If you are in a dispute

The advice sheets below have the lastest information if you are in a dispute. If you need more advice, please call the Citizen Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Trade associations and regulatory bodies

In the guide

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

If you are in dispute with a trader and the trader is a member of a trade association or is regulated by a professional body, you may be able to get advice or assistance from the relevant association or body.

There are trade associations and professional bodies in all sectors, for example the building industry, cars, electrical goods, holidays and financial services.

What is a trade association?

A trade association is an organisation that works in the collective interests of its members in a particular industry.

Does a business have to be in a trade association?

For some 'regulated professions' such as doctors and architects it may be required but generally there is no obligation for a business to be in one.

How can they help me?

Some trade associations provide a dispute resolution scheme as part of their service so if you have a complaint against one of their members, they can assist in resolving the complaint. In some cases they will be able to provide experts to examine work / products if the nature of the problem is in dispute.

A selection of trade associations are listed below. The list is not exhaustive - there are many others. If you cannot find an appropriate one, contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which may be able to assist you.

What is the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS)?

The Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), which is run the by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), was set up with a view to increasing consumer protection and improving customer service standards by assisting trade associations to regulate themselves. CTSI approves and promotes codes of practice, sets out the principles of effective customer service and requires traders to have robust alternative dispute resolution schemes.

For more information on the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme and to find an approved codes member, visit the CTSI website.

List of trade associations & regulatory bodies

Please note that the inclusion of an organisation in the list below does not imply any approval or warranty as to the standing or capability of that organisation by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

A number of the organisations listed are not trade associations. These are marked * and are mostly regulatory bodies, which may be of use to consumers.  

ADVERTISING

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)*
Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6QT
Tel: 020 7492 2222
www.asa.org.uk

BUILDING

Federation of Master Builders (FMB)
David Croft House, 25 Ely Place, London, EC1N 6TD
Tel: 0330 333 7777
www.fmb.org.uk

National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC)
Roofing House, 31 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DY
Tel: 020 7638 7663
www.nfrc.co.uk

National House Building Council
NHBC House, Davy Avenue, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP
Tel: 0800 035 6422
www.nhbc.co.uk

TrustMark
TrustMark House, 5 Prisma Park, Berrington Way, Basingstoke, RG24 8GT
Tel: 0333 555 1234
www.trustmark.org.uk

MOTOR VEHICLES

Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI)
201 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5AB
Tel: 01788 538317 (National Conciliation Service)
www.rmif.co.uk

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT)
71 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2BN
Tel: 020 7235 7000
www.smmt.co.uk

Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA)
Palmerston House, 10 The Loan, South Queensferry, EH30 9NS
Tel: 0131 331 5510
www.smta.co.uk

COMMERCIAL SERVICES

Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC)
12 The Pavilions, Cranmore Drive, Solihull, B90 4SB
Tel: 0121 711 5030
www.competentpersonsscheme.co.uk

British Association of Removers (BAR)
Tangent House, 62 Exchange Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD18 0TG
Tel: 01923 699480
www.bar.co.uk

Glass & Glazing Federation (GGF)
54 Ayers Street, London, SE1 1EU
Tel: 020 7939 9101
www.ggf.co.uk

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)
64 Station Lane, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 6NB
Tel: 01708 472 791
www.ciphe.org.uk

National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC)
Warwick House, Houghton Hall Park, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 5ZX
Tel: 0870 013 0382
www.niceic.com

Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)
Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Suffolk, IP5 2Q
Tel: 01473 626298
www.oftec.org

Scottish & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF)
Bellevue House, 22 Hopetoun Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4GH
Tel: 0131 556 0600
www.snipef.org

Textile Services Association Ltd (TSA)
3 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3AR
Tel: 020 7843 9490
www.tsa-uk.org

Fair Trades
Suite 40B, Port of Liverpool Building, Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1BY
Tel: 0800 131 0123
www.fairtrades.co.uk

COMMUNICATIONS

Office of Communications (OFCOM)*
Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA
Tel: 0300 123 3333
www.ofcom.org.uk

