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Countries / Territories

Consultants and individual contractors

  • Please find below answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding consultants and individual contractors.

    What is the difference between an individual contractor and a consultant?
    What are the criteria to define a national or international consultant?
    Can a consultant subcontract other consultants?
    Can I have the contract in other languages?
    Can I reply to messages in other languages than English?
    What is the workflow for payments?
    Who is responsible for my payments? What about the final payment?
    How long does it take for the payment to arrive in my bank account?
    Can I be paid in any currency?
    When am I required to provide a basic and/or an advanced security in the field training certificate? And how often?
    I have been made an offer, when can I expect my contract to start?
    What is the maximum length of a contract as a consultant or individual contractor?
    What can I do if my work is not finished at the end of the contract? (consultants/individual contractors and hiring managers)
    What can I do if my work is not finished before the end of the contract? (CICS and HM)
    I recently had a consultancy contract with another UN agency, do I need to submit a new PHF to ITC?
    Does ITC offer "zero dollar" consultancy contracts?
    Can consultants or individual contractors take vacations during their contracts?
    Are consultants or individual contractors reimbursed for expenses related to obtaining a visa/vaccinations etc.?
    Can consultants or individual contractors travel if they did not sign their contract yet?
    Can consultants or individual contractors start working for ITC if they did not sign their contract?
    Are consultants or individual contractors covered by insurance during their mission?
    Are consultants or individual contractors supposed to pay any taxes?
    Are consultants or individual contractors allowed to ask for ITC business cards?
    When and why does HR ask for a self-statement of good health? Validity?
    What can serve as a proof of travel? Do I need to send originals?
    Can I change my bank information form?
    I have new contact details, do I need to keep ITC updated?
    My contract ends on 31 December, can it be extended?
    My contract ends on 31 December, when can I expect my final payment?
    When do I need a UN certificate? How do I obtain one? Validity?
    Do I need security clearance for my travel?

    What is the difference between an individual contractor and a consultant?

    A consultant is an individual who is a recognised authority or expert in a professional field, with special skills or knowledge not possessed by ITC staff. Consultants perform result-orientated tasks of a temporary nature for which there is no continuing need in the Organisation and which the Organisation is unable to meet from within the staff.

    An individual contractor is an individual engaged from time to time under temporary contract to provide expertise, skills or knowledge for specific task or piece of work against payment of an all-inclusive fee. The work assignment may involve full-time or part-time functions similar to those of staff members, such as the provision of translation, editing or secretarial/clerical and part-time maintenance services.


    What are the criteria to define a national or international consultant?

    An international consultant is an individual internationally recognized as a specialist or authority in his/her professional field, retained by ITC for a defined period of time to undertake a specific assignment. The assignment will normally be outside his/her home country or place of permanent residence but may include home-based activities.

    A national consultant is a locally recognized specialist or authority in a professional field, who is retained by ITC for a defined period of time to undertake a specific assignment generally in his/her home country or place of permanent residence. Tasks are normally related to his/her country (survey, report, assessment mission) and carried out in relation with national authorities/industries/organisations of that country. A regional consultant is a national consultant based in his/her home country with possible travel within the region.


    Can a consultant subcontract other consultants?

    Consultants and individual contractors are hired in their individual capacity to undertake the tasks set out in their specific terms of reference. In the event that the consultant or individual contractor requires the services of subcontractors to perform any obligations under the contract, the consultant/individual contractor shall obtain the prior written approval of the International Trade Centre for any such subcontractors.


    Can I have the contract in other languages?

    Our Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) is a United Nations software, which has been created only in English, therefore, the contract can be issued in English only.


    Can I reply to messages in other languages than English?

    Yes, you can also reply to our Human Resources Assistants in French or Spanish.

    However, please note that most of our official documents have been created in English only, thus no translations are available.


    What is the workflow for payments?

    The Hiring Section (HS) prepares the interim payments and queues them directly to the Financial Management section (FM), who approve them. Payments are disbursed after FM's approval, and are credited in the consultant's bank account usually between 2 and 5 business days.

    For the final payment, the HS prepares a Performance Evaluation Form and creates a request for payment which has to be reviewed by Human Resources (HR). HR will check the Performance Evaluation Form and the contract to make sure that all requirements listed in the contract are met and then will review and queue the payment in our Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) to FM who will approve the payment.


    Who is responsible for my payments? What about the final payment?

    The Hiring Section (HS) is responsible to create all the payment requests in our Integrated Management Information System (IMIS). The interim payments are validated directly by the ITC Financial Management Section (FM). The final payment is validated by Human Resources, and then by FM.


    How long does it take for the payment to arrive in my bank account?

