Supporting and recognising your standards
The bfa is the voice, the brand, the guardian and the promoter of standards and ethics in UK franchising. It has taken this role since its inception in 1977 to help differentiate good franchisors from the rest and therefore help prospective franchisees make the right choices.
Over the bfa’s time it has developed into a resource for educating all kinds of audiences about ethical franchising practice, including those already franchising.
Quite often a business will develop through franchising and will be operating for a while before they choose to be tested by the bfa’s accreditation process. In many cases these businesses are genuine franchises, wanting to build a proper business and offer proper opportunities to franchisees. They are not out to just make a quick profit or mislead anyone. However, without realising it, it is very easy to miss small details, or even large aspects of franchising which could leave the franchisees, or the entire network, open to criticism, failure, or legal action. It may not be done with any negative intent, but a few elements missing, or incorrectly implemented, could turn a business with very honourable meaning into a nightmare.
A useful check on your business
On nearly every occasion of a business approaching the bfa for membership, there will be at least one element of standards or ethics that the bfa will pick up, which the business was unaware off. Of course, all of this is kept confidential between the bfa and that business, but it means that the business has the opportunity to fix or amend any issues before accreditation for membership can be completed. Naturally, there are always some that will not meet the grade, but the bfa will always try to guide them towards where they need to be if they want to reapply for membership in the future.
The bfa has a number of case studies of members gaining great benefit before their membership has even started – just from the health-check that our accreditation process applies to their business.
Helping you maintain standards
Standards are not something you can invest into once for them to be good for all eternity - the world changes; whether it is legislation, social outlook; technology; or even the management within your business. For this reason the bfa operates a periodic reaccreditation for members.
Additionally, to help your business maintain the highest standards, the bfa provides Technical Bulletins to its members whenever there are changes, additions or a need for clarification with regards to the ethics of franchising. These Bulletins cover topics ranging from the use of celebrity endorsements and gagging clauses, through to guaranteed turnover disclaimers and refunding deposit clauses.
Once issued to the bfa’s members, they are then filed in the bfa Members’ online area of the website, alongside a host of other resources for business.
Recognition for your standards
As well as a membership logo for those that pass the bfa’s accreditation and join, the bfa also promotes its members through its own website and via its other partnerships, media work and events. This is all in recognition of their commitment and investment into ethical franchising.
To take this even further, the bfa has developed the industry’s national qualification for franchising individuals, open to both those with franchise organisations and professional advisors. Called the QFP (Qualified Franchise Professional), the qualification is awarded to individuals, rather than organisations, in recognition of their knowledge of and approach to franchising.
Built around a points-based system, with a final professional dialogue, to achieve the QFP, it is then maintained via Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Find out more about the QFP.