Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to setting and raising standards for the temporary workforce. FCSA’s non-profit status is of fundamental importance for a number of reasons:
- Independence: Unlike other compliance review organisations in our sector, FCSA is not beholden to any particular interests, such as shareholders, which allows it to be more objective in its work. This is important because FCSA’s work often involves setting standards and developing policies that can have a significant impact on the industry. If FCSA were beholden to a particular group with a financial interest, it would be more likely to develop standards that may not be in the best interests of the industry as a whole. We recognised that to be truly independent, there was a need for independent assessments, and to do that, we created a panel of external industry-leading assessors from reputable firms.
- Transparency: We’re required to be transparent about finances and activities, which helps to build trust with our member stakeholders. This transparency is important because it allows members to see how it is using resources. We publish our codes to ensure the wider industry can see and understand the standards we set to achieve membership, but also to assist new/start-up firms in achieving a level of compliance by utilising the codes as a framework whilst they grow their business. Our codes are shared with key industry stakeholders, including but not limited to HMRC, DB&T, HMT, REC, APSCo and TEAM, before release to the public.
- Advocacy: FCSA plays a crucial role in advocating for the rights and interests of the temporary workforce and the freelancers/contractors they represent. As a non-profit organisation, our advocacy efforts are driven solely by the desire to ensure fair treatment, equitable practices, and the overall well-being of those who contribute significantly to the flexible labour market. We collaborate with policymakers, governmental bodies, and industry stakeholders to influence decisions that impact the freelance and contractor sector. By being independent and unbiased, we can effectively voice concerns, propose improvements, and promote policies that benefit both workers and the industry as a whole. Our commitment to advocacy strengthens our mission to foster a sustainable, ethical, and thriving environment for the temporary workforce.
In addition to these specific benefits, our non-profit status gives us credibility when dealing with the issues our industry is facing, including advocacy, providing guidance, resolving disputes, and promoting best practices. This is important because FCSA’s work is often used by government agencies, regulators, and other organisations to set standards and develop policies for the professional employment services sector. When these organisations use FCSA’s codes, they are more likely to do so because they trust that FCSA is a credible and authoritative source of information.
Our non-profit organisation is held accountable by the board, which is selected through a fair voting process by our members. Additionally, we have an Independent Arbitration Panel (IAP) consisting of industry figures who are not connected to our organisation. The IAP serves as the final arbiter in any disputes or complaints against our members.
Overall, FCSA’s non-profit status is a major asset to the organisation and to the professional employment services sector as a whole. It allows FCSA to carry out its work effectively and to make a positive impact on the industry.
Here are some of the specific ways that FCSA’s non-profit status has helped the industry:
- FCSA has developed a number of codes of compliance that set the gold standard for service providers in the industry. These frameworks help improve the quality of services offered by providers, in turn, protecting the interests of contractors and freelancers.
- FCSA continues to lobby government agencies and regulators on behalf of the industry. This lobbying has helped to ensure that the industry is held accountable in a way that is fair and beneficial to all.
- FCSA have an accredited member scheme, which allows, once approved, Umbrella firms, accountancy practices, PEO providers, CIS payrollers and Fixed term employers to display the FCSA badge. The FCSA badge means that they have passed the industry gold-standard FCSA accreditation process, with the codes of compliance covering over 670 annual assessment points
Note: This information is correct as of 14th August 2023