Update on the proposed TPI Code of Practice
We want to thank all those who have already provided feedback on our proposals for a Third-Party Intermediaries Code of Practice, including those who attended the broker workshop on the 20th of June. We remain on track to formally submit the draft Code of Practice for incorporation into the Retail Energy Code by the end of June. Therefore, we are calling for any further comments to be submitted by the 27th June.
You can read the proposed approach to a draft Code of Practice in full here and send any feedback to RECCo_Strategy@retailenergycode.co.uk. Below is a summary of the proposal and our planned next steps.
What are we proposing?
We think a principle-based approach is the most appropriate way to introduce a Code of Practice (CoP), as it sets standards whilst allowing participants the flexibility that meets their business model.
Although there has been widespread support from both brokers and suppliers for the Code of Practice to be mandatory, we have also considered requests that it be introduced as early as October this year. While we believe this timetable is achievable for drafting and introducing the Code of Practice itself, this would not allow for the full development and implementation of an accompanying accreditation and assurance framework. We consider that such a framework is necessary for the mandatory status of the Code of Practice to be meaningful and provide confidence to stakeholders, including those parties who sign-up to the CoP.
We will therefore introduce the Code of Practice voluntarily in the first instance while continuing to work at pace on the assurance framework, which will be subject to further consultation, including the expected accreditation costs.
Our approach will:
- Allow participants to prepare for a mandated CoP
- Ensure that an accreditation scheme is established
- Allow enough lead time for participants to seek accreditation
- Allow us to establish a performance assurance regime that will underpin the CoP
Further details on the roadmap for developing the CoP will be set out as part of the initial change proposal at the end of June.
What principles will the Code of Practice include?
We have built upon the content of the draft Code of Practice developed by Ofgem in 2013, but not formally implemented, revising the principles where appropriate, including adding new principles around data protection. The Code of Practice now sets out principles covering:
- Transparency and accuracy
- Price and product
- Fair and appropriate selling
- Complaints handling/dispute resolution
- Data protection
You can read more about these principles’ purpose, key aspects and impact in the linked slides here.