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Hip providers must prove quality before joining

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 27-May-08 05:54:09 PM

Yesterday - yes, Bank Holiday, yesterday! - the Independent Pack Providers Association (IPPA) was officially launched.

IPPA promises to be a voice for the smaller independent providers of Home Information Packs (HIPs) to both Government and industry as well as establishing a minimum standard of compliance and quality.

Of course, all representative bodies make similar claims - Few, however, actually require prospective members to prove it, before joining.

This is good news, IMO - It's all too easy, these days, to infer credibility within promotional literature simply because a trader pays a fee (or not!) to join a trade body for the use of its logo.

To use it, prove it!

Founding IPPA member, Pam Duncanson, explained to this site: "We differ from the larger organisations as we have a barrier to entry - all potential members must submit a sample HIP which will be quality and compliance checked."

According to its site, depending on the level of membership (there are four), prospective members are required to submit any, or all, of the following before approval:

  • Valid Certificate of Professional Indemnity Insurance.
  • Copy of valid Accreditation Scheme Certificate. (Full members Only)
  • A complete HIP for quality and compliance checking. (Full/HIPP members only)
  • A copy of your Redress / Complaints Procedure

A minimum to build on

IPPA spokesman, Duncan Murphy, added: "We regard the basic HIP (as required by the Housing Act and Regulations) to be merely a stepping stone. We intend to build on the basic HIP with additional components that will make the Home Information Pack a truly useful document that really does help the house buying process."

Membership fees are charged on a sliding scale starting at £60 for Associates, rising to £400 for Full members having 10 or more staff.

As fees for Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) come under intense pressure, many Domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) are diversifying into the provision of HIPs to supplement their income.

"Inefficient national companies"

IPPA feels that this growing group of small traders are demonstrating higher levels of service together with faster turnaround times which larger players are failing to deliver.

It questions why Govt. is holding back on the First Day Marketing (FDM) transitional arrangements for HIPs (recently knocked back to 31st December 08), implying it is because of lobbying efforts by "inefficient and slow HIP providers" struggling to meet service levels.

On its website it writes: could it possibly be necessary to delay the delivery of the EPC and the basic documents required by the legislation before marketing can commence? As independent HIP providers we know that these documents can be produced within 2 to 3 days from instruction.

I hope to be kicking off the DEA Podcast again shortly with the first guest expected to be a representative from IPPA. Stay tuned.

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