The Midlands-based enforcement specialist was recently audited by the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA), scoring an impressive 100% in the process.
CIVEA is the principal trade association representing enforcement firms across England and Wales. All members, including Bristow & Sutor, are required to follow a strict code of conduct, which exceeds statutory requirements and the National Standards. This code aims to promote responsible and fair engagement by enforcement firms as well as increase accountability and clearly outline the safeguarding policies in place for protecting vulnerable debtors. Compliance with this code is regularly assessed by the independent auditing of members.
To achieve 100%, Bristow & Sutor were required to show an independent auditor that employees implement the CIVEA code in everything they do. The assessment included analysis of company policies, monitoring of calls and observing enforcement agents (EAs) in the field, as well as reviews of training provisions and the technology implemented to improve efficiency and outcomes.
Findings from the auditor report were then shared for review and certification by an independent panel of experts known as the Compliance, Adjudication and Review of Enforcement (CARE) Panel, which consists of multiple consultants who have no commercial interests in the enforcement industry. After these reviews were all completed and verified, Bristow & Sutor were awarded a score of 100%.
Emma Watson, Head of External Communication at Bristow & Sutor, said, “We are incredibly proud to have achieved full marks in our recent audit for compliance by CIVEA, as this highlights our ongoing commitment to best practice. Every member of staff at Bristow & Sutor is held to the same high standards and this achievement is a testament to the approach and efforts of our people. Ensuring compliance is especially important since the coronavirus pandemic, which has increased the number of people who may be facing vulnerable circumstances. We always welcome feedback on our conduct as knowing where we are succeeding, as well as where there is room for improvement, will help shape our future approach for the benefit of customers, clients and ourselves.”
Bristow & Sutor has over 42 years of experience in the collection of local council tax, non-domestic rates and unpaid Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). In addition to this recent auditing success, the company was also nominated this month for three prestigious accolades at the Credit & Collections Technology Awards, ultimately winning the Digital Business Transformation category for their ongoing partnership with the customer engagement specialists Webio.