QA Scheme Support Services (QASSS) who operate the consumer protection schemes DGCOS, HIES and HICS met with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) to discuss the first consumer code to cover all home improvements known as ‘SureBuy’. Following the meeting, QASSS will be submitting an expression of interest to CTSI to operate the SureBuy consumer code of practice.

CTSI operate to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of citizens by enhancing the professionalism of its members. As it stands, consumer code HIES is currently CTSI approved and has been since July 2015.

QASSS are seeking to combine their three consumer protection schemes (DGCOS, HIES and HICS*) into one CTSI approved consumer code in order to make a complex industry much easier for consumers. Together the schemes have full coverage of the home improvement industry, from renewables right through to kitchen renovations.

Having one approved consumer code will make navigating the industry much simpler for customers and thus streamline quite a complex landscape, QASSS believes. Consumers will be able to get support and advice in one place, rather than going through multiple avenues.

Adrian Simpson, Director of Policy and Affairs at QASSS, comments, “We want to bring clarity to the consumer protection landscape by bringing three of our codes of practice together. Currently, there are several badges and approvals which vary greatly in quality. Our SureBuy code of practice will go over and above the requirements of consumer law and provide consumers with quality assured, reliable tradespeople.”

Sue Steward, Head of Client and Commissioning at CTSI comments, “We welcome this change by QASSS, to bring all three schemes under one code, SureBuy. Consumers are facing increasing amounts of confusion when purchasing goods and services in a somewhat complex area. This positive move, where business members can display the Approved code logo, will not only help clarify who consumers can trust, but also provide reassurance that their rights are protected and that they can seek redress should there be any issues. We look forward to working with QASSS on SureBuy and increasing consumer confidence in this industry.”

*DGCOS is the Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme, HIES is the Home Insulation and Energy Systems Scheme and HICS is the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme.

Photo from Left to Right: Sue Steward (CTSI), Adam Mortimer (CTSI), and Adrian Simpson (QASSS).