Two water utilities have achieved certification to the new Inclusive Service Kitemark.

Anglian Water Services Limited and South East Water are among nine companies to be recognised by BSI for providing an inclusive and flexible service that benefits all consumers, regardless of their personal circumstances.

The Kitemark covers topics such as the identification of customer vulnerability, inclusive design of products and services, as well as the adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) and data collection, protection and sharing to ensure that organizations are creating an inclusive service for all.

Natasha Bambridge, of BSI said: “Amid the cost-of-living crisis, and the growing number of vulnerable adults living in the UK, protecting vulnerable consumers has never been so critical. The Inclusive Service Kitemark demonstrates an organisation’s ongoing commitment to offering an inclusive service for all at such a critical time.

The BSI Inclusive Service Kitemark focuses on protecting vulnerable consumers and the certified organizations’ have demonstrated compliance to the standard, BS ISO 22458 Consumer vulnerability – Requirements and guidelines for the design and delivery of inclusive service.

It has industry specific requirements which have tested the organizations’ processes with evidence they are meeting performance metrics in these areas.

Additionally, the Kitemark aligns with regulators including Ofwat FCA n their drive to help safeguard customers in vulnerable situations.

To achieve the BSI Inclusive Service Kitemark, the companies were assessed by an expert auditor against the BS ISO 22458 standard and scheme requirements. This was a two-part assessment, which will involve a programme of ongoing surveillance to assess continuing compliance.

Pete Holland, Director of Customer & Wholesale Services at Anglian Water Services Limited, said: “We are passionate about providing an inclusive service and are constantly looking for new ways to adapt to meet our purpose for the needs of our customers.

“Being externally assessed and acknowledged for the rigour and discipline we bring to all of our customer focused work shows how together we live our values and builds upon many years of improvement driven by the previous standard, BS 18477.

“Achieving certification to BS ISO 22458 and the Inclusive Service Kitemark will help assure that Anglian Water supports the needs of customers for years to come. We are so proud of everyone involved across the business who collaborated to achieve this outcome.”

Andy Clowes, Head of Customer Experience and Strategy, South East Water, added: “We are very proud to have again achieved this certification which shows our commitment to supporting vulnerable customers.

“We made a clear commitment across our organisation to transition to the new standard as early as we could to build on the previous standard when we became one of the first water companies to achieve certification.

“The new BSI Inclusive Service Kitemark has provided us with a great framework and focus for us to continually check we are doing all the right things to help identify and support our customers who need extra help.”

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