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Sat March 06 2021

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Licence plotters swing towards mandatory Trust Mark

16 Mar 20 Organisations working on a proposal for a mandatory builders’ licensing scheme appear to be coalescing behind a proposal based on extension of the existing Trust Mark scheme.

The Construction Licensing Task Force, which includes representatives and functionaries from several different trade associations keen to see tighter regulation of the building trade, met for the third time in February. It approved the first rough cut of what the licensing scheme might look like. And it looks like a mandatory version of Trust Mark – the government endorsed quality scheme covering work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home.

An initial policy proposal has been produced for the Construction Licensing Task Force by Toby Lloyd, formerly head of policy at homelessness charity Shelter.

The proposal is essentially to strengthen the existing Trust Mark system by extending a government-backed umbrella quality mark to cover all existing scheme providers, and making participation mandatory for all firms that provide domestic construction services

“The simplest way to adopt a comprehensive set of standards, assessment procedures and enforcement mechanisms would be to make registration with TrustMark a legal requirement for trading, as is already the case for ECO energy improvements,” his paper says.

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“The obligation to secure a license for multiple trades may be deemed an unnecessary additional bureaucratic hurdle. But it should be noted that the costs of doing so will be modest : the primary impact on large contractors will be the obligation to ensure that subcontractors are licensed, which should help to drive up standards through the supply chain.”

Click here to read the proposal in full.

The task force, which has been driven by the Federation of Master Builders, agreed to move forward with his draft plan. The aim remains to have something for the government to put out to public consultation by mid 2021.

The next meeting of the Construction Licensing Task Force is scheduled to take place in May 2020.

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