016 GGP 0113

GGP JAN 2013

TRUSTMARKNEWS Getting to quality street is a road worth travelling It is all very well having a scheme that boasts it does what it says on the tin but how to deliver? Liz Male, chair, TrustMark, believes demand for better has to be met. Sbenchmark against which industry, easier for thebetween all the differentstandards required of the trades,making it less hassle for thetandards exist to help ourindustry perform better aswell as providing a reliable performance can be judged. consumer to understand and to They are a critical factor in quality eliminate any grey areas that management, assurance and control might have caused confusion in but they need to be applied prudently the past. and in a way that encourages improved The Core Criteria document performance. Set standards too low sets out the government and at best, they are worthless, if not endorsed standards in terms of downright damaging. Set the bar too TrustMark’s objectives and the high and only a tiny minority can responsibilities of how a meet the standards, the industry is scheme operator and its demotivated, consumers become registered firms must meet that cynical and everyone loses. objective. The documents cover Seven years ago, TrustMark was areas such as how scheme launched as a quality mark with operators are accepted and government endorsed standards to monitored our scheme, firms tackle the menace of cowboy are vetted, inspected and tradesmen and to signpost consumers regularly audited, complaints to the good firms. These standards and disciplinary processes work Liz Male, TrustMark – “Set were created for TrustMark’s scheme standards too low and at best, and how we eliminate misuse operators and their TrustMark they are worthless, if not of the TrustMark logo. registered firms to provide protection downright damaging.” The standards will be for the consumer. brought more in line with the Our government endorsed standards were landscape in the UK last year. There has also consumer protection legislation around issues fiercely debated at the beginning. However been the development of other standards, such as cold calling and doorstep selling, in with the memory of the ill fated Quality Mark e.g. Competent Person Schemes, Green Deal, support of the Trading Standards, Citizens’ scheme still fresh in people’s minds, everyone local authority trading standard schemes and Advice, the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) and knew that TrustMark’s standards had to strike a other consumer codes, many with similar Action Fraud campaign. Among other changes, more sensible balance between consumer objectives and requirements to TrustMark. there will also be clearer responsibilities on firms protection and industry support – ‘gold plating’ In order to take this review process forward, which sub contract work and more monitoring was not going to work. The result was welcomed the TrustMark Board (which has a balance and vetting of firms that want to join TrustMark. by the government and TrustMark’s standards between trade and non trade representatives) has I know from the evidence of TrustMark’s have been the glue that has held everything been working closely with the Department for complaints’ data as well as the comments I together since 2006. Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), to draft a receive from industry bodies and consumer However, in the last year or so, recognition set of robust and focused standards which we protection groups, that TrustMark has facilitated has grown that our standards need to be will hope, will last as long as the current ones. the raising of standards across a wide range of updated; the first time since the scheme began. The standards are very much ‘work in progress’ trades in the RMI sector. Demand is growing for TrustMark to better and once the draft is ready, it will be discussed Working together, TrustMark’s members have meet rising customer expectations and to keep with each of the scheme operators and at the set a benchmark which is much higher than it up with the best parts of the home repair, TrustMark Forum. was in 2006. We must not become complacent maintenance and improvement (RMI) industry Our aim is to create a set of standards which and must drive for higher standards and which has taken great strides forward in the way are credible and pragmatic. Stretching where they continue to work towards the outcomes we want it handles complaints and the regulation of its need to be but also achievable and capable of to see: greater consumer ‘empowerment’ and particular trades. being enforced. We have not forgotten the recognition of reputable firms and therefore, The need to review our standards had also lessons from the Quality Mark scheme where the better business for those firms. become evident with the advent of the new standards were set so high and therefore became consumer protection legislation and the impractical and unworkable. For further information, visit the website: wholesale review of the consumer protection We are looking to achieve greater parity www.trustmark.org.uk 16 January 2013 Glass & Glazing Products


GGP JAN 2013
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