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Philip, I read your article on TrustMark with dismay, as unfortunately it is a complete misrepresentation of the facts

(http://www.landscapejuice.com/2009/09/will-trustmark-further-damage-landsdcaping.html).

A landscaper can become Trustmark registered through no less than eight different registered organisations, including trade associations, independent inspection bodies and local authorities. All are listed on the TrustMark website with equal prominence. We currently have thirty scheme operators, so over 25% of them are licensed to license landscapers.

Which route is most appropriate for a tradesman to adopt is his or her choice – TrustMark does not promote one more than another. Clearly benefits and costs vary depending on what is offered by the scheme operator – TrustMark registration on its own is likely to be cheaper than registration via a trade association which offers many other benefits on top of TrustMark membership.

I would be delighted if every professional gardener and landscaper were to join TrustMark, as it would without doubt help raise standards and professionalism. Complaints against TrustMark tradesmen are significantly lower than within the sector generally – proof that TrustMark is working.

Lastly, TrustMark is currently running a major awareness campaign nationally, as well as a competition to find the Top 100 Tradesmen – the perfect time for more professional landscapers to join! I would be delighted to supply you with more information on the campaign, or on TrustMark generally.

www.trustmark.org.uk

www.100tradesmen.co.uk

I would appreciate it if you would publish my response above to set the record straight!

Regards, Roman Russocki

Roman M Russocki MBA, CMBII

Chief Executive

TrustMark

Englemere

Kings Ride

Ascot

Berkshire SL5 7TB

Direct Tel: 01344 630871

Email: rrussocki@trustmark.org.uk

Web: www.trustmark.org.uk

Thank you for your comment Roman.

I do not think that the Trustmark site is clear enough (there is not even a site search).

Thank you for pointing me to the eight organisations that are able to certify and vet landscape firms.

Garden Landscapers

* AJA Registrars
* BM Trada
* Consumer Protection Association (CPA)
* Hertfordshire Trading Standards
* Lewisham Trading Standards
* Association of Professional Landscapers (APL)
* FMB MasterBond
* Exor Management Services (EXOR)

I understand now that there is more than one avenue to registration for a landscaper, however, I cannot see how Lewisham or Hertfordshire Trading Standards will be of benefit to a landscaper working in Scotland.

It is my opinion that Landscapers and gardeners should only be vetted by experienced landscape organisations.

Note: Thank you for your subsequent email concerning the Trustmark website updates that are proposed/ongoing - I think if you are able to make the site clearer (and I am happy to accept your invite to help) then we can all benefit and I will update Landscape Juice accordingly.

Philip


Phil, I have had a look at this and I totally agree with your initial interpretation so I am more than a little puzzled by Mr Russocki's assertion that your article is "a complete misrepresentation of the facts".

We would be delighted to offer Trustmark an information stand at The Hard Landscaping Show at a special promotional price so they can communicate directly, and hopefully more clearly,with the landscaping and paving community.

I will be emailing Mr Russocki direct with this offer.

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