The FCA Member Standards promoting excellence in franchising
One of the hallmarks of a reputable industry sector is a commitment to high standards of personal and professional conduct. The FCA’s Member Standards are framed to enhance public perceptions of franchising, help safeguard the investments of franchisors and the businesses of franchisees, protect franchise networks from unfair or unethical attack, and provide guidance for those seeking to commence their franchising journey.
The Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) encourages its members to maintain standards of conduct worthy of franchise sector professionals. These Member Standards are designed to provide members of the FCA with an authoritative guide on acceptable standards of conduct.
The FCA believes the Australian franchise sector to be well regulated, with the Franchise Code of Conduct (“the Code”) allowing for adequate dispute resolution procedures and disclosure provisions to assist and guide the sector. It also considers that the franchise relationship between the franchisor and franchisee can be developed even further with best practice guidelines in the form of Member Standards.
It is the FCA’s view that members gain significant market benefit in identifying themselves with the FCA and, as such, the business practices and activities of members should work towards franchise best practice.
The Member Standards do not seek to pre-empt every franchise relationship; rather, they serve to articulate values upon which FCA members can structure their franchise relationships and should conduct their businesses.
If members do not comply with FCA Member Standards, investigative and disciplinary processes will be enacted. It is not intended for breaches of FCA Member Standards to have legal consequences other than in relation to membership of the FCA. Clause 2.10(1)(b) of the FCA Constitution empowers the FCA Board (by a 75% majority) to censure, suspend and/or expel from the FCA any member who fails to comply with FCA Member Standards.
The FCA will respond to any complaint regarding alleged breaches of FCA Member Standards, but does not have sufficient resources to vet documentation, audit behaviour or generally police compliance. Use of the FCA logo by FCA members does not constitute endorsement or certify compliance, and the FCA accepts no liability whatsoever in relation to any breach of these Member Standards.
All Franchise Council of Australia members are expected to conduct their franchising activities professionally and in accordance with Australian law. They are expected to comply with agreed minimum standards of conduct.