ELECTRICAL GOODS

Radio, Electrical and Television Retailers' Association (RETRA)
Retra House, St. John's Terrace, 1 Ampthill Street, Bedford, MK42 9EY
Tel: 01234 269 110
www.retra.co.uk

FINANCE & CREDIT

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)*
25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HS
Tel: 0800 111 6768 or 0300 500 8082
www.the-fca.org.uk

Building Societies Association (BSA)
6th Floor, York House, 23 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6UJ
Tel: 020 7520 5900
www.bsa.org.uk

Companies House*
Companies House, Crown Way, Cardiff, CF14 3UZ
Tel: 0303 1234 500
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house

Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)
3rd Floor, North West Wing, Bush House, Aldwych, London, WC2B 4PJ
Tel: 0845 373 6771
www.cml.org.uk

Insolvency Service*
4 Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT
Tel: 0300 678 0015
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/insolvency-service

FURNITURE

(including beds, cabinets, carpets and other floor coverings, bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and upholstery)

The Furniture Ombudsman
Maxwell Road, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 2EW
Tel: 0845 653 2064
www.thefurnitureombudsman.org

HEALTH SERVICES

General Dental Council (GDC)
37 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8DQ
Tel: 020 7167 6000
www.gdc-uk.org

General Optical Council (GOC)
10 Old Bailey, London, EC4M 7NG
Tel: 020 7580 3898
www.optical.org

HOLIDAYS, TRAVEL & TRANSPORT

Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ
Tel: 020 3117 0599
www.abta.com

Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)
18 Bridle Lane, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3EG
Tel: 020 8744 9280
www.aito.co.uk

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)*
CAA House, 45-49 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6TE
Tel: 020 7379 7311
www.caa.co.uk

Office of Rail Regulation (ORR)*
One Kemble Street, London, WC2B 4AN
Tel: 020 7282 2018
www.rail-reg.gov.uk

Passenger Focus
Fleetbank House, 2-6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX
Tel: 0300 123 0860
www.passengerfocus.org.uk

INSURANCE

Association of British Insurers (ABI)
One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB
Tel: 020 7600 3333
www.abi.org.uk

LEGAL SERVICES

Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society's Hall, 113 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PL
Tel: 020 7242 1222
www.lawsociety.org.uk

Law Society of Scotland
Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EX
Tel: 0131 226 7411
www.lawscot.org.uk

MAIL ORDER

Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
Tel: 020 7291 3300
www.dma.org.uk

Mailing Preference Service*
DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS
Tel: 0845 703 4599
www.mpsonline.org.uk
The MPS website also has links to the Telephone, Fax and Baby Mailing Preference Services

Safe Home Ordering Protection Scheme (SHOPS)*
22-24 King Street, Maidenhead, SL6 1EF
Tel: 01628 641930
www.shops-uk.org.uk

PROPERTY

National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA)
Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive, Warwick, CV34 6LG
Tel: 01926 417791
www.naea.co.uk

National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS)
Cheltenham Office Park, Hatherley Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SH
Tel: 01242 581712
www.nalscheme.co.uk

Association of Residential Letting Agents
Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6LG
Tel: 01926 417791
www.arla.co.uk

The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)
Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2BP
Tel: 01722 333306
www.tpos.co.uk

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Tel: 020 7580 5533
www.architecture.com

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
12 Great George Street (Parliament Square), London, SW1P 3AD
Tel: 024 7686 8555
www.rics.org

UTILITIES

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM)*
9 Millbank, London, SW1P 3GE
Tel: 020 7901 7000
www.ofgem.gov.uk

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets - Glasgow 
3rd Floor, Cornerstone, 107 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 2BA
Tel: 0141 331 2678
www.ofgem.gov.uk

Office of Water Services (OFWAT)
Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham, B5 4UA
Tel: 0300 034 2222
www.ofwat.gov.uk

Consumer Council for Water
1st Floor Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4AT
Tel: 0300 034 2222
www.ccwater.org.uk

Key legislation

  • There is no key legislation for this guide

Last reviewed / updated: July 2016

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

For further information please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit the Citizens Advice website or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.