In 2013 the then Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, called for stronger self-regulation as opposed to statutory regulation. Following this The Society of Will Writers have introduced members’ principles which sit beside the Code of Practice. On top of this the SWW introduced a ‘Safe to do business with’ logo. This can be used by any member on their website or marketing material.
Recently the SWW has undertaken to strengthen our auditing process. We audit all members at the end of their membership year and an SWW member will not receive an updated certificate of compliance or I.D card until we have received their audit and are satisfied with its contents.
We’ve strengthened our process by asking for additional information as to the training that a member has undertaken over the course of their last membership year. A random number of members are being selected on a monthly basis and members have been only too happy to provide the information we request to date.
Where gaps or weaknesses are identified we are then working with the members to strengthen their business practice, find additional training or seek additional support. We never seek to simply expel the member from the SWW without first identifying what we are able to do to help. If it happens that we identify gaps in a members administration process, we can take steps to arrange an onsite visit to the members office or place of work to investigate further.
To date the new audit process has been working seamlessly and members have been only too happy to provide the requested information. Members understand that the actions and processes in place are being taken to ensure compliance with the SWW Code of Practice and to provide greater consumer protection.
Head of Membership for the SWW, Sharon Norris is very pleased with the initial response.