Approved Provider Standard (APS)

What is APS?

Approved Provider Standard badgeThe Approved Provider Standard (APS) is the national quality standard designed specifically for all types of mentoring and befriending projects. Projects which are assessed as meeting the requirements of the standard are accredited for three years.

APS covers 10 requirements across four key areas supporting safe and effective practice in mentoring and befriending.

The four key areas of APS

Management and operation

  1. Does the project have clear aims?
  2. Is there an appropriate level of resources?
  3. Is there a commitment to safety of staff, service users and mentors and befrienders?

Service users

  1. Is there a clear process for the identification and referral of service users?
  2. Are the needs of the service users assessed in determining how mentoring and befriending can help?

Mentors and befrienders

  1. Is the recruitment and selection process for potential mentors and befrienders safe and effective?
  2. Do mentors and befrienders receive appropriate induction and training to provide effective support to service users?
  3. Is support provided to mentors and befrienders to help them develop their role?

The mentoring and befriending relationship

  1. Is there a clear and consistent place for matching service users with mentors and befrienders?
  2. Are the mentoring and befriending relationships regularly monitored to ensure progress is being made and outcomes are achieved?

Who is eligible to apply for APS?

APS accreditation is aimed at fully operational projects, but can also be used by those organisations that are in the process of setting up a project. APS provides an excellent framework for both developing your project and/or reviewing your existing project. However, when the APS assessment visit is carried out, the project must have mentoring or befriending relationships ongoing.

APS is relevant to all types of mentoring and befriending and can be applied to projects delivered locally, regionally or nationally and/or using a variety of methods and approaches. Organisations which deliver more than one mentoring or befriending project can also apply for APS.

Find out more about what’s involved in applying for APS


If you currently have APS and your accreditation is due to expire, you need to re-apply before expiry if you wish to continue to be accredited. You should apply at least six months before expiry to ensure continuous APS accreditation. You need to complete the same process as projects that are applying for the standard for the first time. If your project has previously been accredited with APS you can apply for re-accreditation at any time, even if your approval has expired. 

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