1. How do I apply to join the Guild?
Information on joining can be viewed here:
2. How seriously will people take a guild that is free to join?
You shouldn’t confuse ‘free to join’ with ‘easy to join’! Only crafters who meet or terms and conditions of membership (see above) are able to join us.
3. Have you ever refused an application to join the Guild?
Applications are rarely turned down as our joining criteria is self-explanatory – there is no point attempting to join unless you meet our membership criteria.
4. Is there a list of approved suppliers?
We have heard mention of ‘approved suppliers’ being used in relation to soap and toiletry making. There is no list of approved suppliers as such. An approved supply line is one where the chemist who is testing the end product is satisfied that the manufacturer or producer of the raw material being used has produced a safe product. The tester is happy for it to be used in the final product. This is usually ascertained by the paper trail from producer to point of supply. Basically, an approved supplier is any producer or manufacturer that satisfies the requirements of the person testing the product. Testing Chemists may have different views about different products and suppliers.
5. How do I get permission to make and sell soaps and toiletries?
You don’t need permission to become a crafter, you do however need to comply with all relevant legislation which relates to the end product. This link may be useful: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/eur/2009/1223/contents
Cosmetics regulations are strict for a reason – Statutory guidance – Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013
Before beginning selling a requirement of the cosmetics regulations is that you have to register your products either with the new UK based Notifications Portal:
Guidance – Submit a cosmetic product notification – How to submit a cosmetic product notification to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)
Or via the EU based Cosmetic Product Notification Portal, AKA CPNP!
The Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP) is an online notification system. When a product has been notified in the CPNP, there is no need for any further notification at national level within the EU.
Depending on whether you trade across national borders you may need to register your products with both notifications’ portals!
It is notable that just because a product has been successfully registered there is no guarantee that it necessarily meets the legislative criteria, in the event of any queries you need to consult your local competent authority – in the UK that is your local TS office…
6. How does the Guild set standards?
The Guild exists to raise awareness of existing standards. The Guild does not set standards, these have already been put in place by Governments. Neither does the Guild involve itself in approving suppliers of raw materials and products. As raw materials used in craft products must be safety tested and certified before the end product can be legally sold, standards in the area of supply are maintained by those who test the products. Testing is carried out by chemists who have undergone specialist training.
7. How do I find out more about the legislation?
Follow the links on item 5 above!
8. I reported someone to you who is breaking the law. Why won’t you take any action?
The Guild is a peer support network of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal and membership is voluntary. The cosmetics products safety regulations (point 5 above) and Food Imitations (Safety) Regulations are both enforced by your local Training Standards office. You should report any concerns directly to your local office.
9. My safety certificates show details of my formulas and product recipes. Do I need to show you this information?
There are 2 approaches – the quickest is to forward at least 1 safety assessment as part of your application. As a guide all of part B usually suffices as it shows the safety statement and the assessor’s signature and date signed. The documents also often show an assessor’s qualifications – although useful it’s the responsible person for a business who must ensure that their assessor is suitably qualified. Assessments follow different formats so in some cases the only way to check the information required is to view the full document. Historically there have been issues with amended documents being submitted with applications so this approach has been adopted to prevent this going forward. All safety assessments or other documents submitted as part of an application are only seen by one person, the registrar, and are deleted immediately once an application has been completed!
The second approach is to have your assessor email the Guild to confirm that they have certified your products – assessors tend to be busy so this may not be something that they have the time to do on top of their existing workload. However, if they do write it should be from a verifiable business address!
10. Does it matter where I trained or learned to make my products?
No. We do not ask for this information. As long as your products meet the standards required for certification, and you hold appropriate insurance or satisfy local trading requirements where such insurance may not be available, then you meet our membership requirements
11. Can you offer advice on insurance?
In a word: no. Insurance is a specialist subject, and under legislative guidelines only qualified persons are allowed to offer advice. You need to speak to an insurance broker, the Association of British Insurers should be able to provide details of brokers/insurance companies that can help you. We also list some insurance brokers that we know offer insurance to craft soap and toiletry makers. However, it is your responsibility to be certain that your insurance cover meets your needs.