The purpose of
this Code of Practice is to provide members of the
Association with practical guidelines with the aim of
improving the quality of the service given by member
companies to their customers. It represents a binding
commitment on the part of each member of the BBSA to a
high standard of quality, safety, integrity and
In drawing up
the Code of Practice, the Association has paid
particular attention to recommendations as laid down by
the Office of Fair Trading.
Association, since its inception in 1919, has always
actively encouraged the highest standards of product and
workmanship combined with professional integrity of
conduct and trading.
manufactured and supplied by BBSA members include
interior and exterior blinds, awnings, security grilles
The Association would recommend most strongly to
consumers that they only employ the services of
reputable, well-established blind and shutter
manufacturers - the Association places a very great
emphasis on its membership selection procedure.
Full Member: Manufacturer of complete blinds and/or
shutters or systems including manufacturers where a
major part or all of whose business is directly
connected with the production and/or marketing of blinds
Overseas Associate Member: Manufacture or supplier of
blinds, shutters or components outside the UK
Service Member: A company with a minor involvement in
the manufacture and marketing of blinds and/or shutters
and any company engaged in activities connected with
cleaning, repairing, fitting or selling blinds and/or
Affiliate Membership A company engaged in either of the
activities in the foregoing definitions and shall have
been engaged in that business for not less than 2 years
preceding election to membership
All applicants for Full membership must have been in the
business of manufacturing blinds and/or shutters for a
minimum of three years at the time of application during
which time their trading practices should not have been
inconsistent with the requirements of this Code.
Overseas Associate members should have the support of a
UK agent or distributor. All applicants (except those
overseas) will receive a visit from a delegate of the
Managing Committee of the Association, whose detailed
inspection of the premises includes careful checks on
manufacturing techniques, quality of workmanship and
stock levels. Only after inspection of the premises has
taken place, can the application be considered by the
Association's Managing Committee which must be entirely
satisfied of the applicant's suitability.
Each member shall observe and comply with all of the
following requirements relevant to any business dealings
provided that the other party(ies) operate and interpret
any contract in a fair and reasonable manner.
(a) All advertising shall be in compliance with the
British Code of Advertising Practice, and the IBA Code
of Advertising Standards and Practice (see appendix).
All advertising should, therefore, be legal, decent,
honest and truthful.
(b) Advertisements should not unfairly attack or
discredit other products and advertisers or
advertisements directly or by implication.
(c) Prices or discounts quoted by the member or his
agent shall be in no way misleading.
All transactions must be conducted in accordance with
statutory and common law requirements of the country in
which the contract is made, in particular any statutory
or other legal requirements relating to the sale of
goods so far as concerns the quality of the product and
its fitness for purpose.
3. STANDARD OF WORKMANSHIP
The member shall observe a good standard of workmanship
and any goods or materials manufactured or fabricated by
the member shall be of good and merchantable quality
except when defects are specifically drawn to the
buyer's attention before the contract is made.
The member shall consistently check the quality of all
of the work, remedy all defects without undue delay and
ensure that all finished work is of an acceptable
4. PRODUCT INFORMATION
Like advertising, all product information shall be
truthful and accurate. Customers should be advised on
the operation and maintenance of the product.
When the member sub-contracts any work it shall ensure
that the sub- contractor is a competent and bona fide
organisation with all appropriate insurance cover and
that the sub-contractor complies with this Code of
Practice. The member shall act with fairness and
integrity in all dealings with the sub-contractor.
6. BUSINESS INTEGRITY
The member shall observe a high standard of business
integrity in all dealings with customers, suppliers or
sub-contractors. In particular the member shall:
(a) agree fair and reasonable terms of trading with
customers, suppliers and sub-contractors and shall abide
by those terms;
(b) only pursue claims against customers, suppliers or
sub-contractors which are believed to be valid,
reasonable and sustainable;
(c) take all practical and reasonable steps to discharge
when due at the earliest opportunity all outstanding
liabilities. Such liabilities shall include any arising
from other business activities in which any or all of
the owners, directors or managers of the member bore
direct responsibility, notwithstanding that there may
not be full legal obligation for such liabilities;
(d) not conduct business affairs in a manner likely to
bring the member or the BBSA into disrepute.
The member shall not engage in price-fixing,
market-sharing or any other unlawful anti-competitive
practices restrictive to trade.
8. SAFETY AND PRODUCT LIABILITY
The Member shall demonstrate a positive commitment to
health and safety and shall take all reasonable steps to
ensure the safety of employees and the public. The
Member shall carry adequate third party and product
The member shall demonstrate a positive commitment to
training and shall take active steps to ensure that all
operatives, supervisors, office staff and managers
receive proper and continuous training in all aspects of
work relevant to standard, safety and efficiency.
The member shall take all reasonable measures to ensure
the welfare and stability of employment of all employees
and shall fulfil all legal and other duties as an
employer including maintaining adequate employers
liability insurance. The member shall not discriminate
unlawfully or improperly in any aspect of employment.
Whilst the contents of this Code of Practice are
intended to avoid the possibility of there being cause
for complaint against a supplier, there may occasionally
be a time when such a situation does arise. If so, the
following procedure should be adopted.
(a) In the case of complaint it is most important that
the customer first approaches the supplier concerned -
the customer's contract is always with the supplier,
even though assistance may be sought from other parties
in resolving the dispute. The supplier should ensure
that any such complaint is investigated promptly to
assess its validity and, if substantiated, is settled
efficiently, quickly and courteously. If it is felt that
the customer does not have a justifiable complaint, it
should be explained politely why this is felt not to be
(b) If the customer is unsuccessful in resolving the
complaint then he or she may refer the matter in writing
to the British Blind and Shutter Association pursuant to
the Association's disputes resolution procedure. The
Association would determine how the dispute should be
resolved but this is likely to be by way of appointment
of an independent examiner to inspect any
product/installation which is the subject of complaint.
The Association reserves the right to require either or
both parties to pay a deposit to cover the cost of
independent inspection such deposit to be dealt with
following resolution of the dispute as the Association
shall determine having regard to the outcome of the
(c) If either party is not satisfied with the
determination of the Association following the report of
the examiner or such other investigations as the
Association shall consider appropriate that party may
express their dissatisfaction in writing within 7 days
and the Association may, if it thinks it appropriate,
convene an independent review body consisting of not
less than 3 members to review the complaint and the
initial determination of the Association.
(d) The above complaint procedure shall in no way affect
the statutory or legal rights of the customer.
(e) The determination of the Association in relation to
any complaint referred to it or by the review body (if
applicable) shall be binding upon the member who shall
carry out expeditiously and any such actions (if any)
directed to be taken by the Association or the review
body (as the case may be). Any failure by a member to
comply with the directions of the Association or a
review body or any member found as a result of the
resolution and disputes procedure to have been
conducting business in a manner considered inappropriate
to membership or in any way in contravention of the
Association's constitution and rules or this Code of
Practice may be subject to the Association's
12. ENFORCEMENT OF THE CODE
It is a condition of membership of the Association that
this Code of Practice is accepted in its entirety and in
the event of a proven breach of the Code of Practice the
member concerned may be penalised as decided by the
Association in accordance with the Association's
Constitution and Rules.
Copies of the British Code of Advertising Practice are
available from the Advertising Standards Authority
Limited, Brook House, 2-16 Torrington Place, London WC1E
Copies of the IBA Code of Advertising Standards and
Practice are available from the Independent Broadcasting
Authority, 70 Brompton Road, London SW3 1EI.