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What is the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC)?

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What is the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC)?

What is the NHIC and what does it do?

The NHIC was launched in 1974 with a simple mission ‘To improve the quality and standards of Home Improvements". In the early years, the NHIC’s main activities concentrated on lobbying government, research and co-operation with private and social sector housing.

But there is still much to be done – in fact, the need to raise awareness and standards of home improvement is never-ending. Challenges to address these days are the demographic demands of an increasing population, energy efficiency and carbon emissions, fuel poverty and the housing requirements of an ageing society.

Members of the NHIC make a real contribution to the future development of the nation’s homes and help stimulate the economy in their own area of expertise.


Who are NHIC members?

We have three consumer protection schemes (Group) that have all joined the NHIC this year: 

  1. DGCOS – Double Glazing & Conservatory Quality Assurance Ombudsman Scheme.
  2. HIES - Home Insulation & Energy Systems Quality Assured Contractors Scheme.
  3. HICS - Home Improvement Consumer Protection Scheme.

Where DGCOS’ focus is on the double-glazing sector, HIES’ primary focus is on the renewables sector and HICS focuses on other home improvements, such as kitchens, bathrooms and driveways. This means that whatever home improvement a consumer is purchasing, they can utilise a trader who is an accredited member of one of our schemes and have total peace of mind.

Other well-known NHIC members are the Federation of Master Builders, Local Authority Building Control (LABC), the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC), the GAS Safety Trust and TrustMark (the Government Endorsed Quality scheme for trusted traders). Earlier this year HIES was approved as a TrustMark Scheme Operator, ready for the launch of an extension of scope and revised branding , which will include a set of new Framework Operating Requirements, a Code of Conduct, Customer Charter and Technical Standards.

Why has our Group joined?

The NHIC are a fantastic organisation with a great reputation for working towards ensuring our industries are offering high quality services to customers. We look to work with companies who have a similar vision and mission to our own. We know that working with the NHIC, we can have a joint approach to cleaning up the industries downfalls.

Furthermore, being part of the NHIC makes other organisations that operate in our sectors more aware of the comprehensiveness of our consumer protection schemes, so enhancing their awareness of the high bar-setting of the insurance backed guarantees and dispute resolution processes which our Group gives to consumers for total peace of mind. We believe this will encourage other organisations in the home improvement sectors to improve their consumer protection offerings to make things better for consumers overall.

The great news is, we have already seen the benefits of our partnership and in the coming months, we are meeting with a well-known, well-established trade association who are also members of the NHIC. They are interested in being able to offer their customers worthwhile insurance backed guarantees and an industry leading dispute resolution service. Watch this space.

Does our Group play a major part in the NHIC?

Our Group has “enhanced” membership. This enables us to attend the NHIC’s “Chatham Group” for senior executives of organisations who are at the cutting edge of raising standards and protecting consumers, and who are seriously committed to transforming the sector.

The Chatham Group consists of a select small number of NHIC members, who meet with the NHIC President (the Rt Hon Baroness Maddock) to discuss matters of importance relating to industry and policy. This enables our Group to lead discussions and influence lobbying activities in the sector based on our expertise of consumer protection.

Who represents our Group with the NHIC?

Our main representative is Adrian Simpson, our Director of Policy. The majority of the meetings are in London so Adrian is well placed to attend Leaders Council meetings and Chatham Group meetings as he is based in Kent.

Earlier this year Adrian was elected to the NHIC Board as a non-executive director. He therefore also attends two board meetings a year and helps shape decisions as regards the activities of the NHIC moving forward. Board meetings and Leaders Council meetings are chaired by the current NHIC Chairman, Paul Everall, Chief Executive of Local Authority Building Control.

What other events are organised by the NHIC?

Each year the NHIC organises at least one parliamentary event. In March of this year the parliamentary event was a Breakfast in the House of Lords, with the theme “Non-Compliance in the Home Improvement Sector”. Hosted by Baroness Maddock with many invited MPs attending, it was an interesting and productive session, and a useful step in understanding the size and scale of the challenge of non-compliance as well as establishing a route to possible pathways towards solutions.

There is also the NHIC Annual Awards. Since 1974 these Awards have recognised achievement in UK Housing and have grown over the years to become highly regarded as the premier event in the home improvement and modernisation sector. This year the NHIC announced the creation of The George Clarke Medal, which was hosted as part of its Black-Tie Awards Ceremony held recently on the 22nd November at One Whitehall Place, London.

Further information on the NHIC:

Further information on the NHIC and the Annual Awards can be read on the NHIC’s website: www.nhic.org.uk


Considering joining DGCOS?

Please Call Mike: 0345 053 8975
Or visit our Installer Website for more info.

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