29 May 2024, 16:12
By Furniture News Mar 02, 2023

Ombudsman appoints new standards board members

The Furniture & Home Improvement Ombudsman (FHIO) has appointed new members – from B&Q, DFS, Tapi Carpets and the British Association of Removers (BAR), respectively – to its standards board.

Chaired by Dr Richard Kirkham from the University of Sheffield, the standards board helps preserve the ombudsman’s independence and provide checks and balances on its work. All board members share FHIO’s vision of inspiring consumer confidence and raising industry standards, and take their place on the board on a voluntary basis. Governed by a set of byelaws, the board regularly reviews a cross section of the ombudsman’s decisions to ensure they are both fair and reasonable. It also oversees rules, practices and procedures.

Kevin Grix, chief ombudsman, FHIO, says: “I’m delighted to welcome our new standards board members, who are experienced strategic leaders with an extensive understanding of the sectors they operate in. With their new skillsets, they join current members which include a team of academics and representatives from Trading Standards, Citizen’s Advice and the British Standards Institute (BSI), who all contribute to ensuring the preservation of our independence.”

The standards board sits alongside a board of directors, comprising a chair and non-executive directors who are responsible for appointing the chief ombudsman and providing governance. The board of directors also helps safeguard the ombudsman’s interests so it is free to operate effectively and independently.

Harry Yunis, head of customer services at DFS, says: “I’m honoured to have been invited to sit on the FHIO standards board and I look forward to working closely with the other board members. I have long appreciated the great work undertaken by FHIO, and I'm looking forward to bringing my own knowledge and experience to the table to see what we can achieve together.”

Ian Studd, director general at the British Association of Removers (BAR), says: “As a committed believer in delivering customer service excellence and consumer confidence, I am delighted to have this opportunity to join the ombudsman standards board and very much look forward to contributing to the hugely important work that it does.”

Anthony Kirkwood, head of installations at B&Q, comments: “I’m delighted to be joining the standards board. The ombudsman plays a crucial role in ensuring fair and reasonable outcomes for consumers and businesses. I hope to leverage my knowledge and experience of working for a market-leading retailer to ensure we grow consumer confidence and raise standards across the industry.”

Tracey Skea, director at Tapi Carpets, adds: “I am delighted to join the FHIO standards board, having worked closely with the team since Tapi became a member. I hope the experience of working in a number of different retail industries as well as with Tapi’s advocacy of the customer in everything we do, will help the organisation continue to raise standards and provide improvements.”

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