Thursday, 17 November 2011

Professional Carpet Cleaners have a Code of Practice

The National Carpet Cleaners Association believes in the importance of promoting best practice in all aspects of carpet cleaning.

With this in mind we have developed, along with BSI British Standards and with collaboration from industry experts, the professional document PAS 86: 2008 - Professional inspection, maintenance, cleaning and restoration of textile floor coverings - Code of Practice. 

PAS86 is the only government recognised code of practice for professional carpet cleaning. When considering employing a professional carpet cleaner, consumers should ensure companies and technicians are committed to following PAS86 Code of Practice.

Serious carpet cleaners have already adopted the PAS as their official guide to professional carpet cleaning but the PAS is also relevant to government bodies, trading standards, the insurance industry, carpet manufacturers, consumers, retailers, training bodies and those involved in the management, cleaning and inspection of textile floor coverings.

The PAS86 is applicable to all types and styles of textile floor coverings within domestic and commercial environments.

As a consumer who can I trust?

A recent report from the Local Government Association highlighted the number of false claims made by food suppliers. 'Devon ham' that came from Denmark, 'Welsh lamb' from New Zealand, 'Somerset butter' from Scotland.

They concluded from their inspections that 18% of claims were false and another 14% were most likely false as the claims could not be verified.

Most of you have perhaps wondered, from time to time, if the free-range eggs you purchased were genuine or were in fact battery produced. Well, you were probably right as it is certainly going on. But there is more...  

The honey you bought, thinking it came from a local cottage, might well have had 90% honey from China added. The organic meat may not be, the West Country fish may have been caught off the coast but has gone to China and back to process. The British beef advertised on the restaurant menu could well be Zebu from South America just as the cod from the fish and chip shop may be Vietnamese catfish. 

It has been suggested that we are paying £7 billion per year on food that is not what is claimed. Well if that is the case, and we live in such an age of dishonesty, who can we trust when it comes to having tradesmen do work on our behalf? Do the tradesmen you use come up to your expectations? If they do, how did you find them? In most cases it was probably by recommendation. In many cases we turn to a friend, a family member, or a neighbour and if they show enthusiasm about a specific tradesman, or company, that is the one we contact.

If no-one can provide you with a recommendation most likely you turn to a directory or perhaps an Internet search engine. How do you make your choice from the list?  

Some years ago I conducted a survey of how people made their choice of a Carpet Cleaner from Yellow Pages and found that the most common reason was location. The first thing they looked for was the phone number and if it was near to them that was the company they were most likely to contact. 

In some ways this is understandable. If the company is local you probably feel they would be more likely to actually turn-up, or possibly be cheaper because they haven't travelled far, or even that because they are part of the local community they will be more honest. Unfortunately in practice these things may not actually be true and you end up still feeling let down. Perhaps they didn't come when they promised. Perhaps they quoted you one price on the phone but charged you twice as much at  the end of he job, or maybe the results didn't come up to our expectation. Where do you turn? Who can you contact to make yourself feel better? Truth is there is no easy answer.

Can I instead give you a recommendation? Many years ago a group of carpet and upholstery cleaners saw the need to set-up a group of tradesmen who valued service, quality and honesty and formed the National Carpet Cleaners Association. Now over 40 years later nearly 600 carpet and floor care professionals throughout the UK, have subscribed to, and closely follow, the association's motto which is SERVICE WITH INTEGRITY. The members follow a strict code of practice which you can access and read by consulting the NCCA website at

Should you choose to use a member, and in the unlikely event that you experience a problem, the NCCA operate a mediation process to assist you resolve whatever issues you may have.

Each member is required, not only to follow the code of practise, but also to undergo basic industry training and are encouraged to invest in further training to develop their knowledge and business acumen.  

If you need to find a reputable carpet or hard floor care cleaner don't simply stick a pin in a directory, consult the NCCA website to check out which members are in your area, or telephone the National Carpet Cleaners Association office on 0116 271 9550 where the staff will offer you help and advice.

In an age where we are becoming less and less trusting, this is one way that you can feel confident of getting the work done to a high standard, which I hope will put you in the position of being able to help others as you pass on your recommendation to them. It may only be one small segment of our life but it is reassuring to know that there are still honest, upright professionals in at least one of the trades.  

Keith Robertson
NCCA Vice President and Marketing Director