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Credit Services Association

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Sir Bobby Robson Way

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Newcastle Upon Tyne

NE13 9BA

 

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Additional Sections

Complaints Procedure

Useful Links

Making a complaint

We work hard to ensure our Members act within the rules set by the industry regulators.

Please click on the following link and read our Code of Practice. If you think a Member has broken the rules of this Code you can make a complaint by downloading our Complaints Form.

Before making a complaint we would encourage you to carry out the following activities:

 

  • Go to the Members Directory and check whether the company you wish to complain about is a Member of the CSA. If you are still unsure, feel free to contact us. If the company is a Member of the CSA then we are able to help you with your complaint.
  • On first instance, we recommend you contact the Member company to discuss any issues you have and enquire about their complaints process. If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome then you can review our Complaints Procedure.
  • If you believe that the Member has acted in breach of our Code of Practice and the complaint meets the necessary criteria, please complete, sign and return the Complaint Form to our registered address.

CSA Complaints Procedure

 How we deal with your complaint.

All complaints must be submitted in writing, with a signed complaint form. We require the form to be signed so that we, and our member, have the requisite authorisation to share information.

The following is the sequence of events after the CSA receive a complaint form;

  • CSA receive a signed complaint form
  • CSA register the complaint and send a copy to the relevant member company
  • The member is given eight weeks to respond directly to the complainant
  • CSA get a copy of the response from the member company
  • CSA considers both positions and determines whether the Code of Practice has been breached
  • Appropriate action is taken (if required) to remedy the situation
  • If further information is required the CSA contact the relevant party (the complainant or the member company).
  • After a full review, the CSA provides a formal response to the complainant

 

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, you may have justification to escalate the matter to our our head of compliance, Claire Aynsley, claire.aynsley@csa-uk.com.

 

Please note: The CSA can only intervene when;

  • a member company is in breach of the Code.
  • the company is a member of the CSA (we cannot act when the complaint is about the client of a member company, a bank or building society for example).
  • the information supplied by a member company appears from the facts to be incorrect.

Methods of Contact

 

Address

Credit Services Association

Complaints Department

2 Esh Plaza

Sir Bobby Robson Way

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

NE13 9BA

 

Why the CSA need a signed copy of your complaint

 

Top

17-07-2018

Apprenticeships - the tipping point?

By Fiona Macaskill, CSA Head of Learning & Development

Ask a dozen economists about the state of the global economy and you are likely to get 12 different answers. The same seems to be true of the Government’s campaign and incentive to create thousands of ‘new’ Apprenticeships nationwide. Some are talking up the scheme, especially those in the Tech sector who see the Apprenticeship Levy as addressing a critical skills shortage. Others are not so convinced.

In April, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) put in a freedom of information request that discovered that £1.28 billion of the £1.39 billion paid by Levy paying employers is currently sitting unused. The AELP’s Chief Executive and Policy Director both expressed dismay at the calls from employment organisations such as the CBI that the Government should relax the levy and dilute it into more ‘general’ skills training.

The AELP is an unequivocal supporter of the levy and believes that for the foreseeable future the levy should be ring-fenced to fund only Apprenticeships. Its leaders are also exasperated by the misleading coverage given to the subject in the media and say that the levy could be a genuine ‘game changer’ in improving productivity, social mobility, and quality. In this we are agreed.

 

Disappointing numbers

The start numbers, though, have been disappointing, both nationally and specifically within our own industry. The Government has a target of creating 600,000 Apprenticeships by 2020, and the reforms have been criticised by various business groups not only for the cost but also the delays in approving new courses. This, they argue, has meant that many have not been able to spend their levy funds. According to Government reports, there are 261,200 Apprenticeship starts between August 2017 and March 2018, compared with 362,400 in the previous academic year – a decrease of more than a quarter (28 percent).

Our own experience also suggests that all is not quite right. Whilst we are having some great conversations with members, and some of these conversations are at last converting into real business, take up of our CSA Member Apprenticeship scheme has still been slow. It may be that the investment has been made with other providers, but even if that is the case then the numbers are still small. Given the size of our membership, and those who qualify for the levy, we estimate that more than £1 million is leaking from our industry.

Amidst all of this, however, is some positive news regarding what those outside of our industry are doing. Whereas CSA Member Apprenticeships may not have yet had the traction we anticipated within credit services, others have been quicker to recognise the value they can deliver. We now have more than 20 firms signed up to our Apprenticeships, coming from ‘big brand’ names across different industries such as insurance, food and beverage, and the public sector.

There was also more good news recently with the welcome announcement from the Department for Education that businesses are being allowed to share a proportion of their levy funding with another company.

Within the field of debt collection and consumer credit, a number of specific Apprenticeship standards have been created that are being offered and supported by the CSA. These range from the new standard in Credit Control through to the most advanced Senior Compliance/Risk Specialist Apprenticeship standard, and every point in between.

 

Levy sharing

Since May, all levy-paying firms have been able to share up to 10% of their levy with one other company or organisation of their choosing. This could be in support of their supply chain (e.g in our case it could be a debt buyer supporting a member of their contingency collections ‘panel’), or to support their wider Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, enabling Apprenticeship opportunities for other businesses and individuals who might not otherwise be funded.

Whether you are a levy-paying business who is not able to spend all your levy, or a non-paying business who wishes to join a CSA Member Apprenticeship programme, we believe this is good news for our industry. What is particularly exciting is that any non-levy paying firms who access Apprenticeship funding this way will then not be required to pay a 10% contribution, which means a ‘win-win’ for all parties concerned. It will be interesting to see how this news is received, and whether it acts as a catalyst for those who have yet to embrace the Apprenticeships’ initiative to finally take action.

I sense we are at a tipping point where both time and patience are fast running out. Big names from the world of industry are already calling for reform, and some that the Levy should be scrapped altogether. That would be a great shame. The next few months, however, may be critical.