02 October 2023

Aberdeenshire Council joins the Trusted Trader network

Aberdeenshire Council has joined the Trusted Trader network with the launch of the Aberdeenshire Trusted Trader scheme and is inviting applications from local businesses.

The scheme will join the Scottish Trusted Trader platform, as well as be shown on the Scotland-wide trader portal which is owned and run by SCOTSS Trading Standards.

Local businesses which join will be vetted by the council's Trading Standards and promoted to local residents. The aim of the scheme is to:

  • Increase consumer confidence
  • Help protect residents from doorstep crime
  • Encourage good practice within the local business sector
  • Promote vetted local businesses

Trading Standards Trusted Trader schemes are council-backed and supported by Police Scotland. There are currently 15 Trusted Trader schemes operating across Scotland with another 4 in the process of being established.

Aberdeenshire Trusted Trader scheme is just one of a suite of measures the Trading Standards Prevention & Intervention Team are developing or have in place to prevent & support consumers who have been defrauded, scammed or exposed to unsatisfactory work and dishonest practices by disreputable traders.

The Trusted Trader scheme differs from national commercial schemes, it is entirely local, aimed at Aberdeenshire traders and consumers and supported by Trading Standards. Members are vetted by Trading Standards, a rigorous process that considers trading history, business practices and a commitment from the business to trade fairly.  This hands-on approach, along with our local knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements, is the key strength of this scheme. All members have to follow a strict Code of Practice, ensuring accountability and protection for local residents and consumers.

In 2022, the average membership renewal rate across all schemes was 96%, with members citing increased customer credibility and lead generation as their primary motivation for being a member.

The scheme will be funded by an annual membership fee of £200 plus VAT (£240). This covers the vetting process, administration and promotion of the Trusted Trader scheme.

Be one of the first 25 applicants and the annual fee will be reduced by 50% to £100 plus VAT (£120).

If you are an Aberdeenshire-based business which has a minimum of six months’ clean trading history and would be interested in joining the Trusted Trader scheme, please complete the following expressions of interest form:

Cllr Alan Turner, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “I am delighted that we are backing this important initiative which is being supported by Police Scotland. It is absolutely essential that residents of Aberdeenshire can search for and access reputable businesses when they are looking for a particular service or to get works undertaken in their homes.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “Our Trading Standards team continues to work hard to safeguard our communities from cold-callers and doorstep crime and strives to promote good, reliable services within the local business sector. I very much hope that residents and businesses alike will take full advantage of the Aberdeenshire Trusted Trader directory, safe in the knowledge that all these traders have been fully vetted by our Trading Standards team.”

Scotland Trusted Trader is a collaboration between the local council, the council's Trading Standards team, Kent Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Trusted Directory Services (TDS).

The council backs and oversees the scheme, with the vetting process carried out by Trading Standards Officers. Trading Standards also ensure traders adhere to the Code of Practice and will intervene in disputes when required.

Kent ADR allows impartial adjudication when a dispute arises between consumer and business and can be settled outside of court. TDS is responsible for scheme administration, customer service and website support.