BPCA President Martin Harvey previously discussed the role of salespeople in our industry in his article “What is the cost of Sales?”. This time round he talks about something that’s been around in the Association for many years, the Codes of Best Practice (COBP).
I think it’s important that we take a moment to have a look at these and remind ourselves of them, in part because of some recent additions, but mainly because they effectively form part of the terms and conditions of being BPCA Members.
Let’s examine the words to set the scene:
Code – “Rules and Regulations” or “a way of behaving”
Best Practice – “best way to do something”
When somebody says rules and regulations to me, my hackles immediately rise – I don’t want to be told how to do something! But as an industry that uses toxic materials, the Health & Safety angle to some of the codes is important. The Association has set high standards and needs to maintain them through the actions of its membership.
I do however like the phrase “the best way to do something” – yes, I’ll buy into that. I want to be the best, I want my company to be the best, and I want the Association to which I belong to be the best.
I’d also like to know what benefit a COBP will have for me and my business (never mind the Association at the moment) – the classic “What’s in it for me?” angle is extremely important. The main ones are that you can gain commercial advantage, and you know that you are following a code approved by your professional Association – there’s a great feeling of “peace of mind”
The BPCA regularly review and add new Codes of Best Practice, so it’s important to keep up to speed with them – certainly if I was going to be held to account then I’d want to be told about a new set of rules, and maybe reminded about them too.
Members are notified of amended or new COBPs through BPCA’s regular ebulletins, at BPCA Regional Training Forums, and of course through PPC magazine.
It may be a good idea to have a run through the existing codes to refresh your memory– take a moment to measure yourself and your business against them.
Where do we find these Codes of Best Practice?
They are in the public area of the website so we can show the world what our standards are, and why not? We should be proud of the standards that we set, and by doing this we all become just that little bit more accountable as well – never a bad thing in my book.
Who writes the Codes ?
Effectively it’s YOU who write the codes – by saying that I mean it is mainly members who raise the issue in the first place, this then gets discussed at the relevant committee. Once the issue has been discussed there, a COBP is drafted for consultation by the committee members, voted on by them, and then issued.
Let’s take the code of best practice for precautionary insecticidal treatments as an example.
I have personally used this code to professionally gain a contract from a competitor, who was doing routine night spray treatments of an office block for biting insects without identifying the insects. We all know that this is incorrect, we all know that the pest needs to be identified (by carrying out a proper survey) before the correct treatment programme can be advised, and we also all know that carpet spraying has a limited effective period too.
We won the first site, then fourteen more – all from using one of the Codes of Best Practice in a professional way.
So in summary:
- The Codes are there for you on the BPCA website
- The Codes form part of the conditions of membership
- The Codes can be used to gain commercial advantage
- The Association is helping you by creating these Codes
- You have an input to these Codes through the relevant BPCA Committee
BPCA’s Codes of Best Practices are available for the public to read and download, so professionalism of BPCA members can be seen through the codes.