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YPIE Blog Day 15: FIRA and The Furniture Ombudsman


Sean Duffin of Andrew Muirhead reveals what the Young Professional Industry Experience group learned at FIRA and TFO.

We started our day with a visit to the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), which provides technical support to the industry to ensure products and processes are fit for purpose.

Phil Reynolds, general manager, explained the importance that companies understand the difference between regulations and standards: regulations are the law, standards are voluntary codes of best practice.

The company employs service technicians all over the UK for after care service, which contributes a considerable amount of the company’s turnover.

There are variances between UK and EU regulations and if you are importing goods you need to ensure that these goods comply with UK regulations.

Our afternoon was spent with The Furniture Ombudsman, which was set up in 1992 to ensure that furniture companies improve their standards. The company aims to inspire customer confidence and the opportunity to provide a means of resolving disputes appose to going to court.

During our session, we covered some of the key topics in Consumer Law 2015, which replaced the Sales of Good Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts and the Supply of Goods and Services Act).

We finished off the day in a mock court room. The team was spilt and we were given a previous case to defend. This was an enjoyable experience and it was clear to see that all parties think they are acquitted, however with good evidence you can win your case – which our team did.