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Last updated: 31.07.17

The benefits of the Consumer Code Approval Scheme

Businesses that sign up to the Consumer Code Approval Scheme will find that it has many benefits, including improving public confidence.

Codes of practice in any industry can be confusing, but a few years ago a scheme was launched that was designed to simplify the matter for businesses. The Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS) aims to help traders improve their customer service standards whilst also providing protection for the consumer. To do this, the CCAS facilitates self-regulation, approves codes of practice, sets out effective customer service principles and requires traders to have robust alternative dispute resolutions.

The CCAS has grown since then and now has more than £50 billion under its protection. If you have not yet signed up to be part of it, here are a few reasons why you should:

Overseen by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute

In order for schemes to be taken seriously, it is important that they are associated with and overseen by a credible organisation. In the case of the CCAS, this is the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), which vets all elements of the scheme and ensures that they are being adhered to.

Sector-specific codes

While many of the issues that affect consumers are fairly universal throughout most sectors, there are also specific problems that can arise in one area and not others. This is why it’s important not to have a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to consumer codes, as they are likely to leave out significant considerations. The CCAS has sector-specific codes to overcome this problem and cover everything from cars to double-glazing and tenants to homeowners.

A public pledge

If the aim of CCAS is to improve customer confidence, then it is vital that the public sees what is being done in action. This is achieved by the businesses that have signed up to CCAS publicly pledging to do more than what trading standards law requires of them. Such reassurance tells consumers that their rights will be upheld, without the need to get an expensive court involved.

A roadmap to better customer service

Being part of the CCAS helps businesses to drive up their customer service standards, with support to help them do it. There is also a framework to follow, including dispute resolution, should something not go according to plan.

New codes are welcomed

Despite covering many sectors of business already, applications for new codes are welcomed under the umbrella of CCAS and there is a clear process to follow in order to get them approved. It includes meeting specific criteria and showing how it will work in practice.

Codes approval logo

Displaying the codes approval logo can only be good for a business, as it shows customers they can be trusted. In sectors where there is plenty of competition, this is particularly useful and anyone without the logo displayed may find themselves at a disadvantage.

Listed in the directory

Having the right to display the codes approval logo also means that businesses can be listed in the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme Directory. This searchable database allows customers to easily find a business in their area that they can trust. It is referred to by the likes of Citizens Advice and is another way for a company to be noticed by its potential audience.

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