A North East water company has been awarded special certification for its commitment to supporting vulnerable customers across the region.

Northumbrian Water has achieved the BSI Kitemark for Inclusive Service from the British Standards Institution (BSI).


It’s a benchmark of best practice which demonstrates that the company is providing an inclusive and flexible service to benefit all customers, regardless of their personal circumstances.


To achieve the certification, BSI tested Northumbrian Water’s processes against a number of performance metrics.


It included organisational design and strategy, the identification of and response to customer vulnerability, inclusive design of products and services, as well as the adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) and data collection, protection and sharing.


The company currently supports more than 78,000 customers across the North East with financial support, and has more than 40,000 customers registered for extra help on its Priority Services Register.


Northumbrian Water’s Customer Service Manager, Lisa Connell, said: “It’s really important to us that our services are easily accessible by everyone and that we provide extra support, financial and otherwise, for anyone who needs it.


“Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Northumbrian Water so we’re delighted to have achieved the BSI Kitemark for inclusive service. It’s testament to our dedication to meeting a diverse range of customer needs, consistently and fairly, and delivering an exceptional customer experience every time.”


Northumbrian Water joins clients from across utilities and finance in achieving the BSI Kitemark for Inclusive Service, a certification that is protecting more than 38 million customers across the UK.


Natasha Bambridge, BSI's Global Consumer Promise Practice Director said: “When organisations put in place protections for vulnerable consumers they are taking a positive step forward towards creating a fairer and more equitable society. Given the economic pressures many people are facing, it is fantastic to see Northumbrian Water demonstrate its commitment to offering an inclusive service for all at this critical time.


“To achieve BSI’s Kitemark for Inclusive Service, Northumbrian Water’s scheme has gone beyond industry standard to provide a flexible approach that caters to a diverse range of consumer needs. The scheme meets the stringent requirements outlined in the Consumer Vulnerability standard, ensuring services are easily accessible to all regardless of personal circumstance.”


For anyone who needs support, Northumbrian Water operates a free Priority Services Register. More information is available at www.nwl.co.uk/priorityservices