What is 'Trading Standards Approved'?
When a trader scheme offers a Trading Standards Approved accreditation, it means the scheme is either:
- being operated directly by one or more Trading Standards Services, or
- working closely with one or more Trading Standards teams to ensure that the scheme's vetting criteria and operation meet minimum standards set by Trading Standards.
Trading Standards will have an ongoing involvement in the operation of the scheme to input into the vetting process and ensure it remains robust with members operating in a legal, honest and fair way. Depending on the specific arrangements, Trading Standards may/may not make the decisions relating to membership status and the operation of these schemes. (It may remain with a 3rd party scheme operator - see limitations below.)
- Find approved traders
- How to become an approved trader
- Benefits for traders
- Limitations of the schemes
- Other schemes
Find Approved traders
In Buckinghamshire and Surrey, we recognise many local businesses and residents value the independent Trading Standards endorsement.
We are delighted to provide our local "Trading Standards Approved" scheme traders4u.co.uk. This scheme is owned by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards and is operated in partnership with United Knowledge Ltd.
As a true partnership, rather than outsourcing, we are able to combine the techie skills of United Knowledge Ltd with our knowledge and experience of consumer protection to enable you to search for businesses you can trust.
traders4u.co.uk is an exciting venture and we want the facilities available to you through this platform to grow and develop over time.
How to become an Approved Trader
Customers value the reassurance provided by Trading Standards Approved and, to become an approved trader with any scheme and display its Trading Standards Approved mark, you must meet that scheme's membership criteria and pass its rigorous background checks.
To find out more information and join our local Trading Standards Approved scheme, take a look at our website traders4u.co.uk
Benefits for traders
- Directory listing on traders4u.co.uk
- Use the traders4u logo to show your business is Trading Standards Approved
- Great value for money
- Independent endorsement from your local Trading Standards
- Reassure your customers that you are committed to good customer service
- Stand out from your competitors - only businesses that pass our vetting can join
- Access to advice direct from Trading Standards
Each of the other schemes is different in its offer to businesses and may provide a different range of services inclusive in the membership fee. It is worth comparing these to ensure they match your business objectives. They will all provide the benefit of the sought after 'Trading Standards Approved' status which offers consumers the reassurance they need when looking for local tradespeople.
Limitations of the schemes
If you are looking for an Approved trader, do check the relevant scheme website for the business's current membership status and other customers' feedback. Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards only has direct control of individual business memberships for the traders4u.co.uk scheme. The approval of a business does not mean that Trading Standards and/or Buckinghamshire or Surrey County Councils:
- can guarantee the financial stability of the business
- has individually checked the quality of any works, goods or services provided
- can give any guarantee or warranty as to the value for money of works, goods or services compared with a competitor, nor that they will be satisfactory or fit for the purpose.
Consumers must therefore rely on their own assessment of suitability or any specific offer or assurance made by that scheme operator when choosing a supplier or service provider. See our advice on how to choose a trader.
For other schemes using the Trading Standards approval in our local area, we only work with the scheme to ensure it meets minimum standards. We do not approve individual businesses, see information below. All approvals and memberships are issued by the scheme operators and each of these will offer support through their complaint handling process.
Each scheme's website holds details of what is required and how to apply. Follow the links to find out more.
TrustMark - actively works with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards and offers a Trading Standards Approved level of membership. Please see the TrustMark website for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0333 555 1234.
Checkatrade - this partnership with Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards is coming to an end. Although some Checkatrade members will continue to hold Trading Standards Approval under their membership renewal, no new applications will be processed.
Buy With Confidence - a separate scheme, operated by a group of Trading Standards authorities (not included Buckinghamshire and Surrey), continues to operate in both counties under the branding of the Buy with Confidence scheme.