What is FCSA and why our accreditation is important

20 July 2021

As a freelance contractor, you have, at some point, looked at choosing the right umbrella company to work with. But with so many providers out there, how do you know that you are picking the right one?

After all, you want to make the most of the benefits of the umbrella trading vehicle with the least risks and headaches involved. When you trust an umbrella provider to give you the best and compliant advice, you want to make sure that they operate to the highest of standards.

Compliance and Standards of Service

The company you’d want to work with should be a reputable firm that offers the highest standards of services and compliance. Ideally, these firms would be audited by a trade body or association, so you have a guarantee as to what you can expect.

This is particularly important now with the freelance sector in the government’s focus and due to the recent changes in the IR35 legislation.

It is more important than ever that both contractors and agencies can rely on a reputable firm to provide compliant advice.


SmartWork’s accreditation comes from FCSA (The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association), which is the UK’s leading membership body dedicated to raising standards and promoting compliance for the temporary labour market.

FCSA’s “codes of compliance” are recognised as the gold standard in the industry, and its members go through the most stringent audit process on an annual basis.

  • The FCSA Codes of Compliance has been developed by Ernst & Young, in consultation with HMRC, and is available to the public on the FCSA website.
  • All FCSA Accredited Members are tested annually against the FCSA Codes of Compliance by independent, carefully selected assessors.
  • The assessors are top-tier regulated accountants and solicitors bound by their own professional standards and code of conduct and are independent of the FCSA.
  • The FCSA Codes of Compliance is continually updated to reflect current legislation.
  • Non-compliance by FCSA Accredited Members results in the suspension or termination of FCSA Accredited Membership.
  • No FCSA Accredited Member is allowed to operate Offshore Schemes, Loan Schemes, Trusts, Managed Services Companies Schemes, Pay-day-by-Pay models, or similar.

Source: FCSA.org.uk

If you are already a SmartWork employee, you have nothing to do as you are already safe with us. If you are looking for a reliable umbrella company that prides itself in its client-focused approach, contact us at 0800 434 6446 or e-mail info@smartwork.com.