NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional PracticeTM
Each member profession of the National Association of Senior Advocates has a standard of guidelines that our members must abide. We call these the NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice.
The goal of the NAOSA Gold Standard of Professional Practice™ in the Trades is the requirement to be clear and concise in all quotes and to perform all services as agreed upon within the promised time-frame. Equally important is clear communication between the client and the NAOSA Trade Professional regarding expectations of the work to be completed. Many conflicts arise due to lack of communication regarding details of work expectations, the NAOSA Gold Standards assist both parties in establishing these expectations.
Special Note: The number one way consumers can prevent fraud or unethical businesses practices in the trades is to have already interviewed a contractor prior to any work needed. Experts also recommend interviewing more than one professional. Consumers are particularity vulnerable in emergencies. It is best to have an established relationship with a tradesperson before any actual service is required. This simple step as well as working with a NAOSA Member Professional will go a long way in ensuring you are dealing with an ethical tradesperson.
NAOSA Gold Standards of Professional Practice:
1: Licensed and Insured: All NAOSA Member Professionals will be licensed and insured. NAOSA members will offer to show identification, a state license and proof of current insurance when requested.
2: Clear Communication of Work to be Completed: All components of the job will be clearly communicated in writing prior to work beginning. This is a common challenge with both the homeowner and the tradesperson. When details of the job are vague, issues are bound to arise. With the goal of preventing miscommunication, all NAOSA members will clearly detail, in writing, the full scope of the work to be performed.
3: Accurate Quotes: All work to be done will be quoted accurately. Work will not be underbid with expectation of additional payment once work has begun.
Be on the look-out for companies that underbid or use inferior products. This is a common practice among unethical tradespeople. This typical “bait and switch” tactic can win a low ball contractor the job, but there is usually an extra charge during the project or expected work not included.
NAOSA members are not in the business of underbidding and will generally not the lowest bid for your work. However, the work is required to be delivered as promised at the agreed price. Beware of low bid contracts.
4: Quotes Will Include All Parts and Materials: Another tactic utilized by unethical tradespeople is quoting a certain part or brand and then substituting an inferior part. By specifically naming parts and materials in the initial quote, NAOSA member professionals will ensure the consumer is getting exactly the item for which they paid.
5: Completion Date of Job will be Provided in Writing: All work will be done within the specified timeframe. If work is not performed as agreed in writing, the client may cancel the agreement and withhold any further payment. A job is not considered late in cases where the client requests additional work to be done mid-project, commonly referred to as a change order. Change orders cause both time delays and increased costs. A job also will not be considered late in cases where undisclosed issues or an issue that would be unknown to both parties appear in the home or other place of work being performed (Inclement weather, previous structural damage, faulty wiring, faulty plumbing, etc.)
6: Full Payment for Work will not be Made Until All is Work is Done Completely and Correctly: NAOSA members will not require full payment until the job is complete. This Gold Standard does not apply to change orders or unknown issues where applicable as outlined in Gold Standard #5 above.
7: A Written Receipt will be Given at Time of Payment: A receipt is important in case something goes wrong and also for possible tax deductions. This is especially important with cash payments. NAOSA Member Professionals will always provide a written receipt.
8: Will not Mark-up Prices in Affluent Neighborhoods: This is a common practice in many trades. NAOSA members do not engage in this business practice and will charge the same price regardless of the neighborhood.
Are you a professional in the trades? We welcome your constructive input to assist in the protection of all consumers. Please contact us.