The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) is the UK’s leading professional recruitment industry body. APSCo provide all firms involved in the recruitment of professional talent, who have a commitment to excellence, the specialist support and distinctive voice they need to be successful. It gives candidates and employers a trusted badge of quality whilst providing member firms with an innovative range of services designed for them by recruitment experts.

Cloud9 Umbrella upholds the APSCo code of conduct across all areas of business to offer independent contractors, freelancers and recruitment agencies the security that we are approved umbrella suppliers.

Professional Passport

Professional Passport offers cost-effective compliance and risk management solutions, along with unbiased, dependable advice and support to everyone involved in the temporary workers marketplace. Professional Passport is an independent organisation with no links, shareholders or investors that are agencies, end clients or providers.

Professional Passport is not reliant on advertising income, therefore are not exposed to the inherent commercial pressures that might otherwise conflict with their principles. PP is the largest independent assessor of provider compliance across the many aspects of legislation.

This service significantly reduces the risks of unexpected debts or tax bills to contractors. It also allows agencies to provide independent support and guidance, where requested, to their contractors without the associated risks.


PRISM is a not for profit professional trade association that represents and promotes its members’ interests who all operate within the professional payment intermediaries sector.

The sector covers providers who offer support to temporary workers and recruitment companies by providing payroll services, employing workers through an umbrella company structure, and accountancy services support to workers who operate through their own limited company, often referred to as a PSC.

PRISM is not a compliance standard although we THEY do recognise and differentiate those providers who have invested in independent compliance verification through our membership levels.

Bauer & Cottrell

Founded in 2003, Bauer & Cottrell offer a comprehensive independent support service to Contractors and are available to help and advise you from the moment you decide to become a Contractor through to full representation in the event of an HMRC IR35 investigation into your status. Giving proper consideration to your IR35 status should be the starting point for everyone as it will fundamentally affect how you choose to operate. More importantly you will be in a better position to establish what your tax and NIC liabilities are from the outset enabling you to plan and make appropriate business decisions.

Bauer & Cottrell is staffed by ex-Revenue officials, IR35 experts and a member of the IR35 Forum.

Freelance Supermarket, showcases the best of freelance services in the UK. It is the web’s single meeting place for Contractors, Agents, Agencies, Clients, Umbrellas and Accountancy Service Providers (ASPs). A price and service comparison website as well as a rich source of online information, facts and figures.

Umbrella Companies

Umbrella Companies website is a key resource for finding information about contractor umbrella companies in the UK. It is geared towards freelance contractors, recruiters, contractor accountants, and anyone else with an interest in our industry.

Always at the forefront of the umbrella company industry since 2003, the website brings you the latest news, views and insights in a stimulating, lively and authoritative way.

With twice weekly updates, it provides comprehensive round-ups of the latest news affecting umbrella companies in the UK and what’s coming next and how it will affect you as a contractor, recruiter or umbrella company worker. The site is by the community, for the community and provides the inside track on the Agency Workers Directive, IR35, dispensations, overarching employment contracts and HMRC compliance.


All Umbrella Companies Are Equal (AUCAE) are a self-regulating body which was set up to address issues of non-compliance within the umbrella company industry and currently represent over a third of UK umbrella companies with membership growing steadily. AUCAE have worked with HMRC to ensure that the standards all members work to are compliant with current UK tax and employment legislation and members sit on a number of HMRC and Treasury consultative committees. This means that they are in a position to help shape future policy for the industry.

AUCAE was formed to support compliant umbrella companies, to work with HMRC and the Treasury to create a level playing field for umbrella companies and to provide a valuable resource for both recruiters and contractors. Tax avoidance scheme providers, who label themselves as umbrella companies, are putting contractors and recruiters at risk of financial penalties from HMRC; their marketing targets the unwary and is often slick and seemingly credible.