The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) has introduced the first certification scheme for the UK telemarketing industry.
It is hoped the move will combat the increasing reputational threat of "nuisance calls", which are made by rogue businesses across the country.
TPS Assured will help businesses ensure they stay within the law when making outband sales and marketing calls to UK consumers, guaranteeing they adhere to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and Ofcom's own rules.
Businesses that earn TPS Assured certification will need to undergo a yearly audit to carry on displaying the TPS Assured mark.
The certification scheme has been introduced to counter the increasing levels of reputational damage caused to the multi-billion pound telemarketing industry by rogue businesses being run outside of the law.
By complying with the TPS Assured regulations, businesses can show how they are adhering to the law and reaching the highest possible standards of best practice.
Ed Vaizey MP, minister for culture, communications and creative industries, said: "Direct marketing is a legitimate industry but the public has had enough of nuisance calls from companies simply flouting the rules. We have encouraged regulators to take action against those who break the law but we are also keen for industry to improve best practice.
"I welcome this initiative by the TPS and hope that it helps to drive up standards.”
Top-level roundtable discussions have been held regarding how regulators, consumer groups and telecoms providers can work together to approach the issue of nuisance calls, with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport leading the work.
John Mitchison, head of the TPS, said: "Nuisance calls are not just a problem for consumers, they are also harmful to the legitimate telemarketing industry, which is unfortunately tarred with the same brush. This undermines telemarketing’s effectiveness and the businesses that depend on it to drive sales."
Mr Mitchison added that the scheme will help to restore confidence in telemarketing by helping businesses, consumers and regulators to identify businesses working within the law.
Posted by Jon Aspinell on 4th November 2013
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