Construction Quality Mark

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 17th April 2002.

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Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Labour, Hamilton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

(1) what her Department is doing to make the public aware of the construction Quality Mark;

(2) what her Department is doing to encourage UK builders to apply for a construction Quality Mark.

Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry

I announced on the 12 March 2002, Hansard, column 891W, that the scheme will be rolled out across the country over a 3–4 year period. A Quality Mark Shadow Ownership Group has been set up and, at its first meeting on 19 April, will begin developing a comprehensive implementation strategy and detailed business plan. An announcement about the next stages of the roll out is expected after the first meeting.

The DTI is working with a number of reputable trade bodies to fast-track their members into the Quality Mark scheme. Following recommendations in the pilot review, the scheme will be developing recruitment mechanisms, including subsidised registration costs, until a critical mass has been achieved.

The DTI is also working with local authorities, financial services groups, consumer groups and others to promote the scheme to tradesmen and encourage the participation of the latter wherever possible.

The national launch of the Quality Mark at the Ideal Home Show produced extensive television and radio coverage and articles in regional newspapers. The scheme is already being marketed successfully to consumers in Birmingham and Somerset through a variety of media, including Yellow Pages and Thomsons directories, household leaflet distribution with advertising and editorial coverage in a number of local papers and radio stations. Further targeted marketing will follow in new areas once sufficient numbers of builders and tradesmen are registered.

There has been considerable interest from firms operating outside of the existing Quality Mark regions in England, Wales and Scotland. In these cases we have advised (and we will continue to advise) firms that there is nothing to stop them applying for the scheme.

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