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PDA call to councils – “work with our members”

The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA) has published a new guide for council officials and elected members in a bid to widen opportunities for small decorating businesses.

The PDA is distributing the brochure to councils across the UK, highlighting the ways its membership requirements align with public procurement standards.

The Association is calling on councils to recognise the value of trade body membership when choosing businesses to work with, and to help break down the barriers independent sole traders and SMEs face when trying to access smaller contracts in the public sphere.

The ‘Taxpayer pounds in safe hands’ guide sets out how common council requirements such as insurance, qualifications and training are indicated by PDA membership, negating the need for onerous form-filling.

PDA Chief Executive, Neil Ogilvie, is calling for councils to better understand the value of trade body membership, particularly in the construction sector.

He said: “To join the PDA, a trader needs to fulfil our strict membership criteria and commit to our Code of Practice. The principles in both of these align strongly with the requirements generally found in public procurement policy.

“If councils and public bodies recognised the value of trade body membership, they could replace whole sections of complex forms with one simple question – are you a member of the PDA?

“Feedback from our members indicates that the cumbersome process makes it difficult for members who are sole traders or SMEs to access smaller contracts with their local councils, while some of our large scale contractors feel decision-makers in the public sector don’t always appreciate the benefits trade body membership brings to both parties.

“Our ‘Taxpayer pounds in safe hands’ guide clearly outlines how specifying membership of an organisation such as the PDA can simplify the public procurement process and I would urge local authorities that haven’t already done so, to incorporate that in their policy-making.”

The ‘Taxpayer pounds in safe hands’ brochure is available here.

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