A new trade association for COVID testing companies and laboratories will launch today. The body, the Laboratory and Testing Industry Organisation (LTIO), will represent and self-regulate providers who can demonstrate they can provide trustworthy testing services to businesses and the general public. The LTIO will establish a new kitemark to ensure that member companies meet the highest standards of quality and customer service
Membership of the LTIO is open only to those providers that accept a Code of Conduct based on the recent Competition and Markets Authority letter sent to all Covid-testing providers. In addition, membership will be open only to organisations that score 3.5 or above on the independent Trustpilot rating website.
In a joint statement, the eight Founder Members of the organisation explained the rationale for establishing the new body:
“We have been increasingly concerned by reports of exploitative pricing and poor performance by some COVID-19 testing providers. We strongly support the actions by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and the Competition and Markets Authority to ensure that the public receive their test results in a timely manner and with transparent pricing. We believe that it is right for the industry itself to take action to deliver the testing standards that the public deserve during the pandemic.”
The founding members of the LTIO have agreed to an independently-enforced, rigorous Code of Conduct, binding on all members, and built on the recent CMA guidance. Within the next three months, the body will create a gold standard accreditation process and kitemark to provide consumer certainty. It will work with the Government to ensure that the UK industry has the world’s highest ethical and professional standards. Other providers will be invited to join provided they can demonstrate that they meet the criteria for membership
The LTIO has an Advisory Board composed of its eight founding members and an executive led by a non-industry Director.
Francis Ingham, the Independent Director of the LTIO, stated:
“The laboratory and testing industry has an important part to play in helping Britain navigate successfully through the pandemic. This new professional body is designed to set, enforce, and raise the standards of service for our customers.
“By establishing a gold standard kitemark and an independently-enforced Code of Conduct, we believe we can raise the standards across the industry. The public has a right to expect testing companies to provide accurate, timely and competitively priced services – and that is what the LTIO aims to achieve.”