We require applicants to demonstrate that they will at all times comply with the Terms and Conditions of membership. As part of this we will make enquiries as to any previous trading history of the directors, owners or other persons with significant influence over the applicant business, plus the trading history of the business itself.
These checks will include the following, with particular emphasis on any adverse matters which resulted in consumer detriment, actual or a real risk of injury or harm and a disregard for compliance with legislation.
We will treat every application on its individual merits.
We are likely to decline an application from any business owned or substantially influenced, by a disqualified director. We will almost certainly decline an application where the reason for disqualification is fraud related or resulted in consumer detriment.
County Court Judgements
We will assess these on an individual basis but where the judgements are outstanding, i.e. have not been paid, and relate directly to business activities and cause consumer detriment, the application will be declined.
We will check our database of consumer complaints and where this shows a disregard for legitimate consumer complaints, a lack of compliance with legislation or failure to follow advice from ourselves or another regulator we will decline the application.
We appreciate that our records may not reflect the final resolution of the matter as records held may only detail first contact with a consumer advisor or a trading standards officer, and so we may contact the consumer, if it is appropriate to do so, to see if and how the matter was resolved before making a final decision.
Previous Convictions and Non-compliance
There are specific requirements at Clause 3.3 f the Terms & Conditions relating to the disclosure of convictions and the need to provide a Basic Disclosure Certificate. We have provided specific guidance as to how we will respond to any convictions revealed within such a Certificate in the Guidance for Businesses on Disclosure Certificates.
We will also check for convictions or previous non-compliance with the legislation we enforce and also make enquiries of any other relevant statutory regulator.
In seeking references we need to ensure that the sample we take is representative of your customers and we therefore aim to obtain a minimum of 5 references obtained at random from such records as you may have of previous customers
We will seek to obtain a minimum of 5 references from previous or existing customers and will expect you to provide us with:
• access to customer records such that we can select a suitable number of customers, or
• in the event that you do not keep a record of customers we will discuss how we can meet this requirement.
If you have an existing robust and auditable customer feedback process we may accept this as a measure of customer satisfaction.