Could we benefit from a French style trade registration system?

Just type in the words SIRET or SIREN into Google and the word France after either and you’ll get lots of information about how tradespeople in France have to register their businesses and be given a specific code or number. You will see lots of information about how the French must jump through some considerable hoops and navigate a significant amount of bureaucracy in order to get registered for the trade or trades that they can offer. This includes attending courses, taking tests and is also designed to help the French government track their activity and be able to tax all businesses more easily. To find a legally siret registered artisan or builder in France visit our sister site FindaTradeinFrance.

You can imagine the size of the organisations that must surround such an effort. You need people and processes to train, test, police, monitor, tax etc; hundreds of thousands of businesses. This doesn’t just apply to tradespeople it applies to practically all businesses in France. Now compare this to the system we have in the UK. There are so many reasons why this could be of benefit here and so many reasons why it could also be disastrous. If you’re not familiar with the French system, Wikihow has a excellent article detailing the French Siret system and how you can easily check if a tradesperson in France is legally registered and for what services – it can be seen here Rated Tradespeople

So our question is: Should all tradespeople take some type of test or exam? Should they be regulated more?

Given that there is a cluster of television programs showing us all the bad builders, Cowboy builders, bad tradesmen, scammers et cetera, is there really a problem? There are not a lot of television ratings to be won by showing you programmes about goods tradespeople and excellent workmanship… So based on the genuine feedback we get from our homeowners etc. percentagewise, there really does not seem to be that many bad tradespeople out there. Most builders and tradespeople know their trades and they  realise their reputations and their futures, are increasingly dependent on the quality of the work they do and how they treat their customers. In this world of the Internet it is easier to find feedback on more and more companies.

An excellent definition of quality, is ‘selling goods and/or services that don’t come back to you, but customers who do’ (come back to you). So what do you think? Do we need the extra bureaucracy and control in place like France? Or do you believe that on the whole our tradespeople in the UK are quality craftsman and that we already have enough processes in place to deal with the really bad ones?  Here at FindaTrade our whole system is built around providing quality tradespeople and giving you the customer the platform to provide your real life feedback and ratings of your experiences using them.  This way we can weed out the cowboys and sing the praises of the thousands of tradespeople who provided an excellent service.

by Steve