This month we introduce our very first edition of our new-look monthly e-newsletter for TPO members, which includes the latest industry news and TPO scheme updates.
This edition features important information relating to a new audit being carried out on TPO agents by the Trading Standards Institute - a must read for all sales agents.
Gerry Fitzjohn, Vice Chairman, TPO Board.
TSI to carry out logo audit on TPO sales agents
TSI's Consumer Code Approval Scheme replaces the Office of Fair Trading scheme
Last year marked a special milestone for TPO sales agents after the Trading Standard’s Institute (TSI) approved TPO’s Residential Sales Code of Practice.
TSI’s approval made TPO the largest organisation and the very first property organisation to have a Code of Practice approved by TSI under their Consumer Code Approval Scheme.
This news also meant that all TPO sales agents can:
- Display the TSI Approved Code logo on their website and printed marketing material
- Have their details featured on the Consumer Code Approval Scheme website, which enables consumers to look for TPO sales agents through a dedicated database on www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
Are you compliant?
However, the TSI approved Code logo is subject to specific conditions so please make yourself familiar with the following guidelines:
TSI’s Consumer Code Approval Scheme replaced the OFT scheme and TSI will be carrying out a thorough audit of all TPO sales agents to ensure the correct TSI Approved Code logo is being used. This audit will initially focus on TPO sales agents’ websites so please take note of the following important points:
1. What will the audit involve?
TSI will use TPO’s database of Sales Agents to conduct a thorough audit on all agent’s websites to make sure that they have removed the OFT logo and that the TSI logo is being used correctly, in line with the guidance above.
2. Key points to remember and adhere to:
- TPO’s Residential Sales Code of Practice has been approved by the TSI – meaning only sales agents can use the TSI Approved Code logo.
- With effect from 1st April 2013 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) stopped operating the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS) – agents can no longer use the OFT logo in any of their marketing.
- The TSI Licence Agreement confirms the terms on which CCAB permits you to use its logo.
- In consideration for the grant of this licence and the payment of membership fees to TPO we permit you to use the logo on the terms outlined in the Licence Agreement. The terms of the licence are binding on you by your use of the logo and CCAB has third party to rights to enforce the licence terms. You do not need to sign and return the licence to CCAB.
We hope you’ll agree that this news enables our sales agents to distinguish themselves as providing the highest level of consumer protection for buyers and sellers, and we are in active discussions with TSI to achieve scheme approval for our Lettings Code of Practice, more of which will share with you in due course.
Did you know? A press release was issued to announce this news in August 2013, which you can view here.