TrustMark and Trading Standards offer new level of consumer protection and trade accreditation.
TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home, is working with Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards, it’s Primary Authority Partner, to provide another level of consumer protection and trade accreditation to both householders and tradespeople in the home improvement, maintenance and repair sector.
Together the two government organisations will jointly deliver a national Trading Standards supporting scheme, giving firms local reassurance with national recognition. The ‘Trading Standards Approved’ scheme is an accreditation that tells potential customers that the tradesperson not only complies with TrustMark’s Government-endorsed Standards for quality of workmanship, but they also understand fair trading practices and have in place all the correct documentation and insurances.
For the first time local authorities across the country can work together to deliver this scheme. It will give tradespeople further credibility that they are reputable and have a solid trading history, whilst giving their customer the reassurance and confidence that they have been thoroughly checked by both Trading Standards and TrustMark and have been approved to use this accreditation.
“When a consumer chooses a tradesperson that has the TrustMark ‘Trading Standards Approved’ logo, they know they will get a reputable, reliable firm that has not only been vetted by a TrustMark Scheme Operator, but also checked directly by Trading Standards.”
Steve Ruddy, Head of Service Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with TrustMark helping consumers find reputable traders to work in their homes. This is a ground-breaking example of how central and local government can work together, combining national recognition and local reassurance to both protect residents and support local businesses.”
Simon Ayers, Chief Executive of TrustMark, added: “With consumer expectations rising, householders are now seeking higher levels of service and better quality workmanship from their tradespeople with all the right checks in place.
“The Trading Standards Approved scheme isn’t just another ‘badge’ to add to a firm’s website and marketing materials, it’s an investment with great benefits. When a consumer chooses a tradesperson that has the TrustMark ‘Trading Standards Approved’ logo, they know they will get a reputable, reliable firm that has not only been vetted by a TrustMark Scheme Operator, but also checked directly by Trading Standards. As always, we are working towards a future when consumers have confidence is the tradespeople they employ and that they see that ‘rogue’ traders are the exception, not the rule.”
To join the scheme, firms will need to be TrustMark registered and then they will be able to apply to TrustMark to complete the necessary checks in order to gain the approved accreditation. TrustMark will carry out the DBS Checks and Trading Standards will do the Intelligence Checks. Subject to passing these safeguards, the firm will then be accredited with trading standards approved status.
For those firms who attain the Trading Standards approval, they will also get additional business support with exclusive access to assured advice on consumer law, including unfair contract terms, cancellations rights and drafting invoices. The scheme is currently being piloted by TrustMark Ambassadors across different key trades and will be rolled out on a national level during 2017.