Codes of Compliance

The FCSA operates a best practice Codes of Compliance (the “Codes”) designed to ensure that its Accredited Members provide services, advice and employment to the highest level of professional and ethical standards in the UK.

For recruitment agencies, end hirers, and contractors, the FCSA Codes of Compliance provides complete peace of mind when selecting umbrella employers, limited company advisors, and self-employer and CIS contractor providers for their preferred supplier list for the following reasons:

  • The FCSA Codes of Compliance are produced by our independent assessor panel in consultation with HMRC, BEIS, and leading industry trade bodies.
  • The Codes are published on the FCSA website so that agencies, end hirers, and contractors can see exactly what each member firm is assessed against.
  • All FCSA Accredited Members are tested annually against the FCSA Codes of Compliance by independent, carefully selected assessors.
  • The assessors are top-tier regulated chartered accountants and solicitors bound by their own professional standards and code of conduct and are independent of the FCSA.
  • The FCSA Codes of Compliance are continually updated to reflect current legislation.
  • Non-compliance by FCSA Accredited Members may result in the suspension or termination of FCSA Accredited Membership.

Revised Codes of Compliance (May 2021)

The revised FCSA Codes will apply to all new applicants from the 26th May 2021 and to current FCSA members from the 1st October 2021, the latter is to enable our independent assessors to evidence test current members against the newly revised codes. If you require a copy of the previous codes, please email:

Download Codes of Compliance   Read FCSA’s Constitution   Read FCSA’s Articles of Association

Pre-requisites for Potential Applicants

The scope of FCSA’s Accreditation covers 3 types of business operations in the UK: umbrella employers, limited company advisors, and self-employed/CIS contractor providers. In order to be eligible for FCSA Accreditation, all applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • A minimum of 2 years successful operation and 1 year’s full audited accounts for the legal entity seeking accreditation
  • A minimum of 75 contractors successfully supported by the service seeking accreditation
  • Minimum financial liquidity requirement – net assets to be at least 2.5% of the gross profit

The above minimum criteria are essential for FCSA to be able to assess applicants’ business operations in practice, not just in theory. It is important to realise that FCSA Accreditation is not just a tick-box exercise.  

Due Diligence Checks

A Fit and Proper Person form are required to be completed for each director of the business. Upon receipt of payment and the completed forms, the due diligence checks can be undertaken. Application for membership is to be made for all companies within the group, or who have common ownership/directorship, that offers services falling within the scope of FCSA Accreditation, even if they are separate companies and/or are branded separately. Once the Chief Executive and FCSA Board have approved the initial application, you will be invited to engage with an assessor.

The Assessment Process

In order to achieve FCSA Accreditation, applicants are independently assessed against our published standards (the “Codes”). The process requires applicants to provide documentary evidence of how they adhere to each and every standard.  In addition to the paperwork element, assessors conduct in-depth site visits to the applicant’s business to interview their staff, test scenarios, undertake random audits, listen to onboarding calls, and ensure that all policies and procedures are being implemented in practice.  

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