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How to apply for NSAfC accreditation


There are different eligibility requirements for clients (procuring construction projects) and contractors.

Both groups may make an application for a single project or a programme of related projects. In both cases, you must be able to quantify the employment and skills outcomes of your project or programme.


Your organisation can apply for NSAfC accreditation if it is a:

  • Legal entity responsible for the ongoing procurement of construction projects
  • Local authority in England with authority over planning or development control.

In our NSAfC guidance literature, such organisations are termed ‘clients’ and they follow the ‘client-based approach’ (CBA). The CBA is a framework to embed NSAfC principles contractually in the delivery of construction projects.

If you think your organisation might be eligible, please contact us before submitting your form. You can view the form before talking to us: NSAfC Client Submission.

Contact the NSAfC team for more information on making a client submission.


Contractors whose main business is within the construction industry may apply for accreditation if:

  • Their single project is of value and duration substantial enough (typically at least £10 million and lasting no less than 18 months) to deliver significant employment and skills outcomes
  • Their single project is not of substantial value or duration, but is outstanding and exceptional in nature, involving innovative or pioneering ways of working, and still delivers significant employment and skills outcomes in the local area
  • Their programme of projects is of value and duration substantial enough to deliver significant employment and skills outcomes.

Successful contractor applications follow what we call the ‘contractor-led approach’.

If you think your project might be eligible, please contact us before submitting your form. You can view the form before talking to us: NSAfC Contractor Submission.

Contact the NSAfC team for more information on making a contractor submission.

What happens next?

After you contact us, we will arrange a meeting with your local CITB representative who will support you throughout the application process.

Your representative will advise you how to complete the form, which should include an employment and skills plan (ESP) setting out your targets, and a method statement detailing how you intend to deliver them.

When ready, submit your application to your local representative. The National Construction Skills Academy Group (NCSAG) will assess your application and award status if appropriate.

The NCSAG is employer-led and comprises representatives from industry and stakeholder groups across the UK. It also provides strategic overview to the NSAfC.

Employment and skills plan

Clients should create an ESP during the tendering process. This document lists the project’s employment and skills areas – such as work placements, career or training events, jobs created and apprenticeships – which are usually aligned with a series of key performance indicators (KPIs) that underpin your agreement with us. Some local authorities have their own requirements for what they expect from an ESP.

In the ESP, the client indicates how many outcomes it expects for each of these headings; these are the minimum benchmarks that contractors must meet during the duration of the project.

The contractors help to complete the ESP, showing how and when they intend to achieve these outcomes on a month-by-month basis.

Clients, contractors and subcontractors are all likely to have a part to play in the implementation of the ESP.

The outcomes generally aim to deliver a range of benefits to local communities associated with the project, particularly concerning employment and skills. This community benefit is also known as social value.

Through an ESP, contractors can demonstrate their commitment to generating social value for the local communities in which they work.

Download an employment and skills plan template.

Method statement

Your method statement sets out how you intend to deliver and monitor your KPIs. It should detail which internal personnel and external stakeholders will contribute to the achievement of each KPI and what they will do.

It should include external partners by name, rather than just their institution, and list any existing partnerships you already have. It only contains information about delivering your NSAfC KPIs, and is not about other construction processes in the project.

Your method statement should give clear enough instructions to enable anyone coming new to the project to engage with the right people to fulfil each KPI. It should also help you to monitor your progress in relation to your KPIs.

Example method statement text

In this example, the method statement explains why a partner organisation is important – not just because it is local, but because of the relevance of its client base.

KPI 1a Work placements for people in education

The project skills co-ordinator (PSC) will contact Ann Other, the liaison officer at ABC College, which is based within 1 mile of the project and delivers BTEC diplomas in construction. Work placement opportunities will be offered to students at this college first as the experience is most relevant to their course. 

KPI 1b Work placements for people not in education

The PSC will contact Ben E. Factor at ABC Jobcentre Plus to offer work placements to their users. Unemployment is high in this area so there could potentially be a cohort of people looking to enter the construction industry.