What checks are made prior to Approved status?
In addition to strict eligibility criteria, The London Borough of Bexley undertakes a desktop audit of applicants that includes the following checks:
- Financial background including latest company accounts;
- Company and director background;
- Public liability and employers insurance;
- Complaints procedure;
- Contracts and terms & conditions;
- Validation of professional certiﬁcations and memberships; and
- Complaint history.
Businesses trading for less than 2 years are not eligible to apply.
The Customer Charter
The Trading Standards Approved Business Customer Charter deﬁnes the promises made by approved businesses in the provision of delivering goods and services to consumers. The code sets out standards that the business will comply with in these areas:
• Customer Service
• Goods & Services
• Business Compliance
• Staff Development
• Sales & Marketing
• Complaint Handling
Terms & Conditions
In addition to the code of practice, all approved businesses must sign and agree to be bound by the membership agreement including its terms and conditions. The agreement is a legally binding document between The London Borough of Bexley.
How will The London Borough of Bexley be able to ensure businesses are compliant with consumer legislation at audit?
On application, the business will provide authority for The London Borough of Bexley to carry out the range of listed audit checks as part of the assessment process. The appointment of Trading Standards Practitioners and our established Primary Authority Partnership will provide the expertise with consumer related legal issues arising from questions asked by business members. In addition, the local authority in which the business is based will be consulted with regards to ﬁnal approval.
What control will a Local Authority have if they are not happy with a member of The London Borough of Bexley?
The credibility of the scheme is dependent upon the successful partnership with local authority Trading Standards services and the quality of the members. We will monitor all Approved Businesses for on-going ﬁtness and will take any appropriate and proportionate action for non-compliance with the code or terms and conditions. As we have a Primary Authority relationship in place with Wirral Council’s Trading Standards service, any dissatisfaction with regards to an approved business would need to be communicated to us, in the ﬁrst instance or our primary authority ofﬁcer. Decisions will be scrutinised by our governance board and consideration will be given to the issues raised and we will act on their advice.
It is in our interest to support only those business that trade fairly and exercise the principles of better regulation. We will support any decision taken with regard to any proportionate action which may include revocation of membership.