The SWW’s Code of Practice is a living document. It is essentially the rule book by which all members are expected to practice and adhere to.
When a member signs up to the Society of Will Writers they sign a declaration saying that they will work to the standards set out in the Code of Practice. This is one of the steps that the SWW takes to set out what constitutes best practice.
Some people will now be wondering what best practice actually looks like and how far the SWW can go to enforce these standards.
We use 10 principles that sit alongside the Code of Practice and underpin the idea of best practice. They are:
- A Member must act with integrity
- A Member must conduct his or her business with due skill, care and diligence
- A Member must observe proper standards when marketing his or her business to the general public
- A Member must pay due regard to the interests of his or her client and treat them fairly
- A member must communicate information to his or her client in a way that is clear fair and not misleading
- A Member must not create a conflict of interest between himself and his or her client
- A Member must take reasonable care to ensure the suitability of any advice given to his or her client
- A Member must ensure that any assets that he or she holds on behalf of a client are fully protected
- A Member must practice equality and respect diversity
- A Member must comply with all legal and regulatory requirements including full observance of the Society of Will Writers Code of Practice
Whilst the SWW accepts that these principles are rather broad in the sense that they don’t apply to a specific situation they outline how a member should behave. On the whole this is common sense.
On top of the mandatory requirements set out by the SWW’s code of practice, the SWW audits members on an annual basis. This allows us to ensure that they have provided us with up to date information in relation to their insurance, their storage and their contact details. We also randomly audit members to establish whether their terms of business are up to scratch and if there are any gaps in their procedures.
If members would like us to review their documentation then they should contact the SWW for more information.
All the work that the SWW does behind the scenes goes towards making sure that SWW members are ‘Safe to do business with’.
Best practice can be further identified by members reading our practice notes. It’s more than just about adherence to our rules. It concerns have business continuity plans in place, ensuring your notes are contemporaneous, providing the correct paperwork to clients as well as providing a dedicated service.