A new independent Consumer Protection Council (CPC) of consumer experts has been formed by TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, to identify common challenges faced by consumers in the home improvements sector and to recommend ways to reduce detriment and enhance protection.
The CPC aims to share knowledge, views and insight about the main problems experienced by consumers when employing traders to carry out work in and around their home. It also seeks to define good practice in the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI), energy efficiency and retrofit sectors and considers ways that TrustMark could provide solutions and minimise consumer detriment.
Chaired by TrustMark’s Non-Executive Consumer Director, Julie Hunter, the CPC consists of stakeholder experts representing a broad range of independent consumer organisations. Together they bring a wealth of knowledge, proficiency and views and will focus on each stage of the consumer journey, from information and advice when choosing a tradesperson to agreeing a contract and price, incorporating dispute resolution and consumer complaints.
Julie Hunter, Non-Executive Board member of TrustMark, says, “The creation of the Consumer Protection Council aims to provide fresh knowledge and insight about the consumer experience, to inform TrustMark’s work at a strategic level and to drive improvements across the sector for all consumers. CPC members from across the consumer landscape will work together to identify common challenges and achieve shared objectives. We have a fantastic team who are passionate about consumer protection, and by working together, we are in a stronger position to influence positive change. Consumers have a right to expect the best when employing tradespeople to work on their property – TrustMark continually strives to achieve this and ensures that consumer protection is at the heart of its vision and service delivery.”
Laura McGadie, Head of Advice for the Energy Saving Trust and member of the CPC, says, “Energy Saving Trust believes it is crucially important to place consumers at the heart of the design and delivery of services. We are therefore pleased to be a member of the new Consumer Protection Council and working with TrustMark to help ensure energy efficiency improvements in people’s homes are of the highest quality and standard.”
Arnold Pindar, Chairman of the National Consumer Federation and member of the CPC, notes, “The establishment of the Consumer Protection Council will further strengthen the consumer voice, ensuring that TrustMark meets the challenges faced by consumers in the home improvements market. The Council is broad-based and puts consumers where they should be, at the heart of the scheme’s aims for a steadily improving and truly trusted home improvements business sector.”
The Consumer Protection Council is one of several councils being developed to support the TrustMark Board with the strategic direction of the organisation, as well as providing strong collaborations and developments to serve the industry and consumer.