Train to and FCS Launch New CP Service

Train to and the Federation of Communication Services have announced the launch of a new service which will enable communication providers to check that their service delivery, marketing activity and record keeping comply with current industry regulation. The service will also provide compliant organisations with an accreditation, an extension of the FCS Mark of Excellence programme.

The service is based on a detailed review of the CP’s documentation in key areas where regulation applies. A report will be provided, highlighting areas of non-compliance together with recommendations on the action necessary to address any problem areas. Additional hands-on support and assistance is also available, including help with drafting of key documents and provision of templates in some areas.

For those who want to go further and achieve the full accreditation, companies will be asked to provide evidence that all non-compliances have been satisfactorily addressed, following which the award will be made. CPs will be provided with certification and logos for use on their websites, promotional material etc.

Train to and FCS have been offering training to help communication providers understand their regulatory obligations for two years. Following feedback from training course attendees, they have worked together to develop the new compliance service.

Current telecoms regulation covers activity in many areas including sales and marketing, customer contracts, billing, codes of practice and complaints handling. These are all areas where Ofcom has recently carried out investigations to monitor compliance against its requirements. In some cases substantial fines have been levied for non-compliance.

While the regulatory requirements which affect most reseller CPs in the UK are in themselves generally straightforward, logical and not too onerous, the relevant detail is not always easy to find or to interpret. So it can be difficult for communications providers to understand exactly what Ofcom expects of them.

Further, Ofcom has also recently announced plans, as part of its Digital Communication Review, for a fundamental overhaul of the sector regulation which is contained primarily in the General Conditions of Entitlement. The General Conditions are essentially a part of the UK Communications Act which sets out most of the detailed regulation which affects the day to day activity of communications providers. The new service will also deliver updates on regulatory changes — and provides for two-yearly reassessments to maintain the accreditation.

Train to founder and owner Julie Mills (pictured) commented: “The introduction of the new compliance and accreditation service is a logical development of our current training. Clients have told us that they would welcome some direct support and a structured framework for making the necessary changes in their businesses. This service will deliver that in a simple and cost effective way”.

FCS CEO Chris Pateman added, “FCS welcomes any initiatives which help to improve the professionalism and the public image of the industry. We believe this new initiative will help in both these areas. FCS is pleased to be part of a significant and very practical step forward in this area.”

HighNet has already declared its intention to be the first company to sign up for the service and gain accreditation.

“We recognise that it can be difficult for companies to identify whether a telecoms supplier is reputable or not, until they encounter a problem. This service will not only help to ensure that we as a business continue to be fully compliant but it will also provide our customers with the confidence that our service processes and practices are in place to fully support them and deliver the best-in-class customer experience we promise.” Katrina McDonald, Service Delivery Director.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine