The success of the scheme relies on the performance of business members; each business trading on its own reputation and everyone relying on other scheme members to keep the Buy With Confidence reputation high.
As scheme operators we therefore need to be able to take sanctions against businesses who do not meet the scheme standards but we also recognise that businesses will often need help to identify what they need to do.
We therefore have a number of options where businesses fail to meet the scheme requirements; these include
- Additional advice which may be verbal or in writing
- Warning letters which may set out dates by which actions are required
- Increased frequency of audits, focussing on problem areas; we may also set out dates by which actions need to be completed
- Suspension of membership pending completion of remedial actions
- Termination of membership
We will be flexible and proportionate when taking these actions and where possible will seek to work with businesses to find the best solutions.
The above actions may be taken for any breaches of the terms and conditions, but particular seriousness will be attached to them if they concern any of the below.
Criminal Offences and Other Breaches of Legislation
Trading Standards Officers are responsible for the enforcement of much of the legislation which regulates how businesses must operate. Each local authority will have its own policies and processes to ensure that officers deliver services in a planned way.
Additionally most local authorities will have committed to comply with
- The Enforcement Concordat
- The Regulators Compliance Code
- Locally published enforcement and prosecution policies
In the event that there is evidence of an alleged offence or breach of statutory duty by a BWC applicant or member, we may take further action in respect of that offence or breach – membership of the BWC scheme does not confer immunity from prosecution. Local authorities are individually responsible for deciding whether or not to take enforcement action, which may include prosecution, amongst other options. Accordingly any query as to such actions must be addressed to the relevant authority.
Please note that where there is evidence of criminal or other breaches of legislation, suspension or termination of membership is NOT dependent on a successful prosecution of that business.
We promote Buy With Confidence as a source of reliable businesses and an essential part of this promotion is to enable older and perhaps less able persons to maintain and remain in their own homes. We would regard any act or omission which may be detrimental to the safety, health, well-being or not in the best interests of the customers falling within the description ‘adult at risk’, ‘vulnerable adult;’ or similar term, as unacceptable.
We would regard abuse of any relationship, relative status and/or technical knowledge, harassment, inappropriate behaviour and/or language as having the potential to become a safeguarding concern.
Non Payment of Fees
It is essential that we collect the fees due on time and we will inevitably suspend or revoke membership if fees are not paid.
Your administering authority will make arrangements to invoice you for fees due and such invoices will state due dates and payment methods.