How can Professional Bodies aid you as a Consumer?
First of all what are professional bodies? Well, most industries today have one or more professional bodies and they often come in a variety of forms. Governing bodies usually oversee regulations and standards for professions such as the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for insurance and financial businesses. Then, of course, you have associations which are usually comprised of highly experienced individuals who work in the same industry and provide guidance and support as well as a wealth of information for businesses that work inside that industry, for insurance brokers we have BIBA (British Insurance Brokers Association).
How can these professional bodies help you? In most instances governing bodies are there to assist if you have been unfairly treated or at some point in the service process things have gone wrong and they will be one of your first ports of call when trying to resolve such an issue or problem. But what if you don't have an issue with your service provider, how can a professional body help? Professional bodies are a wealth of information in most cases that information is not only supplied to the businesses operating within that industry but also for you the consumer.
I'll stay close to home for this one and we will take BIBA as an example, sat on my desk in front of me right now are 2 printed guides produced by BIBA. One is called "Small Business Insurance for Dummies" and the other is "How to Avoid Under-Insurance" and they are packed with a wealth of information that not only helps in the guidance of new brokers but is more directly aimed at consumers. In fact, BIBA has pages of guides for every type of insurance cover you could ever possibly want to purchase here's the link so you may take a look for yourself... BIBA.
But, it's not just insurance, of course, many industries have their own professional bodies. If you hire out inflatables you would have heard of BIHA (British Inflatable Hirers Alliance) or if you're a builder you may have heard of the FMB (Federation of Master Builders) no matter what you want to know, if you truly want an answer from a trustworthy source to go straight to the professional bodies. There are even bodies who help a wide range of industries such as ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and even Health and Safety they are all at your disposal and only a click or two away from your PC.
BIBA Insurance Guides
These bodies and the information they provide will aid you in avoiding many pitfalls, whether you're a consumer or a business. As with many things in life a little preparation and research can often help get the absolute most for your money. Professional bodies should be the first place to go when considering starting a new business, you will find many guides especially written for new business owners and in many cases, businesses can find discounts and offers on a range of services outside their industry too as they have buying power and many suppliers to those trades will offer discounts to members.
If you are a consumer the information provided can give you a better understanding of what to expect, how you should be treated and what to do when things go wrong. In some cases, professional bodies can assist you in resolving any problems that may arise, especially if the business you are having trouble with is a member of that body and more often than not when things go wrong it is down to miscommunication or technical errors which the professional bodies are best placed to resolve, it all comes down to experience and professional bodies have more experience than the businesses you may deal with.
When looking for a service, no matter what industry, as a consumer a little research will pay you dividends and the best place to start is with the professional bodies associated with the industry you intend on using.