TrustMark, the quality scheme for reputable tradesmen has confirmed the signing of a new licence with the Government and the announcement included new standards set out for TrustMark registered tradesmen.
TrustMark, the Government-backed quality mark for reputable tradesmen, was officially relaunched in April by Consumer Minister, Jenny Willott.
The announcement makes note of improved standards of consumer protection under a renewed master licence from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The TrustMark scheme is central to boosting the reputation of tradesmen and consumer confidence in the domestic repairs, maintenance and improvement market.
Peter Hansford, the Government’s Chief Construction Adviser, emphasised the Government’s strong commitment to TrustMark and called upon more firms to get behind the scheme.
At the heart of TrustMark’s relaunch is its new core criteria.
The new standards cover customer service, good trading practices and technical competence.
Some of the key changes to the TrustMark core criteria include:
- Firmer standards. The old core criteria spoke about scheme operators using "best endeavours" to meet certain standards, and gave "examples" of checks and activities that they might use to demonstrate compliance.
Now the core criteria talks about scheme operators' requirements ("scheme operators must...").
- More specific standards. For example, whereas before scheme operators had to have a general commitment to raising standards,
now they need to show how they are raising standards to address identified areas of consumer detriment and other trade-specific issues.
- More vetting of tradesmen, including specific checks that must be done on firms upon entry to the scheme,
but also at renewal stage or on an ongoing basis.
- More proactive use of complaints data by scheme operators, more reporting of that data,
more transparency in the complaints process.
- Changes to protect the brand and reduce misuse of the TrustMark logo.
- A new requirement for scheme operators to develop ways to measure the effectiveness of their code of practice and how it reduces consumer detriment and to keep it regularly reviewed in the light of changing customer expectations in their sector.
Working alongside TrustMark existing scheme operators have 12 months to adapt to the new core criteria.
The core criteria will also be reviewed and updated every year from now on to maintain the drive for higher standards.
If you're not already in TrustMark, then for more information on the
TrustMark Scheme click here