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Using the Trading Standards Checked Service

What is the Trading Standards Checked Scheme?

The Trading Standards Checked Scheme is a fair trader directory run by Kent County Council.

Traders on the scheme have been thoroughly checked and vetted so Kent residents can easily find traders they can trust. It also supports Kent based businesses by giving them an accreditation that they can use to demonstrate to consumers that they are good traders.

Kent County Council Trading Standards are committed to ensuring that criminal and rogue traders do not prosper in Kent.

Do I have to pay for your service?

No. It is free to search for checked traders. So residents in Kent have access to a list of traders that are checked and trustworthy. The scheme is funded by trader membership fees.

Why are there only a few traders listed in my area?

You may not have any traders registered in your area yet. The scheme was launched in January 2020 and members are joining all the time.

Alternatively, if you are searching for a specific trade, it could be that none of the registered trades in your area do that work. You can try expanding the distance that you are searching in to get more results.

If you know local traders that you think should be on the scheme but aren’t showing in the search results, encourage them to apply.

Can I give feedback about a trader?

It is very difficult and expensive to verify customer feedback and online reviews and this is not a service provided by Trading Standards Checked. There are a number of other places online that you can find feedback and reviews about businesses.

Instead Trading Standards Checked chooses to focus on expert vetting that only KCC can do and provide a simple and easy to use directory of checked traders you can trust.

If you encounter any issues with a trader that is listed on Trading Standards Checked , then please report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. The Citizens Advice Consumer Service will be able to provide you with the correct advice on how to resolve the issues you have, and also pass on the information you provide directly to Kent Trading Standards.

How do I report a trader?

If you want to report a trader that is listed on our scheme, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who will take the relevant details, provide you with advice and pass the information directly to Kent County Council Trading Standards.

If I report a trader, will you remove them from the scheme?

Not every complaint will result in the trader being removed. We have a lot of experience in dealing with complaints about traders, and we understand that even the best traders sometimes receive complaints. All complaints we receive through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service are reviewed by an experienced member of the team.

If your complaint is serious, it may lead to a review of the trader's membership. Depending on the outcome of that review, there may be conditions placed upon their membership or it could lead to them being removed from the scheme. Decisions to remove traders from the scheme are not taken lightly.

We will not be able to feedback to you our decision and the outcome of your report.

How do you protect vulnerable residents?

We protect vulnerable residents by working with partner agencies such as the Kent County Council Community Wardens, Kent Police and other agencies like Age UK to encourage and support any vulnerable residents that are looking for traders. This scheme was set up to give all consumers, not just the vulnerable, a reliable place to find traders they can trust.

The Traders that are on our scheme have all been checked by our expert team and have agreed to abide by the Code of Conduct and Scheme Terms & Conditions.

Who do I tell if I have concerns about a Trading Standards Checked trader’s behaviour or attitude?

If you want to report a trader that is listed on our scheme, you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, who will take the relevant details, provide you with advice and pass the information directly to Kent County Council Trading Standards.

Whilst we hope it will never happen, if you feel threatened by any of our traders whilst they are on your property:

  • Call 999 to report a crime in progress.
  • Or call 101 to report a crime or incident that has taken place.
Why do some of the trader’s profiles look different?

Traders have the option to pay for ‘Gold Membership’. This gives them a few additional features that you can see, such as using their business logo, photo galleries and a longer description of their business.

Being a gold member does NOT mean that they are a better trader, or that they have had any additional checks. All of our traders are checked to exactly the same level. You should always get 3 quotes and check the trader’s insurance and qualifications.

Do I still need to get more than one quote if I use a Trading Standards Checked trader?

Yes. No matter where you find your traders, you should always get at least 3 quotes, don’t just accept the cheapest quote.

What questions should I ask when making contact with a trader?

Watch this short video to find out all the important questions you should ask any trader that you are thinking of employing.

Some of the key things to think about asking are:

  • How long will the work take?
  • How will you pay?
  • What is and isn’t included?
  • How will they remove the waste?
  • Will the work be messy or noisy?
  • Do they have adequate public liability insurance?
  • Do you need Building Control permission?
  • Do they have the right qualifications for the work?
  • Will they be using subcontractors?
Why should I use Trading Standards Checked?

Because we are a County Council, we have access to information and checks that no other scheme in Kent can offer. Our staff are professionals, highly trained, experienced and can draw on a range of skills developed by supporting Kent County Council Trading Standards in investigating Rogue Traders and doorstep criminals.

Our trades are checked like no other.

About Trading Standards Checked Members

Who can apply?

Traders who are based in Kent and provide services to Kent residents can apply to join KCC Trading Standards Checked.

KCC Trading Standards Checked is also available to non-Kent based businesses if they are based within 5 miles of the Kent border, and/or conduct more than 50% of their business in Kent.

What checks do you carry out on members?

The checks that we carry out are extensive, for a full list of what we check, please click here.

Do you guarantee the quality of your members’ work?

No. Whilst we check our traders thoroughly, we cannot guarantee the quality of their work. You should ask for references from the trader, check their qualifications and make sure they have the right insurance in place before agreeing a contract.

Remember, if you encounter any issues, the Citizens Advice Service will be able to provide you with advice.

What if a Trading Standards Checked member does a poor job?

You should try to resolve the issue with the trader in the first place, if you feel you need advice, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service who will provide you with the relevant guidance and also pass the information on to Kent County Council Trading Standards.

Do you remove members?

Yes if necessary. Although the decision to remove a trader is not taken lightly, there are many reasons we may remove members from the scheme.

We constantly monitor the traders on our scheme to make sure they are deserving of the Trading Standards Checked accreditation and logo.

How can I check that a trader is a genuine member of Trading Standards Checked?

Each Trading Standards Checked Trader is issued with a Unique Trader ID Number. If you have any concerns about a trader potentially not being a genuine member, ask for their Trader ID number, it’s also printed on their logo – you can use this to check on the website to see if they are a genuine member.

I’m a trader, why should I join the Trading Standards Checked scheme?

By joining our scheme, you will set your business apart from others. You can reassure your customers that you have been thoroughly vetted and are able to proudly display the Trading Standards Checked logo as proof of this. Your customers will have peace of mind that you are a trader they can trust.

You will also have access to a number of member benefits. For example: being listed on the Kent County Council Trading Standards Checked website, discounts on Trading Standards advice services and access to free Trading Standards guidance and compliant business templates such as contracts and cancellation notices - you can’t get this from any other scheme. See our member benefits page for more exclusive benefits of being Trading Standards Checked.

I’m a trader on the Trading Standards Checked scheme, do I have to pay for leads?

No. We are not a lead generating service. There are no hidden fees, no lead payments or any other charges. You pay for your membership and that’s it. By signing up for the Trading Standards Checked Scheme you are paying to be checked by Trading Standards and to be able to promote this accreditation to your customers.