Monday, January 14, 2019 12:00 AM

QCA Announces New Participation Model

New Plan Expands Engagement With Distributors And End Buyers

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (January 14, 2019) – Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe and responsibly sourced products, launched a restructured participation model and fee structure that is more engaging and inclusive with distributors, suppliers and end-buyers.

While the organization’s overall mission and standards remain the same, this broader structure will give more companies the resources they need to meet buyers’ demands for brand safety, social responsibility and sustainability. “We realized there is considerable opportunity for brand safety to have greater relevance and meet buyer demands through expanded participation on both the supplier and distributor sides,” said Tim Brown, MAS, QCA’s executive director of operations.

The new participation model consists of four categories: End-Buyer Users, Distributor Advocates, Certified Distributors and Decorators, and Accredited Suppliers. The inclusion of direct end-buyer engagement will allow for organizations of all sizes to publicly communicate their expectations to our industry.

QCA has created a fee structure that requires a modest investment from its new group of distributor advocates that will symbolize their commitment to responsible sourcing and send a clear message to industry suppliers about their expectations for transparency and accountability.

Under the new structure, distributors are empowered to collectively have a greater say in their supplier expectations for brand safety and responsible sourcing. Currently, small distributors lack the voice to push suppliers to go above and beyond. However, the new participation model allows a greater number of smaller distributors to collectively have a voice while at the same time enabling distributors and decorators of all sizes to be held to a higher standard through more accountability via certification.

“For suppliers to have a robust compliance program, certain costs are simply a part of the deal regardless of if they work with an organization or go it alone,” Brown said. “Realizing this, QCA is working with distributor advocates to help lessen the burden on suppliers. The result is a robust program that not only meets the industry and end-buyer demands but also is affordable and attainable. Getting involved will have more to do with a willingness to do what is right rather than a cost to participate.”

“For us to live out our mission and values, it’s essential that we adapt. That’s what this new participation model is all about,” Brown said. “Through this revised structure, QCA can engage a greater diversity and variety of voices in the conversation around brand safety and corporate social responsibility. Thus, we can assist our trade association and industry compliance leaders in protecting and growing the industry.”

For specifics about how the revised structure will work, click here.