Becoming a Reputation Advocate is subject to compliance with the following criteria, along with our Reputation Advocate Terms and Conditions, our General Terms and Conditions, our Ethical Trading Policy, and our Code of Conduct.
We keep these documents under review and may make amendments to them. We will give Reputation Advocates notice of any changes before we implement them.
Compliance with applicable Legislation and Codes of Practice
It is your responsibility to comply with all legislation, statutory codes of practice or the requirements of any statutory regulator applicable to your business activities including any need to register either your business or individual members of staff with a regulatory body.
In particular, we want to know that you comply with the business names and disclosure requirements under the Companies Act.
If you deal with consumers we want to be assured that you have procedures in place so that you operate within the Consumer Law and do not engage in detrimental practices. Also, procedures to ensure the goods supplied are safe and legally compliant themselves. We expect the procedures to cover sales made from trade premises, at a distance (including online) and away from trade premises (such as in the consumer home or at their place of work).
If you are a food business we expect you to be registered with the local authority and be displaying your food hygiene rating appropriately.
We also expect you to have a way of keeping up to date with changes in legislation and for demonstrating that you are exercising all due diligence and taking reasonable precautions to prevent infringements of the law.
Ethical Trading Practices
In addition to your commitment to agree to our Ethical Trading Policy, we want to ensure that you operate ethically.
In particular, we want to know that you do not engage in practices which are less than honest market practice or good faith, and you do not engage in aggressive sales techniques.
We also want to know how you deal with such things as compliance with the Bribery Act, and the payment of suppliers, etc. For example, we would not want to see the business engage in any practices which mean that you deliberately pay suppliers late.
You need to have adequate procedures, including training for staff, to ensure their health and safety, together with the safety and well being of customers and clients. Customers and clients must also not be treated in a discriminatory way and procedures should encompass this.
We would want to know that the business has given consideration to business continuity planning.
We would want to know that sub-contractors and other procurement activities are adequately managed.
We would want to know how the business:
- avoids infringing other peoples copyright,
- ensures that when selling trademarked goods they are the genuine item
- makes sure that is not using trademarks inappropriately in any way
- ensures its compliance with any software license requirements
If you process personal data then we expect you to understand your obligations under the Data Protection Act and be registered with the Information Commissioner (unless exempt from registration).
If you deal with minors then we expect you to take the necessary steps to ensure their welfare and protect them. Therefore we want to see
- robust procedures in place that deal with retail sales of age-restricted products
- DBS checks where employees are involved in unsupervised contact with vulnerable adults and children.
Credit and Hire
If the business offers credit to consumers, sole traders or partnerships of under 5 people, other than payment cards or a fixed amount for a maximum of 1 year, with no interest and collected in no more than 12 instalments, then we would expect it to be licensed and using appropriate agreements.
If the business hires goods to consumers, sole traders or partnerships of under 5 people and the hire period is capable of lasting for more than 3 months then we would expect it to be licensed and using appropriate agreements.
It is your responsibility to have appropriate insurance cover in place to cover the activities you engage in, and, where appropriate, your liability in respect of customers and others entering your business premises. If you employ staff you may also require employers liability insurance. We are unable to advise on specific insurance requirements.
We expect you to have a suitable complaints process in place. This should at least record details of complaints and actions taken and, if applicable, meet legal requirements. If you are dealing with consumers we would expect your process to take account of the legislation on ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution).
History and Other Factors
We will not accept applications from businesses owned or influenced by a disqualified director unless a good reason is given for us to do so. We will want to know that there are no outstanding County Court Judgements against the business and whether it has been involved in any civil or criminal proceedings, including tribunal decisions or had any regulatory actions imposed.
Apply now using this link to an application form which opens in a new window.