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Why Is FCSA Accreditation So Stringent?


FCSA accreditation takes almost a year to attain, which may seem like a while. Honestly, it’s a stringent process – but this is by no means a bad thing. When it comes to compliance in the freelancer and contractor industry, meticulousness is an absolute necessity.

In this piece, I explain why, and talk you through how our processes work.


Our in-depth processes

We want to evaluate a business’ operations in practice, not just in theory, which is why we have prerequisites to apply for FCSA accreditation. These relate to years of operation, audited accounts, financial liquidity, and the number of supported contractors. We also perform due diligence checks, which requires ‘A Fit and Proper Person Form’ to be completed for each director of the applicant.


From here, independent assessment takes place. You’ll have the choice from a list of FCSA code assessors, all of whom are appropriately qualified tax advisors or solicitors. They’ll review your business against our standards, which means you’ll need to submit certain paperwork, and there’ll be assessments where sampling takes place.


We’ll also perform a thorough site visit so we can interview core team members and make sure this compliance carries through in practice. For instance, we’ll trial scenarios and embark on random assessments.

Ensuring transparency

Members’ current practices are tested rigorously against our standards on an annual basis to ensure they remain compliant. That’s why FCSA accreditation is renowned for being the industry’s compliance gold standard. In fact, it’s one of the only compliance standards that’s recognised, and it’s endorsed by every UK leading recruitment body.

Whilst it may be a stringent and more difficult to attain accreditation, it’s key to note that we’re also the most transparent out there. Unlike other associations, we openly publish our codes of compliance, so you’ll know what our standards are, rather than receiving an accreditation claiming compliance at face value.

On top of this, we’re always striving to improve these standards – they change with the times to reflect current legislation. Where we previously asked for member contributions to set the codes, now, we collaborate with stakeholders to gain a wider input on what they should be, and we’re unlike anybody else in this respect. Ultimately, everyone in the industry wants the same thing, and has the contractors’ best interests at heart, so we should all work together. That’s why we invite others to meet with us at roundtables and other events.


Learn more about FCSA

So there you have it; that’s why FCSA accreditation is so stringent. I’ve given you a very whistlestop tour of our processes and how we work, but if you’d like to learn more about what we do, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can have a look around the FCSA website, or enquire with the team.