To become a member of The APL a company must pass a stringent inspection procedure.
Registered members are committed to providing high quality landscaping and complete customer satisfaction and must also adhere to the APL customer charter, which states 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
The APL also encourages it’s members to be:
- Committed to continuous business development.
- Actively involved in staff training and development.
TrustMark is a scheme endorsed by the Government and consumer groups. It sets standards, which firms must meet in order to display the TrustMark logo – the sign of a firm that homeowners can trust, that differentiates reputable firms from potential rogue traders.
Why should you use a TrustMark certified landscaper?
- 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
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.
Only when all the scheme requirements are met, will a business be granted membership, and their conduct will continue to be monitored thereafter.