting policies and procedures which are all listed at the back of the Application Form. The Application Form is your contract to proceed with the AQS assessment process and triggers the allocation of your AQS Assessor.

By reviewing your policies and procedures your Assessor will determine alignment against AQS requirements and produce a formal positioning report. The report will set out any corrective actions which you will be expected to address before your on-site assessment takes place. During this time your assessor will liaise with you to arrange an on-site date and address any of the actions identified in the report.

You may wish to use the Self-Assessment Internal Annual Review of Compliance tool we have developed to help you prepare for your Desktop and On-site assessment.


The on-site assessment visit needs to take place within 60 days of the Desktop Audit. You can liaise with your assessor to arrange a date that suits you and your team. The on-site assessment will be for at least a day and your Assessor will need to speak to members of the advice team as well as the person responsible for the advice service.

Your assessor will produce an Assessment Plan in consultation with you so you will have a clear schedule for the day and no what to expect throughout the course of the assessment.

At the end of the on-site assessment your assessor will produce a report which may include further corrective actions which you must address within 28 days to achieve accreditation.

You must complete the corrective actions identified and send the evidence required to your assessor (usually by email) within the specified timescale of 28 days. All assessment reports are signed off by the Advice Services Alliance at which point the Advice Quality Standard is awarded.

Celebrate your success! You will be given access to the AQS logo which you are encouraged to display on your website and within your promotional material. Share your success with Recognising Excellence and the Advice Service Alliance; please feel free to send us photographs of your celebration event and we will include this in the ASA newsletter.

The AQS award is made for a period of 2 years (24 months) and at the end of this period, the Advice Quality Standard will lapse and with it the licence to use the logo. In order to maintain AQS accreditation you are required to be reviewed every 2 years and your monitoring review assessment should not exceed your 2 year anniversary accreditation date.

Recognising Excellence will get in touch with you well in advance of your accreditation anniversary date to remind you that your review is due.

Please note you are not subject to a desktop review at the Monitoring Review Assessment stage.

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