    When you receive an automatic email of confirmation stipulating that one of your payments has been processed, it usually takes from 2 to 5 days.


    Can I be paid in any currency?

    As required by our Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), the pre-encumbrance amount is always indicated in US dollars. Contracts, however, may be issued in US dollars, Swiss Francs, British Pounds or Euros. The Hiring Section should indicate the preferred currency of contract in the request for hiring. Please note that the currency of payment cannot be changed once the initial contract has been processed. No adjustment of fees may be made due to international currency fluctuations.

    Consultants and individual contractors can be paid in US dollars, Swiss Francs, British Pounds or Euros. Human Resources recommend that contracts be issued in US dollars, corresponding to the IMIS pre-encumbrance amount. If required, these can then be paid into the required account (USD, CHF, GBP or EUR) at the UN exchange rate established for the month in question.


    When am I required to provide a basic and/or an advanced security in the field training certificate? And how often?

    No certificate is required for consultants or individual contractors who are home-based, with no travel involved.

     

    The BSITF II certificate is required for anyone what has to travel on behalf of ITC, and for anyone based at ITC/UN Headquarters.

     

    The ASITF certificate is required for anyone travelling to a non "H" duty station.

     

    These certificates are valid for 3 years, after which the individual must re-certify.


    What is the maximum length of a contract as a consultant or individual contractor?

    Consultants
    are employed under a temporary contract in an advisory capacity to ITC within a limited and specified period of time. Therefore, the repeated use of a consultant by ITC is limited and no consultant can be hired for more than 24 months within any 36-month period, counting the effective working period retroactively from the last day of the latest proposed contract. If a consultant has exceeded the maximum time of service, he/she has to undergo a mandatory 12-month break before he/she can be re-hired by ITC as a consultant.

    An individual contractor’s service is limited to 6 work-months (counting the effective working period) within any period of 12 consecutive months. In exceptional circumstances and subject to written justification by the Hiring Manager, the service may be extended to 9 months. Requests for an exceptional extension should be forwarded to the Chief, Human Resources through the Chief and the Director of the relevant division. Once an individual contractor has exceeded the maximum time of service he/she has to undergo a mandatory break in service of 6 months before he/she can be re-hired by ITC as an individual contractor.


    What can I do if my work is not finished at the end of the contract? (consultants/individual contractors and hiring managers)

    If the contract has already expired, no extension cannot be requested. The contract must be CLOSED and a new contract must be issued.


    What can I do if my work is not finished before the end of the contract?

    If the work is not finished and the consultant needs more time to achieve it, the section can request an extension of the period of the contract. The consultant must inform the Hiring Section as soon as possible of any delay, so that a contract extension can be issued before the end of current contract. If the contract has already expired, no extension can be requested.


    I recently had a consultancy contract with another UN agency, do I need to submit a new PHF to ITC?

    Yes. If you haven't done so already, we would like to invite you to submit an updated Personal History Form (PHF) to the Roster for Consultants and Individual Contractors.


    Does ITC offer "zero dollar" consultancy contracts?

    Individuals with specific expertise who volunteer their services to ITC for no fee and who travel on behalf of the Organization may, subject to clearance by the Chief, Human Resources, on a case-by-case basis, be issued an individual contract with a token fee (e.g. $1). Where appropriate, they may be paid travel expenses, including daily subsistence allowance, in accordance with para. 59 and 60 below.

     

    Travel

    59. If ITC determines that the consultant or individual contractor needs to travel in order to perform his or her assignment, that travel shall be specified in the contract and provided for by ITC. In accordance with section 4.5 of the ITC administrative instruction on official travel (ITC/AI/2013/05), when travel is authorized for consultants and individual contractors, economy class shall be the standard of accommodation for air travel in all cases and irrespective of the duration of the journey, unless determined otherwise by the Secretary-General, taking into account the circumstances of the traveller (such as for health reasons) and the interests of ITC as provided in sections 4.8 and 4.9 of ITC/AI/2013/05.

     

    60. Consultants and individual contractors authorized to travel shall receive a daily subsistence allowance that shall comprise the total contribution of ITC towards such expenses as meals, lodging, gratuities and other such payments made for services rendered. The payment of the daily subsistence allowance shall be made on the same basis as staff members, except where otherwise expressly provided, and in accordance with a schedule of rates established from time to time by the International Civil Service Commission.


    Can consultants or individual contractors take vacations during their contracts?

    Yes, if the supervisor is informed and agrees. However, vacations are not paid.

    If you have a monthly contract, you have to work full time. No vacations are allowed with this type of contract.


    Are consultants or individual contractors reimbursed for expenses related to obtaining a visa?

