Service providers: business ethics are now integrated into HS2® standards
Because understanding the challenges our seniors face everyday is important to us and because we want to make sure they are treated well and cared for, Apave Certification has decided to integrate ethical criteria to the service providers' standard evaluations.
Ariane Binet-Prévost, Head of Business development for the HS2® Label answers our questions on this new addition.
Briefly, what is the HS2® Label?
The main objective of our HS2® Label is to allow elderly or fragile people to live in their own homes for the longest time possible in the best possible conditions.
Why did you add ethical criteria?
The HS2® Label has just added new criteria to its standards for service providers, highlighting the company's business ethics.
It's common knowledge that vulnerable people are easy targets for unscrupulous professionals:
Nevertheless, many professionals do the right thing. It's not normal for all professionals to be affected by this negative image.
To differentiate those professionals in the sector who take measures that respect the rights of the elderly, we felt it was important to highlight their good practices through this new addition to the HS2® Label.
Today, a number of service providers working in the homes of senior citizens have already drawn up ethical charters.
As part of the structuring of the silver economy market and the forthcoming MaPrimeAdapt' scheme, we felt it was important to promote and attest to the ethical practices of these professionals.
Those already committed to the HS2 ® approach will have the opportunity to switch to this new version of the specifications during their next audit. New service providers entering the HS2 ® approach will be systematically assessed against this new version.
This new feature has now been fully incorporated into the specifications for service providers.
It will enable all service companies to reflect on their practices in advance. During prospecting and quotation requests, during installation and commissioning, and with after-sales service.
As soon as they make contact, they can also set up a process for identifying vulnerable people and providing them with appropriate care.
Intervening in an elderly person's home is no trivial matter.
Who is concerned?
This development concerns not only service providers who work directly with the elderly, but also B2B service providers.
Who are the service providers?
These are private or associative structures that offer services and interact directly or indirectly with the caregiver / cared-for duo, or that participate, through the activities of other players in the sector, in promoting the autonomy of the elderly.
- Specialists of home equipment and home adaptation (bathroom, technical aids, accessibility)
- Social services,
- Platforms helping people find homes
- Energy saving and home improvement advisors,
- Adapted information services,
- Maintenance services,
- Secure access solutions...
What are the benefits for service providers?
For them, this is a way of demonstrating that they have gone beyond an internal charter. By choosing to get the label by an independent third party certification entity, they sho that they have implemented a number of actions that they will have to demonstrate.
This label reassures customers, caregivers and institutional partners like insurance companies or banks, who trust them and recommend them.
What are the advantages for seniors?
Choosing a service provider with the HS2® Label is a guarantee of the quality of its services and reassurance about its business practices.
How many criteria have been added to the standard?
All levels combined, we have added 12 criteria that address 3 areas:
1- The ethical values upheld by the service provider
2- Responsible and respectful commercial action
3- Protection of vulnerable people
The ethical criteria cover corporate governance. They take into account the integration of ethical values into the company's commercial approach, such as integrity, impartiality and respect.
Here are two examples of the assessed criteria:
- The service provider adopts responsible and respectful rules
- The service providers raise employees awareness on how to deal with situations of vulnerability
The service provider is also assessed on its local presence and on the ability to interact with other companies or people working with the elderly (social landlords, residence managers, pharmacists, NGO's....
Another assessment is in regards to the staff's awareness of the expectations and needs of senior citizens, on the quality of the work process, on complaints management, etc.
What are the steps to obtain the label?
Three steps are required to get the label:
1- An act of raising awareness on the HS2® criteria.
2- An internal evaluation followed by corrective actions.
3- Once the service providers are ready to show all of the proof to our auditor, they can ask to be audited.
If the evaluation is positive, the HS2® Label is delivered for 4 years, with a follow-up audit two years in.