To become a member of The Association of Professional Landscapers, a company must pass a stringent inspection procedure. To ensure a company remains a credit to the association annual inspections take place. All registered members must adhere to the APL customer charter, the charter states that members must be:
Trading as a landscape business for a minimum of two years
Independently inspected annually for conformance to the necessary standards
Members of the Horticultural Trades Association, the trade body of the garden industry, which was established in 1899
Registered members must also:
Provide at least six satisfactory customer references of completed work within the past two years
- Supply a minimum of two satisfactory trade references.
- Maintain full Employer Liability Insurance cover
- Maintain full Public Liability Insurance cover
- Follow the agreed complaints resolution procedure
- Offer customers an independently backed warranty
TrustMark is a quality mark which operates a framework under which 30 plus scheme operators work in the RMI (repair, maintenance and improvement) sector, including trade associations, local government trading standards teams, and independent scheme operators. These schemes are approved to carry the TrustMark logo and recruit reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. This enables the TrustMark scheme operators to promote improved RMI sector standards, and tackle related issues such as better enforcement. All of these scheme operators are audited annually by TrustMark, to ensure processes, standards and complaint procedures are being maintained.
What makes selecting TrustMark tradesmen so worthwhile?
- A firm’s technical skills have been independently checked through regular on-site inspections, as well as checks on their trading record and financial status
- Firms have signed up to a code of practice that includes insurance, good health and safety practices and customer care
- The approved scheme operator has checked and will continue to monitor the firm’s quality of work, trading practices and customer satisfaction
- Firms are able to offer an Insurance Backed Warranty
- Deposit Protection Insurance is available for consumers in the event a firm should cease trading
- Firms will be able to tell you about any building regulations you must comply with and may also be able to provide appropriate certificates
- If you have a problem or disagreement with the firm, there will be a clear and user-friendly complaints procedure to help resolve the issue
- The scheme is fully supported by Government, the building industry and consumer protection groups.
All of these checks will give you – Peace of Mind
In response to concerns about ‘rogue traders’ which are often highlighted in the media, a partnership of Local Authority Trading Standards Services have taken a ground-breaking step by putting together the Buy With Confidence Scheme. The scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.
In order to become a Buy With Confidence member, a business must first apply or be recommended to join the scheme and must then pass a set of tailored background checks. Membership of the scheme is not given lightly – amongst other checks, each applicant will have their complaints history reviewed and will receive a visit from Trading Standards. Good references are required from previous customers and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s code of conduct, which requires them to follow the letter and spirit of the law. Criminal records disclosure may also be required in some circumstances.