The Quality Standard for the Drainage Industry
DrainSafe is an industry led approved contractor scheme sponsored by the National Association of Drainage Contractors (NADC). It sets out to provide a framework in which customers of our industry (from householders through to much larger organisations) can have the assurance that their contractor is competent to do the work. DrainSafe will audit subscriber firms to confirm this and carry out continuing monitoring of compliance with the scheme.
We see monitoring in the early stages being done through desk top review of a firms records such as insurances, training records and customer feedback. As the scheme develops over the next year or so we would expect that DrainSafe will carry out on site reviews of a firm’s activities and in time provide an ombudsman service in the event of disputes between a registered contractor and a customer.
DrainSafe is currently set up as a part of the NADC but its structure will enable separation at a point in the future so that it is run independently in accordance with best practice for approved contractor schemes. In the meantime, we will be establishing an independent management committee with representation from external stakeholders playing a key part.
What has been done up to now?
Members of the NADC have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders from across commercial, regulatory and customer groups. Following this engagement, we have created a draft code of practice and constitution for DrainSafe which give the initiative structure and set out how the objectives will be met. We have drafted registration rules and the registration application form. We have also established the competency framework for registration and all the relevant qualifications and training courses are either already in place or are under development.
What are external stakeholders saying?
The NADC has met and spoken with many influencers across the industry, including the Environment Agency, Highways England, water companies, CCWater, Which?, RICS, The Homeowners Alliance, Local Authority Building Control along with companies in the NADC of all types and size. The feedback from these conversations has been very positive with many commenting that this initiative is long overdue and will improve the market for drainage services, as well as the reputation of the industry. These discussions have enabled us to fine tune the initiative so as to deliver on our objective.
Where are we now?
It was our intention to run a series of workshops across the country this spring to engage fully with our membership. The current COVID19 situation has meant that these events have had to be postponed, but they will be rescheduled as soon as circumstances permit.
When they occur these workshops will be an opportunity for the NADC membership to help shape the final construct of the scheme and how it should operate.
In the meantime we are happy to engage with interested parties via email and on the phone. Please contact us to set something up with a member of the NADC Board.