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How to Become a Trusted Trader in the UK

Becoming a trusted trader in the UK can significantly boost your business’s reputation and customer base. Joining a trusted trader scheme, endorsed by local authorities and Trading Standards, demonstrates your commitment to high standards and customer satisfaction. This article explores the benefits of being a trusted trader and how to join a scheme.

What is a Trusted Trader Scheme?

A trusted trader scheme is a local authority-run program that vets and endorses reputable businesses. These schemes aim to protect consumers from rogue traders and help them find reliable tradespeople. Joining a scheme shows potential customers that your business meets strict standards and has been assessed by trading standards professionals.

While there are national Trusted Trader schemes in the UK, such as Which?, there are also local council trader schemes you could join, which are typically a great way of attracting local clients as a sole trader or contractor.

What are the Benefits of Joining a Trusted Trader Scheme?

  1. Increased Credibility: Displaying the trusted trader logo on your website, vehicles, and marketing materials can help to instil confidence in potential customers.
  2. Improved Visibility: Many schemes feature an online directory where customers can search for endorsed traders in their area.
  3. Customer Assurance: Customers know that trusted traders have been thoroughly vetted and meet high standards of workmanship and customer service.
  4. Dispute Resolution: Some schemes offer mediation services to resolve disputes between traders and customers, protecting your business’s reputation.

How to Join a Trusted Trader Scheme in the UK:

Check Your Eligibility

Each scheme has its own eligibility criteria, but most require:

  • A minimum trading history (usually 6-12 months)
  • Appropriate insurance coverage, including public liability insurance
  • Compliance with relevant laws and regulations
  • Positive customer references

Apply Online or Enquire

Visit your local authority’s website or the specific scheme’s website to apply online or enquire about joining. You’ll typically need to provide:

  • Business details
  • Proof of insurance
  • Customer references
  • Relevant qualifications and certifications

Undergo an Assessment

Once your application is reviewed, an assessor will visit your premises to:

  • Check your paperwork and procedures
  • Assess your workmanship and customer service
  • Ensure you meet the scheme’s standards

The assessor will then report back to the scheme’s team, who will decide whether to endorse your business.

Maintain High Standards

After joining a scheme, you must maintain the high standards that earned your endorsement. This includes:

  • Delivering quality workmanship
  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Responding promptly to customer complaints
  • Cooperating with the scheme’s monitoring and feedback processes

Trusted Trader Schemes Across the UK:

England and Wales

In England and Wales, trusted trader schemes are typically run by local authorities in partnership with Trading Standards. Some well-known schemes include:

  • Buy With Confidence
  • TrustMark
  • Checkatrade (a private scheme endorsed by some local authorities)
  • Which?


In Scotland, the trusted trader scheme is supported by Police Scotland and the Trading Standards Scotland. Businesses must meet strict criteria and undergo comprehensive checks to be endorsed.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s trusted trader scheme is run by the Department for the Economy and supported by local authorities and Trading Standards.

Common Questions About Trusted Trader Schemes:

How long does it take to be endorsed?

The endorsement process typically takes 4-6 weeks, depending on the scheme and the size of your business. Some local council trusted trader schemes may take longer, whereas others may only take a few days.

Is there a fee to join a scheme?

Most schemes charge an annual membership fee to cover the costs of assessments, monitoring, and administration. Fees vary by scheme and business size.

How can customers find trusted traders?

Customers can search for trusted traders on the scheme’s website or directory, usually by trade and location.

What happens if a customer complains about a trusted trader?

The scheme will investigate the complaint and may revoke the trader’s endorsement if they are found to have breached the scheme’s standards.

Becoming a trusted trader can take your business to new heights. By joining a trusted trader scheme and protecting your business with comprehensive insurance from Tradesman Saver, you’ll show customers that you’re a tradesperson they can trust.

Get a quote from Tradesman Saver today and let us cover the rest while you focus on getting the job done right.

Protecting Your Business as a Trusted Trader, With Tradesman Saver Insurance Cover

Joining a trusted trader scheme is an excellent way to showcase your business’s reliability and commitment to customer satisfaction. However, it’s still essential to protect your business with comprehensive insurance coverage.

Tradesman Saver offers tailored insurance packages for trusted traders, including:

With premiums starting from less than £54* per year, Tradesman Saver can help you safeguard your business while you focus on delivering top-quality work as a trusted trader.

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