Richard Catt explains why being a CFA member can be a bit like waking up on Christmas morning to discover your stocking is stuffed with goodies.
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is looming once again and another year is nearly over, but hopefully Christmas 2021 will be a more normal festive season that can be enjoyed with family and friends.
I thought at this time of reflection my December article would be an ideal opportunity to highlight the benefits available via CFA membership – what a bumper package it is too. C
ompanies who approach the CFA for contractor membership naturally want to understand what they receive for the £654 (plus VAT) annual fee. Assuming a company meets our criteria, for many, top of the list is use of the CFA logo on vans, websites, stationery, business cards, emails, quotes etc. Simply being a member of a trade body is seen to be important and brings significant value in itself. In a competitive environment, when pricing can often be so tight that jobs are won or lost for a few pence per square metre, any advantage is welcome. CFA membership starts with a vetting process and can therefore be shown to be a measure of quality against industry standards.
Running close behind using the logo and being part of a trade body, is a listing in the CFA handbook and our website directory; both of which can provide a return on membership through just one or two enquiries a year. We also provide a great deal of support in terms of training both through our dedicated Training Manager, Shaun Wadsworth, and our own training organisation, FITA. CFA members receive a healthy 15% discount off all training courses and workshops that FITA delivers. See also www.fita.co.uk
Helplines feature for others, and we have a strong list that members can access for free across legal, health and safety, business, and technical support. They offer a steer through telephone consultation that is usually enough to reassure or refocus a member in terms of direction of travel. Of course, there is our dispute resolution service that members can access (for free) to obtain an independent report on a floor. Perhaps one where a customer is simply unfairly refusing to pay.
Contained within the members area of the CFA website is a whole host of standard documents and templates that flooring contractors need to have at hand. The list is substantial but here are a few of our most popular:
• Bribery Policy Statement
• Disclaimer – Standard
• Disclaimer – Relating to Moisture
• Environmental Checklist
• Environmental Policy
• Equal Opportunity Policy
• Health and Safety Policy
• Method Statement (Generic template)
• Modern Slavery Policy Statement
• Quality Policy Statement
• Risk Assessment (Generic template)
• Terms and Conditions
All our templates and disclaimers are produced by experts and where appropriate reviewed by solicitors and so come with the reassurance that they are up to date and legally compliant. Members might want to consider further amendments, particularly if they specialise, but the CFA templates will at least provide very solid foundations to work from.
Our website is designed to make it easier for members to find the information most relevant to them and has, in the last year or so, had some new areas added which are subject specific such as Brexit and Covid; there are also a selection of webinars from our committee meetings and other events that members can revisit or catch up on if they were unable to attend events.
Other key benefits are FREE credit checks (up to 20 per month, per member) and our monthly newsletter and bulletins, keeping members up to date with industry news.
One final point that I would like to stress. All of our documents are available to each CFA contractor member within their annual membership fee. As I am sure you can imagine, the total cost to the CFA in reviewing our templates is many thousands of pounds. When considered as a cost for one business it is significant, but when divided across all CFA members it is much more manageable and fantastic value for each member company. In isolation, they easily justify membership for a number of years, even before you add some of the other benefits.
As this is my final article of the year, on behalf of all the CFA Council and the wider CFA team, I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year.
The CFA is a leading trade association representing the Flooring Industry. If you would like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices.