TrustMark is delighted to announce that following significant changes at the organisation, it is in a position to build considerably on the legacy of consumer protection it has nurtured since its inception in 2005.
In 2016, the industry led, government commissioned Each Home Counts review identified the need for an all-encompassing mark of quality that consumers can rely on, regardless of the type of work they require. As a result, TrustMark has expanded its remit to become this quality mark, including all Repair, Maintenance & Improvement; Retrofit and Energy Efficiency measures.
When a consumer sees the TrustMark logo, they will know they business they are engaging is technically competent and has made an additional commitment to customer services and trading practices, regardless of the type of work they are having carried out in or around their homes.
Quality assurance is delivered through our network of Scheme Providers, who are experts in the fields they represent, and are subsequently best placed to carry out the thorough vetting and audit process necessary for becoming a TrustMark Registered Business.
To enable the necessary expansion to scope, a new Framework Operating Requirements document was formulated, which ensures businesses from each industry sector will meet required standards. TrustMark is delighted to be able to deliver Government Endorsed Quality to an ever-increasing range of sectors and services, however this is not the extent of the changes.
A critical success factor for this evolution to TrustMark is to deliver enhanced consumer protection, as well as facilitate the inclusion of additional trades and sectors. As such, a number of additional measures have been put in place to ensure the most robust level of consumer protection available.
TrustMark Customer Charter
This document outlines without any ambiguity what each consumer can expect when they are working with a TrustMark Registered Business. This provides total clarity and a positive path forward through all permutations of the customer journey.
Trading Standards Integration
TrustMark is the only scheme that includes an integrated Trading Standards disputes process, which offers a controlled and reasonable sanctions process if appropriate. This allows Trading Standards to support and guide TrustMark and the scheme Providers in key areas such as financial mis-selling and logo misuse. Another revision concerns the improvement of the audit and compliance program to reduce ‘phoenix companies’ and the risk they post to the public.
Free Advice and Information
TrustMark will continue to provide customers with free advice and information to ensure they are empowered and educated when embarking on any improvement project. In the future this will evolve into a valuable Information Hub to provide a range of guidance for customers considering undertaking energy efficiency improvements.
The newly established independent Board at TrustMark will set up an Insurance & Finance Panel to identify and define what suitable financial protection looks like, and Scheme Providers will be assessed against these criteria before they are able to join.
Additionally, two-year guarantees and protection for works over £500 are now mandatory within the TrustMark scheme.
A Holistic Approach to Design and Improvement
Further consumer protection measures have been introduced with particular reference to the design stage, which now ensures Registered Businesses take a holistic approach to any improvement. Any energy saving claims must be provided using approved methodologies. This prevents the mis-selling of products and services, ensuring any energy saving measures installed in a home will represent a tangible improvement.
Product suitability is also built into the Framework, requiring all goods or services supplied by TrustMark Registered Businesses to comply with the Consumer Rights Act, 2015; meet the relevant safety standards; and be suitable for the application proposed.
TrustMark is confident these improvements will enable consumers to make changes to their property, including those changes that relate to the energy efficiency of their property, in full confidence. Additionally, consumers can look to TrustMark for guidance when it comes to making informed decisions about the products and services available to them, and will know more robust protection is available in the event that something does go wrong.
As the Government Endorsed Quality scheme, TrustMark recognises that by striving for continual improvement, significant advances can be made to the protection and choice available to consumers having work carried out in or around their homes. We look forward to facilitating these advances and releasing a number of further benefits over the coming months. Watch this space!
TrustMark's blog features tips, advice and inspiration for homeowners
on all repair and home improvement issues and showcases some of the
best projects our registered tradespeople have worked on.
With insight from our expert contributors, including Trading
Standards expert Steve Playle, we hope you enjoy our blog and are able
to take away helpful information and be inspired to do work on your
TrustMark is the Government Endorsed Quality Scheme that covers work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home