Role and Purpose
AIC Services set up the Trade Assurance Consultant Register (TACR) in 2022.
It is established to aid participants of AICS Trade Assurance schemes in sourcing support from external consultants to meet the requirements of the schemes. This is achieved by developing a register to include professional consultants and advisers who have relevant qualifications and experience.
TACR recognises the role that consultants have in provision of advice and guidance to participants relevant to the AIC Trade Assurance schemes in supporting:
- Feed and food safety: FEMAS – Feed Materials Assurance Scheme; TASCC – Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops; UFAS – Universal Feed Assurance Scheme
- Fertiliser safety and security: FIAS - Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme
- Seed quality: ESTA – European Seed Treatment Assurance
- Renewable Energy Directive RED
TACR is managed by AIC Services. It is administered by AIC Services and AIC Ltd.
It is the responsibility of AIC Services to:
- ensure that the register is maintained and regularly reviewed so that it continues to be fit for purpose and meets its objective
- meet as a team to review applications and confirm inclusion, amendments or removals to or from the TACR
- communicate with members of the TACR
- encourage new consultants to join and communicate the benefits
- communicate with scheme participants to raise the profile of the TACR and benefits of use
- report to AIC Services Board
TACR is operated as a not for profit register. It is financed by subscription, renewable annually and taking into account any existing membership of AIC.
The subscription level is set and agreed by AIC Services and AIC.
Joining the Trade Assurance Consultants Register (TACR)
Consultants may join the register on an individual basis following review by AIC Services of their application information including details of relevant qualifications and experience. The consultant must also agree to abide by the TACR professional conduct standards.
Inclusion on the TACR is offered as an additional benefit to consultants who are already members of AIC Ltd, without an additional fee, subject to completion of the application procedure.
Application form available here: tbc
Suspension from the Trade Assurance Consultant Register (TACR)
Consultants may be suspended and removed from the TACR for various reasons including
bringing AIC, AIC Services, AIC Services Trade Assurance Schemes into disrepute
failing to abide by the professional conduct standards outlined above
non-payment of fees requested
failure to provide information requested relevant to inclusion on the TACR within an agreed timescale
Resolution of suspension should be agreed in discussion with AICS within 30 days of notification of suspension. If a positive resolution is not agreed by this point, the consultants entry will be removed from the TACR.
During the period of suspension, this status may be displayed on the TACR webpage at the discretion of AIC Services.
On a permanent suspension from the list, a notification will be added to the webpage and any use of the TACR logo by that consultant must cease immediately.
A consultant may reapply to join the scheme after a minimum period of 6 months and will be required to go through the normal application process.
Disputes or complaints
If a dispute or complaint against TACR occurs, it will be referred to AIC Services for resolution in the first instance.
In the event that a fair and equitable resolution is not reached within a reasonable timescale (usually up to 28 days), then the matter will be referred to the Chief Executive of AIC Ltd who is empowered to call upon the resources required to reach a fair and reasonable resolution.
It should be noted that AIC Services provides the Trade Assurance Consultant Register as a service to trade assurance participants. AIC Services does not accept liability for actions of individual persons or businesses listed if the services sourced via the Register are used. Complaints or disputes between consultants and their clients should not be referred to AIC Services.
TACR is not a legal entity, nor does inclusion on the TACR confer any legal rights or liabilities.
Whilst TACR sets professional conduct standards by which those listed should abide, TACR or AIC Services or AIC Ltd, are not responsible or liable in any way for any actions or advice given by a TACR listed consultant. Nor will these parties be responsible or liable should a participant fail a scheme certification audit with resultant loss of business following actions based on the relevant advice given by a TACR listed consultant.
Rights and Benefits
TACR benefits will be conferred only when the member annual fees are paid and up to date.
Inclusion in TACR does not confer any legal rights to the consultant but it does confer a status and industry standing. Application to join TACR is voluntary.
Inclusion in TACR recognises professional consultants who can provide advice and training to support the activities of AIC Services Trade Assurance Scheme participants. TACR is not a form of accreditation.
AICS will list consultant details in a way that recognises qualifications and/or experience for specific trade assurance schemes and describes the services provided to the participant, based on the information provided to them on application.
Consultants who have joined TACR will be provided with AICS Briefings relevant to the trade assurance schemes for which they offer participant support services in order to maintain up to date knowledge of the schemes.
Consultants added to the TACR are permitted to use the TACR logo and the supported scheme logo(s) on their websites and promotional materials, within the AIC Services Trade Assurance Brand Guidelines.
Telephone or email requests for support received by AIC from scheme participants will be directed to the TACR webpage.