Consumer protection’s new top dog?

Glass Times editor Nathan Bushell discusses the news that Corgi Fenestration was launched last month.

We have recently reported that Which? Trusted Traders and The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) have joined the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC), while The Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) and TrustMark have been looking at ways in which they can deliver joint services to provide greater levels of consumer protection and confidence across the home improvement sector.

Also, SEH BAC has been accepted into the Master Window and Conservatory Installers Association (MWCIA), an organisation made up of the ‘best’ window, door and conservatory companies in the UK, and founded by Don Waterworth, who is known for his appearances on consumer rights programmes ‘Don’t Get Done Get Dom’ and ‘Cowboy Builders’, and his work with TV personality Dom Littlewood.

“Over years working on television, and decades working in private practice, I’ve come across hundreds of dodgy, unscrupulous home improvement companies,” Don said.

You can now add another scheme to that list: Corgi Fenestration.

Despite it being a ‘gas’ brand, and having been replaced by Gas Safe since 2009, it still resonates with consumers, and it gives Corgi Fenestration’s architects Chris Mayne and Jacqueline Crawford an important amount of brand awareness.

“Without Corgi, we would be pushing water uphill,” Chris told Glass Times.

Corgi Fenestration also aims to operate differently from other schemes.

“We want to work in collaboration with companies,” Chris said. “We know there are highly competent individuals working in the industry who are often unfairly treated.

“We want to do something which is different, a fresh approach, a more holistic approach in which site inspections and reporting after the product has been installed are not the essence of a company’s association with an ‘approving’ body.

“We want to develop a 360-degree approach, an on-going account management approach, which looks at the training and certification of operative throughout the supply chain, and an ongoing process of learning and continuing development which will deliver meaningful benefits to the employer and the end user.

“We want to recognise a company’s existing processes and management procedures and work with them to help deliver service levels which could ultimately lead to a reduction in the need for inspections after a product has been installed.”

Basically, Corgi isn’t about someone with a clipboard sucking their teeth at the end of a job; it is a very ambitious proposition, which also has the full backing of GQA Qualifications. And if it wasn’t for Chris’s and Jacqueline’s enviable experience in the fenestration sector working alongside certification schemes, then I would be doubtful of its success.

However, they have very robust plans in place, and if you want to learn more, you can visit them at the FIT Show in May.