Businesses are being forced to deal with more and more regulation - enforced by more and more regulators - and franchised businesses are no different. Regulations span from Fire Safety, Health and Safety, through to Food Safety and Trading Standards.
Many businesses find it difficult to chart their way through the complicated regulation landscape and will often find that the interpretation of legislation differs from local authority to local authority - causing confusion and often expense. This problem is particularly relevant to franchised businesses which may be operating through various territories across the UK and to whom the consistent application of rules would be hugely beneficial.
With this in mind Ashfords have recently developed a 'Primary Authority Co-ordinator Scheme', the first scheme of its kind, engaging former Environmental Health, HSE and Trading Standards Officers to assist client in charting a course through the regulatory maze.
Under the Primary Authority Scheme we work closely with leading primary authority partners in Environmental Health, Food Safety, Trading Standards and Fire and Rescue. Working with them we devise policies and procedures for you which comply with the regulatory requirements applicable to your core business. Those policies are then 'endorsed' by those sponsoring authorities, so that they become 'Assured Advice'. Once the advice is Assured those policies can be rolled out across the entire franchise network and will automatically be acceptable to the authorities within which the territories form which the franchises are operated.
The provision of this Assured Advice is hugely beneficial to Franchisors:
- It reassures you that your franchisees have robust (and approved) procedures in place which comply with legislation;
- It provides a further line of defence against reputation and brand damage;
- It ensures consistent application of standards across the franchise network; and
- It gives you a very valuable additional offering as part of your franchise package.
The existence of Assured Advice can also:
- be used to negotiate insurance premiums;
- minimises the likelihood of local authority inspections; and
- be useful as evidence of diligence in the event of prosecution or civil claims.
- Agree intervals for audits and risk assessments
- Reduce local authority enquires and time spent explaining your systems and policies
- Allow you to focus on your time and resources on areas that need improvement