Who are FCSA?

Orange Genie Group joined FCSA in 2012 and since then has never looked back…  (to learn more about Orange Genie's time line click HERE

 

FCSA, the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association, is an independent, not-for-profit industry trade association founded to raise the standards of compliance, best practice and service levels for organisations providing services to the freelancer and professional contractor workforce and giving this vital community a voice. 

FCSA’s full members provide payroll, accountancy, and employment solutions to the freelancer and professional contractor workforce contributing to the competitiveness of UK plc.

FCSA has transparency at the heart of its values and central to its operation is a published Code of Compliance which full members are assessed to annually. The Code of Compliance has been developed and is under constant review by the members with the help, assistance and guidance of EY. HMRC are invited to comment on the codes before they are published and they recommend areas for improvement or clarification, a copy of each individual member’s annual assessment is sent HMRC for their records. This ‘open book’ policy with HMRC reduces compliance risks throughout the supply chain.     

The annual review is carried out by independent firms of regulated accountants and regulated legal practices. In order to become an assessor each firm has to complete a detailed and rigorous application and interview process to demonstrate their complete understanding of the business models and detail of the code. Currently three regulated accountancy firms, EY, Saffery Champness, and BDO and two regulated legal practices, Brabners and EY have been approved as assessors.  

This sets the standard for professional compliance and confirming that we work legally and ethically at all times. Our continuing membership adds further credibility to our reputation for compliance. 

FCSA’s Aims and Objectives:

-          Represent the whole sector at all levels of the regulatory and legislative processes

-          Work to raise standards and awareness of the sectors’ contribution to supply chain compliance

-          Supply information and advice to members and associates including market intelligence, research and legislative changes

-          Facilitate ethical behaviour by exposing worker exploitation, tax avoidance and stamping out poor practice

-          Raise standards of competence, professional knowledge and best practice through active programmes of education and training

-          Promote standards and service quality in the interests of customers

-          Provide a voice for the sector, promoting positive PR and communications

 

In 2015, the FCSA opened its doors as a Trade Association to provide a united voice for a fragmented and largely unregulated industry. Professional firms who operate in the sector and are working towards achieving the standards set out in the code of compliance are able to join the FCSA Trade Association as Associates. They accepted and agreed to be bound by a published code of ethics BUT they have not achieved the standards of compliance of full members and have not been independently assessed by our regulated assessors. 

 

It is important for flexible workers, recruitment firms and end-hirers who rely on the sector to understand the differences between:

 

     FCSA Full Members: 
Firms who have passed the independent annual compliance review carried out by regulated accountants and legal firms and review outcomes submitted to HMRC. Depending on their service offering they are allowed to use the FCSA Orange logos specifying compliant services:

      FCSA Member status is the compliance ‘gold standard’ and represents the most stringent independent assessment and verification of compliance that firms can achieve within the industry.

 

In an unregulated industry, the FCSA seeks to protect flexible workers, agencies and end-hirers by ensuring they are only working with the most reliable businesses. FCSA Membership is designed to demonstrate to Government, as well as freelancers, contractors and recruiters looking for a service provider, that a company is financially stable, operates to the highest standards of compliance and accountability and provides high quality professional services.

 

To qualify as a FCSA full Member, a firm must demonstrate its adherence with the FCSA’s Code of Compliance. This includes a rigorous independent review of its business structure, financials, services, operations, policies and processes. The review is carried out annually independent regulated firms with expertise in the sector. 

 

The review is evidence-based, and the findings are shared with HMRC in an act of unparalleled transparency. FCSA Member status is the only accreditation recognised by all of the UK’s leading industry bodies, including REC, APSCo and TEAM.

FCSA Members represent a ready-made Preferred Supplier List (PSL) and the industry’s highest stamp of endorsement for parties looking to appoint fully compliant firms to support them.

 

FCSA Associates:  

Firms who ‘self-certify’ and agree to adhere to FCSA Charter are allowed to use the blue FCSA Trade Association logo.

 

Associates must agree to adhere to the FCSA Charter - which sets out the minimum standards the FCSA expects of a firm operating in the sector - and ‘self-certify’ that their business operates within the law and is run by ‘fit & proper’ persons.

 

Associate status is not intended to be an independent verification of a firm’s compliance (unlike Full Member status), but does indicate a firm’s willingness to contribute to shaping the sector’s future and raising standards within the industry for the betterment of flexible workers.  

 

Associates should not to be confused with fully compliant Members who must pass a rigorous independent review conducted by regulated accountants and lawyers on an annual basis in order to qualify for Full FCSA Member status. 

 

Any firm who has committed to adhere to the FCSA Charter and discovered to be in contravention, or brings the industry into disrepute through illegal or unethical practices, will be rejected by the FCSA Trade Association.

 

FCSA Trade Associates may display the blue ‘FCSA Trade Association’ logo but not the orange logo reserved for Full Members.  

 

Currently there are 40 firms in the FCSA Trade Association, including Full Members who are automatically counted in the Trade Association. 

Learn more about the other accreditations/ awards Orange Genie have gathered HERE >>
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