In order to maintain the NFB’s high standards members must provide business and financial references, be VAT registered (if applicable), have public liability insurance, be CITB registered, and adhere to a strict Code of Conduct in their relationships with clients.
For members of the public, the NFB provides an online ‘find a builder’ search tool along with top tips for choosing the right builder.
Whilst NFB members have to conform to certain criteria upon joining and throughout their membership, the NFB does not offer any guarantee against their work. The NFB offers a complaints procedure and this aims to assist in the resolution of any issues between a member and their client amicably and in a timely fashion in so far as is possible.
The NFB expects its members to adhere to the highest standards and best practice in the industry. However, in the rare instance that a member comes under investigation, the NFB will be thorough in its enquiries. If they are found to be in breach of the code of conduct or found to fall short of our standards, the NFB has procedures in place to expel or remove the member from membership.
The NFB will investigate a complaint with the member in question and will update the complainant to let them know of the outcome. The NFB has the authority to suspend a member whilst investigations are being carried out.
The NFB is not in a position to make a judgement on the technical and construction rights or wrongs of a particular case or to apportion blame to an individual or company. The case could be taken to mediation, adjudication, arbitration or litigation for such judgement and the costs would have to be covered by the parties involved, not the NFB.
Download a complaints form if you wish to make a complaint about an NFB member and return to:
Customer Services Supervisor National Federation of Builders 8A Princess Street Knutsford Cheshire WA16 6DD
Please note, we can only investigate complaints made about members of the NFB. If you would like to check if a builder is a member of the NFB, please call 03450 578 174 or email
1. Once a completed complaint form is received, a letter will be sent to the complainant to acknowledge receipt. The form will be passed on to the member and they are asked to respond with their comments within 14 days. If the member does not respond, a final reminder letter and email is sent asking them to respond in 7 days.
2. When the member’s response is received, the complainant and the member will both endeavour to resolve the issue/s and the NFB will provide assistance if needed through the regional Operations Executives.
3. If the issue/s or complaint cannot be resolved between the two parties, it is suggested that the case be referred to mediation in the first instance. Mediation is an effective way of resolving disputes without the need to go to court. It involves an independent third party – a mediator – who helps both sides come to an agreement. Both parties need to agree to mediation and there will be a charge for this service. The NFB will not be involved in or cover any costs of mediation or any other legal proceedings, and will only provide evidence it has gathered.
- The National Mediation Helpline (NMH) can give further information on mediation – 0117 946 7180
- Other sources of advice on mediation include; Civil Mediation Council or The National Mediation Database
- There are also private mediation organisations that can assist.
Other routes to resolve issues, complaints or disputes are:
- Adjudication – is where the parties involved appoint someone who is an expert in the subject to help resolve the dispute. It is common in the construction and engineering industries. The adjudicator is usually an expert in the field and is appointed to give an opinion on the issue to allow work to carry on. It’s a more informal process than going to court.
- Arbitration – is a more formal process and is where an impartial outsider is appointed by both parties and asked to make a decision on a dispute. The arbitrator makes a firm decision on a case based on the evidence presented by the parties. Arbitration is voluntary, so both sides must agree to go to arbitration; they should also agree in advance that they will abide by the arbitrator’s decision.
- Litigation – is the process of taking a case through court.
4. If the complainant and/or member do not agree to go to mediation, the complaint may be closed as the NFB has exercised the procedures.
5. Irrespective of the outcome of the complaint, the NFB has the power to expel a member from membership under Article 13 if the complaint reveals that the member has been found to have: (a) breached the Articles; or (b) breached the Code of Conduct; or (c) acted contrary to the interest of the NFB;
The NFB will write to the member informing them of the suspension and at that point all NFB services will be terminated and the NFB logo should be removed from all of the company’s publications, website and vehicles (under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it states that it is an offence for a company or individual to falsely claim affiliations or connections, including those to trade associations). The member has 30 days to appeal to the suspension in writing. Should either an appeal not be forthcoming or the appeal is turned down by the NFB, the member will accordingly be expelled.
Please see the documents section on the right for further information and useful forms.