Risk, Compliance & Regulation
At QASSS, we take risk, compliance, and adherence to regulations very seriously. Our aim is to operate in an ethical manner and ensure internal awareness of company policies and compliance with relevant legislation. We have developed proactive compliance policy frameworks to ensure compliance risks are identified and adequately mitigated.
Below you will find further detail on:
- Risk & Compliance
- Annual Reports
Risk and compliance
As a responsible market-leading business, we operate in an ethical manner. Throughout the company, there is on-going promotion, awareness and understanding of all company policies, and our attention to detail ensures compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Our policy sets out how we manage personal data held and processed by the business. All employees receive initial and ongoing training regarding their responsibilities under the Data Protection Act.
Our Information Security policy defines who can access which records, when they can do this and on what devices. It also specifies the environment that information can be held and the security controls in place across our various technologies and platforms.
Our employees receive extensive training throughout their employment. As a business, we believe that Health and Safety is key to our success and we therefore provide a safe, fun and healthy environment for our people to work in.
Conduct Risk is a key theme in the Financial Services Sector, where the industry is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Broadly speaking, Conduct Risk covers the risk of firms acting in a way that causes detriment to consumers. Although QASSS is not an FCA regulated entity, we have implemented a similar approach as this combines with our work regarding consumer protection.
This links to Conduct Risk as it relates to the fair treatment of customers. Everyone connected to QASSS benefits if customers are treated fairly and our approach has over many years delivered world-class consumer protection.
Our policy sets how we manage the business on a day to day basis, across the markets we operate in, the workplaces we occupy and the communities that we serve.
We understand that not everything in life is perfect and that sometimes things can go wrong. Once we are notified about an issue, we quickly take ownership and focus on turning negative situations into appropriate outcomes for the parties involved. Click here to view the QASSS complaints policy.
This is area is now an important aspect of managing day to day business operations. Some companies are allocating increasing amounts of resource to managing fraud risk. At QASSS, we operate effective controls across the business and our employees receive initial and ongoing refresher training.
Our policy sets out how we manage risks to ensure compliance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. All employees receive initial and ongoing training to ensure that the business remains compliant.
QASSS is committed to maintaining a controlled environment that prevents and manages potential conflicts of interest. Our policy is designed to ensure that all decision making by individuals in the business is correct and appropriate. Click here to view our conflict of interest policy.
Our recruitment process is vitally important, as this ensures we identify the right people to join our business. We conduct a wide range of background checks prior to employment, so that we have a good understanding of each employee’s history and background.
As you would expect from a market-leading business, risk management is an integral part of our governance framework. We constantly watch for internal and external issues and have a close eye on risks, which are logged, assessed, monitored and managed.
The objective of our Records Management Policy is to ensure that all records held by QASSS are managed in a consistent and effective manner. This includes from when records are first created, through to their eventual destruction or selection for permanent archiving.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is the professional member body for trading standards professionals and CTSI approved consumer codes of practice as well as alternative dispute resolution bodies. QASSS, operating the three consumer protection schemes HIES, DGCOS and HICS, is an approved ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) body.
The schemes are audited once a year to ensure that we continue to fulfil CTSI requirements. A stringent onboarding and ongoing auditing regime conducted by QASSS ensures that only businesses that want to improve the consumer experience can become members of our consumer protection schemes. The benefits for consumers are that they can shop in confidence knowing that if something does go wrong when using one of our members, we will be able to help them.
Members can also benefit from access to expert advice and support from QASSS and also access to expert regulatory advice through our Primary Authority Partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service.
QASSS produces an Annual Report to fulfil the requirements of the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015. We complete an Annual Report to ensure that QASSS maintains its status as a Chartered Trading Standards Institute ADR Competent Authority. The Annual Report is published by the Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Adrian Simpson B.A. Hons MCTSI CTSP MIoD.
The Annual Report covers QASSS and the following schemes which it provides services for:
The 2020 Report covers QASSS and its associated consumer protection schemes from 1st August 2019 – 1st August 2020
The 2019 Report covers QASSS and its associated consumer protection schemes from 1st August 2018 – 31st July 2019
Our ADR Officials
ADR officials are appointed indefinitely and on a permanent basis.
Adrian’s career began in 2005 as an advisor for Consumer Direct and since then he has had other roles such as Cross-Border consumer advisor at the UK European Consumer Centre, Consumer Services Officer at a London Borough, Senior Trading Standards Practitioner at a London Borough, Food, Safety and Trading Standards Manager, Service Director for the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and is now Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at QASSS, HIES, HICS and DGCOS.
Adrian is also a Chartered Trading Standards Practitioner, Non-Executive Director for the National Home Improvement Council and CTSI Lead Officer for Renewable Energy and Home Improvements.
As the Dispute Resolution Manager at QASSS, Charlotte is responsible for the customer facing departments which are Customer Support and Administration, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Remedial Works Management. Charlotte’s role is to ensure that all departments work together and in line with the scheme rules and code of practice ensuring they deliver excellent service at all times and understand the industry requirements for all schemes within QASSS.
As a company we have only required mediation a small amount of times since becoming a member and found that they have a very fair, independent approach to this, not siding with either the customer or the company; just direct mediation, without emotion, drawing the line based on facts of the contractual agreement. All in all, it has given our customers the confidence to spend more money and given us as a company more confidence to engage with larger contracts, knowing we have the independent service sitting between both parties.
They helped resolve my dispute to 100% satisfaction. Customers need to know they are there to help. Thanks again.
The benefit from a business point of view is the impartial focus given by the officer that interacts with both parties, normally we as the supplier have exhausted all avenues to bring the situation to a satisfactory end, the input and advice given can be hard to swallow but is normally fair and reasonable and will be accepted by both parties prior to any outcome being finalised.
Their assistance was highly efficient, professional and, conducted throughout in an exemplary manner from inception to conclusion. My sincerest thanks to everyone involved.
The individual managers and DRO’s have an in-depth knowledge of not only consumer law and regulations, but the industries they serve as well. I have always found their involvement thorough, professional and innately fair.
I cannot praise this company enough. They have corrected the faults made by a previous installer and acted very quickly when I reported a fault. All the staff are very efficient and courteous.
QASSS have provided an invaluable service to not just ourselves but to our consumers, which has helped to resolve issues very quickly which otherwise could have been long, protracted and incurring unnecessary costs for both parties. Thank you for the continued support you provide us.
Everything was done very professionally but also with compassion and understanding. I am sure they have to deal with very worried and angry customers but their knowledge and calmness shines through. It’s wonderful to have a company that really knows what it’s doing on your side.
On many occasions in the past your service has provided invaluable assistance to resolve even the most difficult complaints by taking a common-sense approach and a determination to establish the facts. Thank you for everything that you do, and long may your service continue.
A Trusted Partner
QASSS protects consumers and mitigates risks across the home improvement, renewables and building repair sector. Building on our heritage as a leading consumer protection organisation in the home improvement sector, we are CTSI approved and provide industry-leading expertise and continually work to improve services and standards across the sector.