Consumer advice information

Information is available from the Trading Standards Institute to help consumers. Please note the county council is not responsible for this information.

Trade associations and regulatory bodies

In the guide

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

If you are in dispute with a trader and the trader is a member of a trade association or is regulated by a professional body, you may be able to get advice or assistance from the relevant association or body.

There are trade associations and professional bodies in all sectors - for example, the building industry, motor vehicles, electrical goods, holidays and financial services.

What is a trade association?

A trade association is an organisation that works in the collective interests of its members in a particular industry.

Does a business have to be in a trade association?

For some 'regulated professions' such as doctors and architects it may be required but generally there is no obligation for a business to be in one.

How can they help me?

Some trade associations provide a dispute resolution scheme as part of their service so if you have a complaint against one of their members, they can assist in resolving it. In some cases they will be able to provide experts to examine work / products if the nature of the problem is in dispute.

A selection of trade associations are listed below. The list is not exhaustive; there are many others. If you cannot find an appropriate one, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which may be able to assist you.

What is the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS)?

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), which is run the by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), was set up with a view to increasing consumer protection and improving customer service standards by assisting trade associations to regulate themselves. CTSI approves and promotes codes of practice, sets out the principles of effective customer service and requires traders to have robust alternative dispute resolution schemes.

For more information on the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, visit the CCAS section of the CTSI website (you can also search for approved code members on the site).

List of trade associations & regulatory bodies

Please note that the inclusion of an organisation in the list below does not imply any approval or warranty as to the standing or capability of that organisation by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

A number of the organisations listed are not trade associations. These are marked * and are mostly regulatory bodies, which may be of use to consumers.

ADVERTISING

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)*
Castle House, 37-45 Paul Street, London, EC2A 4LS
Tel: 020 7492 2222
asa.org.uk

BUILDING

Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
David Croft House, 25 Ely Place, London, EC1N 6TD
Tel: 0330 333 7777
fmb.org.uk

National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC)
31 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DY
Tel: 020 7638 7663
nfrc.co.uk

National House Building Council
NHBC House, Davy Avenue, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP
Tel: 0800 035 6422
nhbc.co.uk

TrustMark
Arena Business Centre, The Square, Basing View, Basingstoke, RG21 4EB
Tel: 0333 555 1234
trustmark.org.uk

MOTOR VEHICLES

National Conciliation Service PO Box 6562, Rugby, CV21 9QP
Tel: 01788 538317
nationalconciliationservice.co.uk

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT)
71 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2BN
Tel: 020 7235 7000
smmt.co.uk

Motor Ombudsman 
71 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2BN
Tel:  0345 241 3008
themotorombudsman.org

Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA)
Palmerston House, 10 The Loan, South Queensferry, EH30 9NS
Tel: 0131 331 5510
smta.co.uk

COMMERCIAL SERVICES

Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)
12 The Pavilions, Cranmore Drive, Solihull, B90 4SB
Tel: 0121 711 5030
aphc.co.uk

British Association of Removers (BAR)
Tangent House, 62 Exchange Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0TG
Tel: 01923 699480
bar.co.uk

Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF)
40 Rushworth Street, London, SE1 0RB
Tel: 020 7939 9100
ggf.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 6NB
Tel: 01708 472 791
ciphe.org.uk

National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC)
Warwick House, Houghton Hall Park, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 5ZX
Tel: 0333 015 6625
niceic.com

Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)
Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Suffolk, IP5 2Q
Tel: 01473 626298
oftec.org

Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF)
Bellevue House, 22 Hopetoun Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4GH
Tel: 0131 556 0600
snipef.org

UK Fashion and Textile Association
3 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3AR
Tel: 020 7843 9490
ukft.org

Fair Trades
Port of Liverpool Building, Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1BY
Tel: 0800 131 0123
fairtrades.co.uk

COMMUNICATIONS

Office of Communications (OFCOM)*
Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA
Tel: 0300 123 3333
ofcom.org.uk

