• Posted by Monday Nov 05, 2018

How TrustMark Scheme Providers protect the consumer

TrustMark works alongside our network of Licensed Scheme Providers in order to ensure consumers have the best levels of protection, confidence and choice. This blog explores the journey of the Scheme Providers, shedding a little light on the work these quality-minded organisations do to raise standards and quality in their sector.

Working with our Scheme Providers

As a consumer, you simply want to feel certain that the individual or company coming into your home is technically competent for the job they are carrying out, and that their customer services and trading practices are of an acceptable standard.

These basic rights are the foundations of TrustMark’s services to the consumer, onto which additional levels of protection are added.

TrustMark is working towards a future in which consumers can know these basic expectations will be met; thus escalating consumer confidence and expanding the choice available to people having improvements made to their homes.

TrustMark is achieving this objective through our network of Licenced Scheme Providers.

As the all-encompassing mark of quality maintaining Government Endorsed Quality across all the Repair, Maintenance & Improvement; Energy Efficiency and Retrofit trades, TrustMark relies on our Scheme Providers for the necessary levels of expertise in the sectors they represent.

These organisations are leaders in their fields, comprising the companies and individuals responsible for devising and maintaining standards in their industries.

No business can join TrustMark without going through the relevant approved Scheme Provider, a full list of which can be found on our website.

Each Scheme Provider has their own sector specific requirements for entry that potential members must satisfy before they may join.  If once a member of a Scheme Provider organisation, a company would also like to become a TrustMark Registered Business, there will be further requirements as outlined in our Code of Conduct document.

Being a TrustMark Scheme Provider is worthwhile and rewarding, however it is not necessarily easy.  The take-on process of new Scheme Providers is detailed and thorough, in order to ensure the level of quality and protection that consumers associate with the TrustMark brand.  We work closely with applicant Scheme Providers to help support them through the process.

Essentially, in becoming a TrustMark Scheme Provider, an organisation is making a clear and accountable commitment to raising standards within the industry they represent.  This will be done through active participation with Standards Groups relating to technical competence; quality of workmanship; service and customer care; and by tackling areas of consumer detriment and undesirable trading standards.

There are a number of other administrative and financial checks for a potential Scheme Provider to submit to before the necessary audit and compliance checks with TrustMark are completed.

A would-be Scheme Provider must satisfy TrustMark that their organisation meets, both for themselves and the businesses they would register to the TrustMark scheme, strict requirements in the applicable areas of: Standards & Competency; Audit & Compliance; Enforcement & Sanctions; Dispute Management; Consumer Safeguarding; Financial Protection; Brand Governance; Communications; Assessment & Design; Performance Measurement and Evaluation; Product Suitability and Data and Information Sharing.

This includes a commitment to vet and monitor the performance of all businesses registering to the TrustMark scheme, involving annual assessments to ensure continuity of quality.

TrustMark also works to ensure consistency of quality with our Scheme Providers, and we are now working towards a revised annual audit process that will allow us to monitor and raise standards across all sectors.

In spite of all the hard work and the demands we place on applicant Scheme Providers, TrustMark is committed to working with these organisations to help them achieve Scheme Provider status.  Throughout the audit process, even if there are found to be shortcomings, it is the role of the TrustMark Compliance Team to bring Scheme Providers in line with the exacting standards associated with Government Endorsed Quality. 

The very intensity of the application process for Scheme Providers is one of the reasons Scheme Provider status is so coveted and important.  The attention to detail and requirement for accuracy ensures a process that is fair for all, enables the necessary levels of consumer protection, and provides an accolade worthy of attainment.

TrustMark works with a large and ever-increasing number of Scheme Providers in order to bring this quality to as broad a range of trades working in and around the home as possible, ensuring that you the consumer have the level of confidence, choice and protection you have a right to expect.

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