ACS has unveiled a new accreditation scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Trust Mark scheme, launched at the ACS Innovation Hub at Barangaroo on Thursday, provides a baseline standard for Australian businesses as they help assist others in their digital transformation.

Specifically aimed at SMEs, registration under the scheme represents an independent assurance that organisations maintain procedures and controls as part of their commitment to meeting the requirements of customers.

“Australia has some unique characteristics. We are a large country with businesses spread wide and far, and for the most part, small in size. Our Trust Mark has adopted international best practice principles, and developed a scheme which is unique and fit for purpose in Australia,” said ACS Director of Workforce Planning and Development, Louise Smith.

“Recognition under the Scheme represents an independent assurance that these organisations have implemented and maintained appropriate customer interfaces, competence, project management and document control as part of their commitment to understanding and meeting the service requirements of their customers,” said ACS Director of Workforce Planning & Development, Louise Smith.

Although comprehensive, the Trust Mark scheme requirements are designed to be relevant and manageable for SMEs.

Smith explained that although the ACS requirements closely correlate with the AS ISO 20000.1 service management system requirements, they are created to be more accessible for SMEs.

Rather, the initiative is viewed as a stepping stone for businesses obtaining certification to the requirements in AS/ISO 20000.1:2013 or ‘AS/ISO lite.’

“Trust Mark recognition will give SMEs an edge in the market as customers will be aware of the high standards they have had to achieve in order to gain this recognition, and we are encouraged to see organisations like Touchpoint and First Focus immediately seeing value in the program,” said ACS CEO, Andrew Johnson.

The Trust Mark launch, held at ACS's Innovation Hub in Barangaroo.

Speaking at the event on Thursday was Dr Ian Opperman, NSW Chief Data Scientist and Vice President (Academic) of ACS’s Technical Advisory Board.

He highlighted the importance of garnering trust as an enterprise in the fast-moving ICT space.

“I spend a lot of my time sharing data for really important projects inside NSW government, but ultimately every transaction, every time you share, every time you exchange, every financial transaction is based on trust. Ultimately, it’s people dealing with people,” he said.

“One thing you can’t do is declare yourself to be trusted. Having a peak body like ACS, which has society’s interest as a whole at its heart, is a really good way of getting that trust without having to declare it yourself.”

Also in attendance were the first two organisations to achieve recognition under the Trust Mark scheme, Touchpoint and First Focus.

TouchPoint Director Bill Freeman explained that the recognition will help the enterprise IT supplier pursue its goals.

“Touchpoint's vision is to deliver 'Outstanding customer service experiences',” he said. “When we began to explore the ACS Trust Mark scheme, it quickly became evident that this was an ideal fit for our business. The scheme provides a tangible and trusted level of assurance to all existing and prospective clients that Touchpoint maintains the highest quality standards.

Head of Client Services at First Focus, Philip Barton said the scheme helps reinforce company values.

“The Trust Mark accreditation provides an important validation of the best practice systems and processes we have developed, as we strive to make a difference for clients through better using IT. We believe the Trust Mark will come to represent high quality organisations in our industry that Australian businesses can confidently partner with."