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BHTA shows support for new Trading Standards Institute scheme

27th June 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) announced this week that it is supporting a new scheme which aims to strengthen industry self-regulation in the UK. As the largest and oldest healthcare association in the UK, the support of the BHTA is sure to encourage further support for this scheme.

The scheme has been devised by the Trading Standards Institute and is known as the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. It hopes to boost consumer confidence in such industries as the mobility aid industry, motor industry and financial industry.

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme seeks to give consumers confidence in business organisations operating in a range of industries that follow codes of practice, tackling some of the biggest industries that cause problems for consumers in the process. Companies that display the TSI Approved Code logo will be publicly displaying that they pledge to follow 1 of 9 approved codes of practice, and failure to do so will mean they are committing a criminal offence for which they could face heavy fines and imprisonment.

Leon Livermore, chief executive of the TSI, made a statement upon the launch of the scheme saying that "we're not going to be shy" when it comes to ensuring that consumers feel confident with traders and are not let down when buying a range of products and services. Businesses, organisations and trade associations from the motor, solar power, mobility aids and debt industries have already signed up and representatives from the travel, furniture and double glazing industries are not far behind.

This new scheme replaces the Office of Fair Trading scheme and will mean that businesses will be required to offer better consumer protection in a number of ways, including protecting consumer deposits and respecting consumers in their own homes.

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme has seen support come from a range of people and organisations, including Jo Swinson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment relations, consumer and postal affairs; Baroness Crawley of Edgbaston, chair of the Consumer Codes Approval Board, and Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy, who has said that the scheme will combat the difficulty faced by consumers of finding a seller they can trust.

The support of the BHTA marks the first steps of approval that are coming from the traders themselves, particularly as many members of the BHTA offer mobility aids such as wheelchairs and other chairs for the elderly. The mobility aid industry is one of the trading industries that this new scheme is hoping to improve consumer confidence in, and many more traders are sure to sign up to the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme shortly.

Image Credit: brianteutsch (flickr.com)