26 November 2010
All consumers have different needs and abilities with many unintentionally excluded by service providers as a result of their personal circumstances. BSI has just published a new standard that will help organizations provide inclusive services.
BS 18477:2010 Inclusive Service provision – identifying and responding to consumer vulnerability is relevant to all organizations dealing with the public in particular utilities, telecoms health and financial services providers.
The standard is designed to benefit consumers through its inclusive approach and to help service providers to identify and respond appropriately to different consumer needs and to deliver services that do not discriminate.
Lizzie Iron, Head of Welfare Policy at Citizens Advice, ‘We welcome this standard and hope that all organizations will use it. It is absolutely vital that providers make the effort to identify people who cannot easily use their services. For example, Citizens Advice sees many cases where people lose out because they find it hard to access services that are only available online.’
BS 18477 was developed with consumer bodies and government and will help service providers implement relevant policies and procedures, training plans and fair and accessible practices for dealing with consumers.
Dan Palmer, BSI, ‘This new standard can be used alongside existing policies to help organizations better understand vulnerability and to deal with consumers in a fair way.’
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Notes to Editors
BSI Group is a global independent business services organization that develops standards-based solutions to improve management practices and promote innovation. BSI can help businesses, governments and other organizations around the world to raise quality and performance in a sustainable and socially responsible way. From its origins as the world’s first National Standards Body, BSI Group draws upon over 100 years’ experience, working with 66,000 organizations in 147 countries from its 50 offices. To learn more, please visit www.bsigroup.com