In November 2016, TrustMark launched our national Trading Standards Approved scheme for tradespeople in the UK. Working with their primary authority partner, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading standards, which is now able to offer all TrustMark Registered Firms a scheme that gives them national recognition with local reassurance.
So what does Trading Standards Approved bring to the table? In a world unfortunately plagued by rogue traders, the work to bring an end to bad trading practices is never over. But accreditation provides a much needed safeguard to signpost consumers to the ‘right ones’ and protect them against rogues. It is our duty to change the industry for the better and protect both consumers and reputable tradespeople.
Despite a drive to change the negative stereotype associated with tradespeople in the UK, research by AXA earlier this year revealed that 60% of homeowners still think that it’s fair to brand tradespeople with the term ‘rogue trader’. Trust needs be earned, and whilst personal recommendations from loved ones is still a popular way to find a tradesperson you can trust, we know it’s not always possible to find one you need that’s local. More and more people nowadays are looking for accreditations for firms to show their quality of workmanship and build a positive name for themselves.
TrustMark wanted to deliver something that is not just another ‘badge’ or sticker for tradespeople to add to their vans, but adds real value for them, and shows potential customers that the firm not only complies with TrustMark’s set standards of quality of workmanship, but understands fair trading practices and has all the correct documentation and insurances in place. The firm will have successfully completed Intelligence and DBS checks to attain this status.
Landscape businesses can only join Trustmark through the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). The APL carries out annual checks to ensure that the company meets certain standards.
These include checks on the company's technical competence, trading record and legality. These checks include actual visits by independent assessors at real client’s projects and to view actual company documentation such as insurance certificates etc.
The APL only awards the TrustMark certificate if they are satisfied that they meet the Government endorsed standards.
TrustMark monitors the scheme operator to make sure that standards are being maintained.
APL are proud to be the only landscaping association that is an ‘approved scheme operator’ for TrustMark for the garden landscaping, fencing and patio and driveways sectors.