     

    ITC shall comply with the applicable national legislation and host country agreements in respect of the engagement of consultants and individual contractors, specifically as regards requisite work authorization and/or visas. For internationally recruited consultants or individual contractors, who are required by the nature of their assignment to work in a country other than their own country of permanent residence, ITC, at its own expense, will assist the consultant or individual contractor in obtaining the necessary visas and/or work permits.

     

    International consultants may claim visa costs by submitting a travel claim through the corresponding Certifying Officer to the Finance Management section for reimbursement.


    Locally recruited consultants or individual contractors, if serving in a duty station outside their country of nationality, are responsible for all necessary visas and work permits required by local authorities before commencing their assignment with ITC..


    Can consultants or individual contractors travel if they did not sign their contract yet?

    No. Prior to any travel, the Hiring Section must ensure that consultants/individual contractors signed their contract.


    Can consultants or individual contractors start working for ITC if they did not sign their contract?

    No. Please note that you must not take any action until you have received and accepted, a formal written contract from Human Resources. ITC will not be responsible for any expenses you may incur, nor accept responsibility for the consequences of any action you may take in disregarding this advice.


    Are consultants or individual contractors covered by insurance during their mission?

     

    Extracts from the General conditions of contracts for the services of consultants or individual contractors:

     

    5. TRAVEL, STATEMENT OF GOOD HEALTH AND SERVICE-INCURRED DEATH, INJURY OR ILLNESS

    If the contractor is required by ITC to travel beyond commuting distance from the contractor's usual place of residence, such travel shall be at the expense of ITC. In such cases, the travel expenses borne by ITC shall not exceed the cost of travel by the least costly economy service.

     

    Prior to the commencement of the contractor's services in any offices or premises of ITC or before engaging in any travel required by ITC or connected with the performance of the contract, the contractor shall submit a statement of good health and certify that he or she is in possession of medical or health insurance during the period of the contractor's services. The contractor shall provide such a statement of good health and certification of the medical or health insurance as soon as practicable following the signature of the individual contract. The contractor shall also certify that he or she possesses medical or health insurance that includes medical treatment, and, if required to travel beyond commuting distance to any duty station(s) with a hardship classification other than H and A, the contractor shall certify that his or her medical or health insurance covers medical evacuations and treatment. The contractor warrants the accuracy of any such statement of good health, including but not limited to confirmation that the contractor has been fully informed regarding the requirements for inoculations for the country or countries to which travel may be authorized.

     

    The contractor shall be responsible for assuming all costs that may be incurred in relation to the statement of good health and medical or health insurance.

     

    In the event of the death, injury or illness of the contractor which is attributable to the performance of services on behalf of ITC under the terms of the contract while the contractor is travelling at ITC expense or is performing any services under the contract in any offices or premises of the ITC, the contractor or the contractor's dependants, as appropriate, shall be entitled to compensation equivalent to that provided under appendix D to the Staff Rules (ST/SGB/Staff Rules/Appendix D/Rev.1 and Amend.1).

     

    10. INSURANCE

    The contractor shall pay ITC promptly for all loss, destruction or damage to the property of ITC caused by the contractor or of any subcontractor or anyone directly or indirectly employed by them in the performance of the contract. The contractor shall be solely responsible for taking out and for maintaining adequate insurance required to meet any of his or her obligations under the contract, as well as for arranging, at the contractor's sole expense, such life, health and other forms of insurance as the contractor may consider to be appropriate to cover the period during which the contractor provides services under the contract. The contractor acknowledges and agrees that none of the insurance arrangements the contractor may make shall in any way be construed to limit the contractor's liability arising under or relating to the contract.

    Are consultants or individual contractors supposed to pay any taxes?

     

    The fees of consultants and individual contractors are expressed in gross amounts. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local laws. ITC does not reimburse consultants or individual contractors for any taxes, duty or other contribution payable by the consultants or individual contractors on payments made under the individual contract. ITC does not issue statements of earnings to consultants and individual contractors.

     

    Extract from the General conditions of contracts for the services of consultants or individual contractors:

    15. TAXATION

    Article II, section 7, of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations provides, inter alia, that the United Nations, including its subsidiary organs such as ITC, is exempt from all direct taxes, except charges for public utility services, and is exempt from customs restrictions, duties and charges of a similar nature in respect of articles imported or exported for its official use. In the event that any governmental authority refuses to recognize the exemptions of ITC from such taxes, restrictions, duties or charges, the contractor shall immediately consult with ITC to determine a mutually acceptable procedure. ITC shall have no liability for taxes, duty or other similar charges payable by the contractor in respect of any amounts paid to the contractor under the contract, and the contractor acknowledges that ITC will not issue any statements of earnings to the contractor in respect of any such payments.


