Payroll Assurance Scheme (PAS)

If you want assurance that your payroll team are dedicated to compliance, to know that their processes are robust and that lifelong learning and development is planned and encouraged, then the Payroll Assurance Scheme can offer you that confidence.

The Payroll Assurance Scheme is the prestigious gold standard for both people and payroll processes and is the much-coveted award in the payroll industry.

As the only voluntary accreditation on the market to be developed in partnership with HMRC, the scheme is designed to identify risks to a business arising from skills gaps or inadequate processes and is a huge accolade for payroll staff, once  accreditation has been achieved.

Examining over 100 facets of the payroll operation, the scheme is consistently evolving with the help of CIPP’s policy and research team, who are at the forefront of any changes to the payroll industry, you can be assured you are gaining a high quality, much sought after accreditation.

Please note that organisations signing up for the Payroll Assurance Scheme have to have completed at least one year of financial records.

What is involved during the PAS assessment?

Module one - Your processes

  • Checks that appropriate controls are in place to reduce the potential for payroll errors
  • All payroll processes are fit for purpose for the company’s requirements
  • Suitable processes are in place for preparing for legislative and organisational changes
  • The CIPP Payroll Assurance Scheme process will also highlight areas for development and improvement.
  • The process features multiple structured in-depth questions and document checks on your payroll and associated processes

Module two - Your people

  • Diagnosis of skills levels and learning and development needs
  • Review of appraisals and objectives that link into the organisation’s overall mission and vision
  • The scheme measures whether learning and development undertaken has been effectively to encourage life-long learning

What does the Payroll Assurance Scheme assessment not involve?

The scheme is focussed on checking your payroll processes and knowledge development, in order to promote compliance. The scheme therefore does not:

  • Validate transactions, calculations or returns
  • Spot check payslips
  • Guarantee any audit requests or lack of from HMRC
  • Focus on departments outside of the payroll process but it does look at interactions between them.

Why is it important to your business?

With UK payroll services accounting for up to £17 billion in payroll fraud*, the CIPP’s Payroll Assurance Scheme offers peace of mind to all who work with the industry or are seeking payroll services.

  • Use of the CIPP’s Payroll Assurance Scheme accreditation logo on your organisation’s communications and marketing materials, demonstrates to employees, customers, and suppliers that your organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice.
  • The scheme demonstrates to staff that the company is dedicated to lifelong learning and development, therefore increasing staff motivation and improvements in productivity.
  • The CIPP’s Payroll Assurance Scheme offers clear evidence to customers that compliance is key, thus making your procurement an easier choice.
  • Improvements in the process lead to greater effectiveness and efficiencies within the payroll function in turn leading to overall time and cost savings for the organisation
  • Improved service levels to colleagues (in-house payroll) or customers (managed service providers)

* Annual-Fraud-Indicator-report-2017 (crowe.com) accessed 17/06/24

What does it mean if an employer or supplier has the accreditation?

It means:

  • The organisation is dedicated to compliance and best practice in payroll
  • The payroll and associated processes have been CIPP measured and found to be fit for purpose at the time of assessment
  • The organisation has suitable processes in place for preparing and delivering legislative changes
  • Necessary areas for development and improvement are highlighted and have been actioned
  • Better engagement and retention of staff due to better management of the payroll function
  • The organisation is dedicated to life-long learning and development
  • The organisation has shown openness and mitigated the risk of compliance failures by opting to engage in PAS which is ultimately, a best practice tool and a voluntary assessment.

Interested? What are the next steps?

If you wish to become accredited and gain the CIPP’s Payroll Assurance Scheme kitemark, then simply follow the steps below:

  • Contact us to discuss your requirements and to find out more about the scheme and its pricing structure.

  • Once you have signed and paid:

- You will be allocated an highly experienced assessor who will provide support on and before the day of your assessment. Before the agreed date, you will need to complete a pre-assessment form, which helps your assessor identify areas to cover on the day

- On a mutually convenient date**your face to face assessment will take place

- During the day, your assessor will review your processes and procedures against a benchmark scorecard, asking for evidence as required

- Your assessment is checked and countersigned by another assessor

- Result is issued to you

Get started

For more information on the PAS accreditation and the benefits to your organisations, please email us or call 0121 712 1000.

Contact us

If you wish to make a complaint against an organisation holding the Payroll Assurance Scheme accreditation, please see the important information below.

  • Does your complaint directly relate to payroll processes. If not, you may wish to direct your complaint to one the following:

    • ACAS

    • Citizens Advice Bureau

    • Equality and Human Rights Commission

    • HMRC

    • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

    • Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

  • The CIPP will make sure that is appropriate that your complaint is an issue that we can consider. You will notify you whether your complaint is being investigated or not within 10 working days

  • If your complaint results in a reassessment of an accredited organisation you will be required to pay £750+VAT to cover the costs incurred. This is non-refundable

    • There are three possible outcomes to your complaint:

    • Not upheld

    • Partly upheld and the PAS organisation may be required to implement updated or new processes to maintain their accreditation

    • Upheld and the organisation will have their accreditation withdrawn until such time that they can prove that they meet the standards required for accreditation

Click here to submit a complaint 

*Prices valid until 30 June and reviewed annually.
**Assessment must take place within three months of payment, otherwise additional charges will apply.