As the official Canadian member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is seeking feedback from relevant stakeholders on ISO’s new work item proposal (NWIP) for the development of a new standard in the field of inclusive service, identifying and responding to consumers in vulnerable situations. This ISO Technical Management Board’s New Proposal on Vulnerable Consumers was previously released as a COPOLCO NWIP. All responses submitted to SCC will serve to generate a Canadian position on the proposal.
Purpose and justification for new field of activity
Anyone can be vulnerable at any time. The Financial Conduct Authority defines a vulnerable consumer as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.” Consumer vulnerability can be caused by a variety of factors (see Table 1), such as illness, disability or a change in personal circumstances. Vulnerability might be long or short term, temporary, permanent or sporadic.
Vulnerability does not in itself always lead to detriment, but if consumer vulnerability is not taken into account by organizations, it can lead to consumers being denied access to a service, being treated unfairly, losing money or suffering a psychological or emotional impact. It can mean people not being given what they need to make safe choices or the best, most informed decisions for themselves of their family.
An international standard would help organizations to minimize consumer detriment by:
- raising awareness and understanding of consumer vulnerability
- giving guidance on how to identify consumers in vulnerable circumstances
- establishing processes and procedures that will help organizations respond to consumers in vulnerable situations in a fair and flexible way
Scope of proposed technical activity
To provide guidance to all organizations on how to identify consumers in vulnerable situations and how to develop, implement and maintain policies and procedures for the organization to deal with vulnerable consumers.
Stakeholders are invited to consider the following when formulating a response:
- Do you agree to the proposal?
- If yes, why, and do you wish to participate should a mirror committee be established?
- If no, why not?
Deadline for survey submission
SCC values your feedback on this proposal. Please fill out the stakeholder feedback form no later than April 28, 2017.
For more information, please contact Suzanna Ersoy, Program Manager, ISO, SCC, at email@example.com.
SCC is a federal Crown corporation with the mandate to promote efficient and effective standardization in Canada with the goal of enhancing Canada’s economic competitiveness and social well-being. It also accredits standards development and conformity assessment organizations. For more information on SCC’s programs, visit www.scc.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.