Businesses with sponsor licences have a huge responsibility to ensure that the points based system is not abused. The role of the Authorising Officer is to effectively manage the licence and ensure the employer is not in breach of its sponsor duties. You must have one at all times and failure to have one in place could lead to your licence being suspended, downgraded or revoked.
UKVI expects the Authorising Officer to be the most senior person responsible for the recruitment of all workers and ensuring that the sponsor duties will be met. This person must be available to meet with compliance officers on visits and must have thorough knowledge of the employer’s HR processes and procedures.
Despite being responsible for the action of all SMS users, the Authorising Officer is not given automatic access to the system. If they would like access, they will need to be set up as a level 1 or 2 user.
The Authorising Officer is usually the first point of contact for UKVI and will be sent emails updating them on changes to sponsors duties, services, licence renewals and the renewal of unrestricted CoS allowances. For most changes on the SMS (such as reporting of mergers), the Authorising Officer will need to approve the request, sign and date submission sheets and ensure they are sent to UKVI with the supporting documentation within the deadlines specified.
UKVI recommends that Authorising Officers check the CoS of all sponsored workers on a monthly basis and instruct SMS users to report any migrant activity such as changes to salary promptly.