The Quality Standard for Mail Protection (QMP), the latest accreditation scheme for UK mailing houses jointly developed by the Royal Mail and Britain's Direct Marketing Association, was announced yesterday.

QMP, due to be launched in March, will assess mailing houses against more stringent criteria than its predecessor, DMARC. These include detailed vetting of company credentials and a distance learning training programme for staff.

DMARC accreditation is a prerequisite for any mailing house claiming commission under the Royal Mail’s Mailing House Commission Scheme, as will be the more taxing QMP. Furthermore, companies accredited under the present scheme will have to start from scratch for QMP recognition.

Some mailing houses highlight the anomaly of linking commission payments to an accreditation scheme when the Royal Mail has always argued that the payments are primarily in return for mailing companies undertaking extensive bulk mail pre-sortation on the Royal Mail's behalf – a labour intensive process that also requires substantial capital investment in IT and machinery.

Full information about the new scheme can be obtained from The British Accreditation Bureau, 0870 606 2001, email:

News source: Direct Marketing Association (UK)