Business Secretary Vince Cable MP has approved a new Primary Authority Coordinated Partnership between the National Pawnbroking Association (NPA) and Surrey County Council.
The partnership will give assurance to those across the UK who opt-in to the scheme that the policies and procedures in place in their premises cannot be challenged and changed from one local authority to the next.
The scheme should allow consumers to rely on the fact that opted-in NPA members are operating to the highest standard.
It is envisaged that the scheme will help in terms of both increasing expert knowledge of pawnbroking and ensuring consistency across the country.
A special logo for the businesses that opt-in – which can be displayed – is being planned.
Ray Perry, NPA chief executive, said: “Working with Surrey County Council is a great step forward for the pawnbroking industry. The new initiative will provide all Trading Standards officers with the information and legal guidance they require to deal with queries fairly and consistently.
“It will also help to demonstrate how our members are professional, open, accountable and meet the needs of a dynamic marketplace.”
Cllr Helyn Clack, the Surrey County Council cabinet member for community services, said: “Surrey County Council is committed to supporting businesses and ensuring that consumers are protected from unfair practices and unsafe goods. We are delighted to be working closely with the NPA to achieve those aims together.”