Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and starting to recover from the season’s festivities and your New Year resolutions are holding fast in readiness for the start of the New Year.

Firstly to all our members, an acknowledgement that our service levels were not to our usual standards in 2014, especially to companies joining Certass in the 2nd half of the year. This speed bump to our service having been caused by the new DCLG requirements for assessing site operative’s Minimum Technical Competence (MTC) compliance.  

To improve audit lead times for new companies we have expanded our list of Auditors and to make sure we continue to answer the phone when our members ring us for support, we have also employed 2 new members of staff in our administration team. We want to hear from you as soon as possible if any of you, our members are having problems with your membership. Please don’t sit in silence, let us know so we can put it right.

Now – looking forward to 2015! We want to be able to offer you, our members with more benefits, so we need to hear from you during 2015 to find out what you all want. Where we see any common themes for service requests we will determine their viability sincerely and the possibility in delivering them to you, our members.

We would like you to let us know:

  • How we can improve what we do to make it better for you?
  • What other service/s or benefit you would like us to provide?
  • Is there a service provided by a trade association that you wish you could get from Certass?

Please contact us to tell us what you would like by:

More legislation from Government is on its way that has a direct impact on our industry. Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) legislation is on its way in the 2nd half of 2015, this is a service that is already provided to you as a Certass member. However, as politicians have a want to do, the European Union (EU) has passed a directive that the UK now has to enact, placing ever more burden on industry.  This means that Certass will have to formalise our service to meet legislative requirements in 2015.

Our fair-minded mediation has resolved lots of complaints to both the contractors and consumers satisfaction. In some cases we have recovered thousands of pounds for our members just because communication has broken down between contractor and consumer.

As our members are aware our complaint procedure is 3 stages:

  1. Your complaints procedure must be exhausted
  2. We try to informally mediate (facilitative mediation) between the parties, we help find the common ground
  3. Legally binding Arbitration, both parties to the agreement pay a small fee and an Arbitrator acts as a judge making a decision that is legally binding on both parties.

To date we have offered legally binding arbitration on 3 occasions, so far it has never been taken up, in each case the contractor agreed to partake and the consumer refused the offer.

As the requirements of the ADR legislation become clearer through the year we will keep our members updated. Follow the link for the latest information: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/377522/bis-14-1122-alternative-dispute-resolution-for-consumers.pdf .

Don’t forget to tell us what extra services you want from us!