CCAS – Application update

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    Further to our article in issue 25 of the newsletter regarding our application under the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme we have now completed the consultation stage and can update you on the current position.

    The aim of the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme is to promote and safeguard consumers’ interests by helping consumers identify better businesses and to encourage businesses to raise their standards of customer service. In order to achieve this the OFT have guidance on minimum standards that they find acceptable as far as a Code of Practice is concerned.

    Unfortunately the process of obtaining approval under this scheme is a lengthy one. The initial application form is 51 pages which is then considered by the OFT under an internal consultation procedure. An external consultation period is then opened in which consumer bodies such as Age Concern, the National Consumer Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau are invited to comment on the Code. Responses must then be submitted to each body that raises questions, along with the findings of the internal consultation conducted by the OFT.

    We have now completed this stage of the application and, following agreement on all the issues raised, the OFT will put its submission to its board to recommend Stage One completion.

    The OFT provide a timetable for the entire application process which must be adhered to. We are scheduled to reach agreement on all issues by 13 June with a recommendation of Stage One completion in July.

    In order to comply with the requirements under CCAS a number of changes will be introduced to our Code and all Members will be asked to sign a copy to confirm they will abide by its contents. Most of you will already be complying with the new requirements as part of your every day business. Others may have to make minor amendments to their practices but we are sure you will all see the benefits of adhering to an approved Code.

    The Society will be strictly monitoring compliance with the new Code as part of Stage 2 of the application process and any breach must be remedied immediately. Only codes that demonstrate that they are effective in promoting consumer interests are entitled to display the OFT Approved Code logo.

    You can help us at this stage by making sure that your membership and annual audit is up to date, that all your consultants are registered as affiliates with us and that your £25 payment for the public indemnity fund is received within the next 10 days (if not sent already).

    Announcement of the changes will be made once agreement has been reached with the OFT.

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    Matt Walkden Will Writer

    About Matt Walkden

    I am a Professional Will Writer and I offer a small number of other products that complement my Will Writing such as Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s), Fixed Price Estate Administration, often called Probate and some Property Products such as changing a family home from Joint owners to Tenants in Common.

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