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As the professional body for customer service, we develop and draw on a wide range of service standards to support organisations and individuals in delivering excellent customer service experiences.

Standards are built into all Institute products and services to provide effective and consistent measures of service performance. We also promote the use of other relevant standards such as the National Occupational Standards for customer service.

Standards, benchmarking and accreditation

Our benchmarks provide you with an understanding of your current level of service, demonstrate a commitment to improving customers’ experience and ultimately can be used to develop and improve your customer service strategy. They help to identify areas for improvement, drawing on views of both your customers and employees.

What are the benefits?

  • Gives the authority to operate the qualifications framework with greater independence, subject to appropriate quality assurance by The Institute
  • Reduces the cost of assessment by allowing an increased percentage of in-house assessments to be conducted
  • Gives independent professional body recognition for qualification programme managers and organisations through accreditation
  • Demonstrates that the organisation is strategically focused on raising standards of customer service delivery through people development
  • Demonstrates that arrangements are in place to support staff in developing high level customer service skills competence

Approved Centre accreditation

Approved centre accreditation is awarded to organisations that have demonstrated they are operating to The Institute’s professional qualifications framework, in accordance with our standards and quality assurance requirements.

Approved Centre accreditation is available to Trusted Advisory Network and Discovery Roadmap members implementing an Institute qualification programme.

Requirements

To verify an organisation effectively operates our professional qualifications framework, the following areas must be assessed:

  • Implementation planning
  • Allocation of roles and responsibilities in line with The Institute’s recommended framework
  • Learning and development environment
  • Assessment monitoring and quality assurance
  • Engagement with The Institute and other Approved Centres
  • Planning, monitoring and evaluation

How it’s achieved

Approved Centre status is achievable by following our guidance on setting up a qualifications programme, implementing effective planning and monitoring and integrating good management practices to demonstrate you meet the requirements.

Whilst implementing your plan, you will meet periodically with your Institute Client Relationship Director to review progress. Once your Client Relationship Director is satisfied you meet the accreditation requirements, they will make a recommendation to our Standards and Quality team.

Our Standards and Quality team will then review and make the final accreditation decision.

Initial approval and certification of Approved Centre status is for a period of one year. Accreditation is thereafter awarded for periods of up to two years.

ServiceImpact

TrainingMark

Institute accreditation of an in-house customer service training programme

Accreditation demonstrates that your training course meets national standards for customer service, as independently recognised by The Institute of Customer Service

As with all accreditations from The Institute, we conduct regular quality audits and review of the standards and criteria to ensure consistency and credibility of the accreditation

TrainingMark is awarded once the three key elements have been benchmarked, met and assessed.

Why is it important?

TrainingMark demonstrates the quality of your internal customer service training to customers, competitors and employees – current and potential.

It ensures you have the tools to engage with employees through increasing professional development opportunities. Ultimately, ensuring a skilled customer service team that will help improve your customers’ experiences and business performance. To find out more, get in touch here.

View the list of TrainingMark achievers here.

The three key elements to TrainingMark are:

  • Meeting The Institute’s professional Nationally recognised standards
  • Ensuring there are mechanisms in place to assess individual customer service competence
  • Demonstrating that the programme has sufficient strategic support from senior management

Who is it for?

TrainingMark is for organisations that have, or are developing, in-house customer service or call centre training programmes.

What’s involved?

TrainingMark accreditation is achieved by benchmarking your training programme against our nationally recognised standards: first by your internal team, then by our accreditation team.

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Frequently asked questions.

What are The Institute’s Professional Standards?

As the professional body for customer service, The Institute develops and draws on a wide range of service related standards to support organisations and individuals in delivering excellent customer service experiences. Standards are built into all Institute products and services to provide effective and consistent measures of service related performance. We also promote the use of other relevant standards such as the National Occupational Standards for customer service.

What Professional Standards are relevant to me as an Institute Approved Trainer?

All Approved Trainers must comply with The Institute Trainer Code of Practice. This code strengthens current approval and quality requirements for Trainers. It applies to all Institute approved Trainers and contains 16 requirements, each accompanied by guidance explaining how they might be met in practice.

What Professional Standards are relevant to me as an Institute Professional Qualifications Assessor?

All Institute Assessors must comply with the Assessor Code of Practice. This code strengthens current approval and quality requirements for Assessors. It applies to all Institute approved Assessors and contains 10 requirements, each accompanied by guidance explaining how they might be met in practice.

What do I need to do if I believe I need a waiver or exception?

To find out details about the appropriate course of action, please view our Exceptions Policy.

How does The Institute monitor adherence to the Codes of Practice?

Six months after the launch of the Codes, a ‘How are you getting on with The Codes?’ survey was sent to all assessors and trainers, to gather feedback on how they were finding The Codes after they had come into effect. Each year, a sample of assessors and trainers have been emailed and asked to complete a mandatory compliance exercise. The results have been analysed and where non-compliance was identified, The Institute has supported those individuals towards compliance.

Where can I go if I have any questions on The Institute’s professional standards work?

If you have any questions on the Codes please contact The Institute’s Standards and Quality team on 020 7620 2640 or email the Standards and Quality team via S&QTeam@icsmail.co.uk.

ServiceMark

ServiceMark is a national standard, independently recognising an organisation’s achievement in customer service and its commitment to upholding those standards.

Business Benchmarking

Business Benchmarking is a measurement of customer satisfaction that organisations can use to benchmark against national leaders in their sector and beyond.

ServCheck

ServCheck measures how engaged your employees are with your customer service strategy

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