An interview with Tony Pickup in the GGP Magazine revealed their tough qualification process for installers:

The Double Glazing and Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS), has released figures showing that 39% of installers do not succeed in gaining accreditation.

Launched earlier this year, the scheme has attracted many long established and reputable firms but many installers fail to meet what the organisation claims is its ‘high standards’.  “We consider every company that applies,” explained Tony Pickup, founder of DGCOS, “but many simply don’t have what we’re looking for. Every installer has to supply at least 10 home owner references from recent jobs, plus three supplier references. We also ask for copies of their health and safety policies, contract terms and conditions and public liability and employer’s liability insurances.

“Our dedicated accreditation team investigates every detail in a 12 point process,  (seewww.dgcos.org.uk/member_join). Where we can, we help companies with their procedures and policies to ensure they meet our standards but many applicants fail because of County Court Judgements, bankruptcies or multiple phoenixing.” Mr Pickup stated that the process is a continuous one.“One company was recently expelled because they didn’t disclose a phoenixed company which subsequently came to light,” he said. “It didn’t turn up in our initial investigation because the directors were different, so we now look up as many variations on company and owner names and addresses as we can.

“It’s very thorough process but the feedback from members who have made it – and their customers – has been remarkably positive. It keeps our standards high, and ensures home owners can trust the DGCOS brand.”

I can completely understand that DGCOS has to have a high standard that they want to create and breed, but the problem is the majority of companies in this industry have either become bankrupt or changed their name at some point in the company’s lifetime. If they are going to stick by this factor, they are going to seriously limit the number of companies that are going to be able to join. Then they face another problem. If they do want to expand into the mass majority of the industry, they may have to start breaking their own rules in order to do so. But this will put at risk the credibility of the scheme itself.

So with this, as well as the other 12 categories in which companies need to qualify for, the conclusion is simple: even if an installer wanted to join, the likelihood is they wont. It’s probably just too hard!