Two of the best-known organisations in the worlds of consumer protection and professional standards, TrustMark and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), have announced an intention to work more closely together. The joining of forces is aimed at improving levels of consumer protection and confidence across trades involved in delivering services in and around the home, and represents a merger of two already influential organisations.
TrustMark are the only government endorsed scheme for accreditation of tradespeople and only offers accreditation to firms that undergo thorough vetting and on-site inspections. That vetting, therefore, ensures that firms meet high standards when it comes to TrustMark’s ‘cornerstones of quality’ of good trading practices, good customer service and technical competence.
The CTSI, meanwhile, are a professional association which represents trading standards professionals more broadly, within local authorities, the business world and consumer sectors, as well as in central government.
Both organisations, as a result, have long been involved – either directly or indirectly – in the area of consumer protection and the maintenance of standards of tradespeople. Their desire to work more closely together, therefore, is in the hope that they can now ‘create and deliver a collective approach’ to better support both the CTSI consumer codes and the standards encouraged by TrustMark accreditation.
By working together more directly and more consistently, TrustMark and the CTSI are hopeful that they will be able to foster a new style of thinking and a more unified approach when it comes to dealing with rogue traders. That, according to the two organisations, is just one of a number of ways that their new alliance can benefit tradespeople and consumers alike.
The alliance, furthermore, is aimed at enabling further confidence and greater security for consumers when choosing a firm to work at their premises. A unified approach to maintaining standards, after all, should make it far easier for consumers to identify those companies and individuals they can trust.
This announcement of a closer working relationship between TrustMark and the CTSI, therefore, may represent a significant step forward and that is certainly the opinion of TrustMark CEO Simon Ayers:
- ‘By joining forces with the CTSI, it both highlights our commitment and will to enhance consumer protection, encourage best practice and promote excellence and good standards nationally. Together we aim to achieve greater parity between the two organisations and to strike the right balance between reducing consumer detriment and making the standards workable across the industry.’
That idea of a better environment for both honest tradespeople and the consumers who employ them in and around their homes, is reflected too by the thoughts of CTSI CEO Leon Livermore:
- ‘The approval landscape is confused for both consumers and businesses so it is important that we work with trusted partners to ensure that we are all working towards the same end result. Local Trading Standards Services do a huge amount to protect consumers and promote legitimate business and we hope that by working with TrustMark we can add real value to their work.’
The idea of TrustMark and the CTSI joining forces, therefore, is likely to be one welcomed not only by consumers who want to avoid rogue traders but also honest tradespeople who have an equally strong desire for those dodgy operators to be removed from the industry.Read More