About the UK Spill Contractors Accreditation Scheme

Accredited Spill Contractors mean Consistent Standards

The UK Spill Contractors Accreditation Scheme is voluntary and exists to maintain consistent standards of oil spill clean up in the UK. The standards for Accreditation in the Scheme are supported by the United Kingdom Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the United Kingdom Environmental Agencies (the Agencies) and provides a guide to consumers, industrial or commercial organisations of good practice.

Contractors, or other organisations seeking Accreditation are inspected by independent, qualified, and experienced Scheme Assessors. An Assessor will review new applications, visit, inspect and award Accreditation status to each Contractor, or organisation who complies with the requirements of the Scheme. Those Accredited are then monitored, and must submit an Annual report, to be Re Accredited, with an on site visit at least every 3 years.

The Scheme is supervised by a Steering Group, chaired by the Agencies, that represents both Agencies, Contractors and related interest groups, which meets at least annually. The Scheme is managed at arms length by UKSpill, the spill industry trade association, through its Executive Director as Scheme Manager, who reports to the Steering Group on the Scheme, and with the approval of the Agencies, appoints Independent Scheme Assessors to inspect, assess and award accreditation for all contractors/organisations listed on this website.

The UKSpill Association provides financial support for the Scheme, and hosts the website for the UK Spill Contractors Accreditation Scheme.

Find an Accredited Spill Contractor in your area.

Find out more about UKSpill

Read guidance notes about The Scheme.


Key points

  1. Expanding Modular format with Annual Re Assessment to support On Line database.
  2. Changes to modular Accreditation categories, INTRODUCING two entry modules – Module 0, Information/Standards Compliance, and Module 1, Basic Spill Responder, both of these modules are mandatory for all companies wishing to be accredited or re accredited.
  3. In addition, options exist to add specialist modules for Spills in Fresh Water /Inland Water, Spills in Ground Water, Contaminated Soils, and Road Tanker Roll Over. Modules for Marine Spills have been extended in scope to include Ports, Harbours, Shoreline and Offshore, and separately a Module for Ship Sourced Chemical Spills (HNS). A module for Onshore Chemical Spills (land sourced Hazmat, CBRN) is to be introduced.
  4. Cost of Accreditation based on an Initial Accreditation Fee, followed by annual module fees, with no extra fees for additional bases or spill visits. The Scheme is self funding, and as result of the Agencies requirements, increased site visit frequency for companies results in a fee increase of £150 in 2014.

Annual Scheme Fee

Fee: £650

MANDATORY Accreditation Modules

Standards Compliance & Company Information

Module 1. Basic Spill Responder
Annual Fee: £100 non refundable, in event of failure after site visit, if accredited covers first year fee for Module 1. Applicable to all

OPTIONS – SPECIALIST Accreditation Modules

Module 2. Freshwater/Inland Water Spills
Annual Fee: 100

Module 3. Ground Water Spills
Annual Fee: 100

Module 4. Tanker Rollover/Product Uplift
Annual Fee: 100

Module 5. Marine Oil Spills
Demonstrate capability to safely and effectively respond to a spill in a maritime environment.
This has two sub modules
a. Ports, Harbours, Shoreline
b. Offshore
Annual Fee: £100 per sub module

Module 6. Marine Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Spills (Ship Sourced)
Demonstrate capability to safely and effectively respond to spills involving HNS.
Annual Fee: 500

Module 7. Onshore Chemical Spills (Land Sourced Hazmat/CBRN)

Module 8. Contaminated Soils
Annual Fee: 100



The Environment Agency for England & Wales, (EA), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, (SEPA), Northern Ireland Environment Agency, (NIEA), Natural Resources Wales, (NRW) and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, (MCA) as the UK Agencies and supporting the Scheme, have agreed to these changes to overhaul the content and structure of the UK Spill Contractors Accreditation Scheme at the Annual Steering Group meeting in October 2013.

The changes will take place with immediate effect, and as before the Steering Group recognises that the scheme is voluntary and to succeed the scheme must offer value to those seeking Accreditation, and maintain standards to keep the support of the Agencies.

The basis for Accreditation is the modular Assessment Matrix, available On Line (OLA) where the technical standards have been reviewed and upgraded in a modular format to be loaded on line into a database to support the Agencies in the event of need in an emergency.

Any contractor or organisation accredited on this Scheme will be recognised in the UK as complying with Standards supported by the Agencies, and in the case of the Marine Module as satisfying compliance with the OPRC requirements of the MCA.
The Scheme has changed to monitoring via the ANNUAL Re Accreditation Report, and On Line Assessment, with physical inspection of companies at a 3 year interval, and for all New Entrants to the Scheme. Accredited Contractors are therefore required to make a submission either by post or On Line to update their information, and provide a case study of a recent spill or spill exercise, and a listing of spills attended over the previous year,(if not completing an online monthly spill report) BY 31 JANUARY OF EACH YEAR. In the event of failure to complete this Annual Report, Accreditation will be suspended.

Every contractor/organisation in the scheme will, after submission of the Annual Report, including the case study, the list of spills and payment be reviewed by the Assessor, and APPROVED status will be confirmed. If not, a site inspection will be made.
The Scheme Manager has the authority of the Steering Group to publish the status of each Contractor/Organisation in the scheme, and award Approved status if all the requirements, including payment are complied with. If an Accredited Contractor/Organisation does not comply within 28 days, the Scheme Manager will change the status to PENDING, and if the non compliance is not resolved with 3 months, the status will be changed to SUSPENDED.

Over the year, the Assessor will make random site/spill inspections of up to 50% of contractors to verify capabilities.
Payment for Accreditation will be required with submission of the Annual Assessment Report, and Approval status will only be issued on completion of all parts including payment.

*Pdf versions will be available

The Annual Fee includes all site/spill inspections, and covers all bases operated by an Accredited Contractor. It is essential that contractors list all bases WITH POST CODES in the On Line Assessment as locations will be listed on a Google map of the UK on the UKSpill website.

The basis for information about the scheme is currently on the website www.spillonline.org which is included within the UKSpill website www.ukspill.org and has links with the Agencies' websites.


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