    Are consultants or individual contractors allowed to ask for ITC business cards?

    Yes, with the authorization of the Chief of section that hired the consultant.

    The issuance of business cards for consultants/individual contractors shall be requested only where there is a demonstrated need of business cards for the functions of the consultant/individual contractor.

    Consultants/individual contractors must use an official ITC e-mail address (XXX@intracen.org) on their ITC business card. The official functional title for all consultants/individual contractors should match that indicated in the contract/terms of reference.

    ITC business cards have a maximum of three lines:

    First and Last name of the officer
    Functional Title of the officer
    Name of section/programme (optional as determined by the Chief of section)


    When and why does HR ask for a self-statement of good health? Validity?

     

    Prior to the commencement of the contractor's services in any offices or premises of ITC or before engaging in any travel required by ITC or connected with the performance of the contract, the contractor shall submit a statement of good health and certify that he or she is in possession of medical or health insurance during the period of the contractor's services. The contractor shall provide such a statement of good health and certification of the medical or health insurance. The contractor shall also certify that he or she possesses medical or health insurance that includes medical treatment, and, if required to travel beyond commuting distance to any duty station(s) with a hardship classification other than H and A, the contractor shall certify that his or her medical or health insurance covers medical evacuations and treatment. The contractor warrants the accuracy of any such statement of good health, including but not limited to confirmation that the contractor has been fully informed regarding the requirements for inoculations for the country or countries to which travel may be authorized.

     

    The contractor shall be responsible for assuming all costs that may be incurred in relation to the statement of good health and medical or health insurance.

     

    A self-statement of good health is valid for one year from the date of signature.


    Can I change my bank information form?

    It is possible to change the bank details that you have previously submitted to ITC. You need to inform Human Resources, who will send you a new blank bank information form.

    To avoid any possible mistake of bank transfers, please always indicate whether the previous bank account can be deleted from our Integrated Management Information System (IMIS).

    Please note that if you have several bank accounts registered in IMIS, you need to inform the Hiring Section that initiates all your payments (fees, travel expenses…) to which account the transfer should be made.

    Kindly ensure with your bank that your account can receive payments in the currency of your contract.

    Please note that ITC will not be responsible for any bank charges levied by your bank and the correspondent bank.

    It is not possible to transfer any individual consultant's fee into a company's or a third party's bank account, we only accept private bank details.


    I have new contact details, do I need to keep ITC updated?

    Yes, please always send your new contact details to ITC Human Resources.


    My contract ends on 31 December, can it be extended?

    Contracts cannot be extended from one calendar year to the next one.


    My contract ends on 31 December, when can I expect my final payment?

    In line with internal financial procedures, all payment requests made by the Hiring Section before 5 December for work satisfactorily completed will be paid during the same calendar year. Please submit all the required documentation, as applicable (i.e. travel claim, mission reports…), as soon as possible so that the Hiring Section has time to process your final payment.

    Any payment request that does not make the deadline of 5 December will be processed when the financial cycle reopens (as of 1st week of January of the following year).


    When do I need a UN certificate? How do I obtain one? Validity?

    The United Nations Certificate (UN Certificate) is not a legal travel document but serves to certify that the holder is travelling on official business on behalf of the United Nations or related organization or Specialized Agency.

    UN Certificates are issued to individuals who are designated as experts on mission for the United Nations in accordance with section 22 of the General Convention or other persons who are travelling on the business of the Organization in accordance with Section 26 of the General Convention and with respect to other organizations in accordance with their applicable instruments on privileges and immunities.

    Applications for UN Certificate at ITC are handled through Human Resources (HR/DPS) by completing the Application for United Nations Certificate. All applications are directly sent to UNOG Visa Sub-Unit. Once the UN Certificate is issued, the travel document is directly returned to Human Resources (HR/DPS) at ITC.

    The UN Certificate is issued for the duration of the applicant's service agreement or mission for a period of up to one year. Where a service agreement is extended beyond the expiration date of a UN Certificate, a new Certificate should be requested and the previous one submitted for cancellation. UN Certificates are not renewable.


    Do I need security clearance for my travel?

    UN security policy requires that all personnel eligible under UN security arrangements traveling on official business obtain a security clearance. For consultants based outside ITC, and who do not have an “intracen.org” email address, the Hiring Section must always request a security clearance for them through TRIP prior to any mission.

    Consultants should not go on mission without receiving the Security Clearance. This allows the United Nations to provide appropriate security support to all personnel eligible under UN security arrangements while they are traveling.

    Please contact the section that hired you at least seven days prior to the planned mission.