ELECTRICAL GOODS

Radio, Electrical and Television Retailers' Association (RETRA)
1st Floor, Woburn Court, 2 Railton Road, Woburn Road Industrial Estate, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7PN
Tel: 01234 269 110
retra.co.uk

FINANCE & CREDIT

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)*
12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN
Tel: 0800 111 6768 or 0300 500 8082
fca.org.uk

Building Societies Association (BSA)
6th Floor, York House, 23 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6UJ
Tel: 020 7520 5900
bsa.org.uk

Companies House*
Companies House, Crown Way, Cardiff, CF14 3UZ
Tel: 0303 1234 500
gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house

Insolvency Service*
4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT
Tel: 0300 678 0015
gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

UK Finance
1 Angel Court, London, EC2R 7HJ
ukfinance.org.uk

Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, Harbour Exchange, London, E14 9SR
Tel: 0800 0234 567
financial-ombudsman.org.uk

FURNITURE

(including beds, cabinets, carpets and other floor coverings, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and upholstery)

The Furniture Ombudsman
Premier House, First Floor, 11-5 Argyle Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, SG1 2AD
Tel: 0333 241 3209
thefurnitureombudsman.org

HEALTH SERVICES

General Dental Council (GDC)
37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ
Tel: 020 7167 6000
gdc-uk.org

General Optical Council (GOC)
10 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7NG
Tel: 020 7307 9483
optical.org

HOLIDAYS, TRAVEL & TRANSPORT

Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ
Tel: 020 3117 0599
abta.com

Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)
18 Bridle Lane, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3EG
Tel: 020 8744 9280
aito.co.uk

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)*
Aviation House, Beehive Ringroad, Crawley, West Sussex, RH6 0YR
Tel: 0330 022 1500
caa.co.uk

Office of Rail and Road (ORR)*
25 Cabot Square, London, E14 4QZ
Tel: 020 7282 2000
orr.gov.uk

Transport Focus
Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX
Tel: 0300 123 2350
transportfocus.org.uk

INSURANCE

Association of British Insurers (ABI)
One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB
Tel: 020 7600 3333
abi.org.uk

LEGAL SERVICES

Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society's Hall, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL
Tel: 020 7242 1222
lawsociety.org.uk

Law Society of Scotland
Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EX
Tel: 0131 226 7411
lawscot.org.uk

MAIL ORDER

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
Tel: 020 7291 3300
dma.org.uk

Mailing Preference Service*
DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
Tel: 020 7291 3310
mpsonline.org.uk
The MPS website also has links to the Telephone, Fax and Baby Mailing Preference Services

PROPERTY

National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive, Warwick, CV34 6LG
Tel: 01926 496 800
naea.co.uk

Safeagent
Cheltenham Office Park, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SH
Tel: 01242 581712
safeagents.co.uk

Association of Residential Letting Agents
Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6LG
Tel: 01926 496 800
arla.co.uk

The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)
Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2BP
Tel: 01722 333306
tpos.co.uk

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Tel: 020 7580 5533
architecture.com

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
12 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AD
Tel: 024 7686 8555
rics.org/uk

UTILITIES

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)*
10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU
Tel: 020 7901 7000
ofgem.gov.uk

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - Glasgow 
Commonwealth House, 32 Albion Street, Glasgow, G1 1LH
Tel: 0141 331 2678
ofgem.gov.uk

Ombudsman Services: Energy
PO Box 966 Warrington, WA4 9DF
Tel: 0330 440 1624
ombudsman-services.org

Office of Water Services (OFWAT)
Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham, B5 4UA
Tel: 0300 034 2222
ofwat.gov.uk

Consumer Council for Water
1st Floor Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4AT
Tel: 0300 034 2222
ccwater.org.uk

Key legislation

  • There is no key legislation for this guide

Last reviewed / updated: July 2020

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.

For further information in England and Wales contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 2231133. In Scotland contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000. Both provide free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.

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The county council is not responsible for this information.