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Trusted Reviews’ editorial independence and ethics guarantee

Earning our audience’s trust is central to what we do – it’s in our name after all – so here’s what we practice to ensure that. 

Trusted Reviews was founded in 2004 with a simple purpose: to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

We employ an internal team of expert product reviewers who use our dedicated testing labs to ensure all our results and opinions are based on hard data as well as real-world testing. Every freelance product expert we use is also required to have the same access to testing tools as our internal team.

This is our guarantee to our readers. Please get in touch to let us know how we’re doing: editor@trustedreviews.com

Our team comprises many of the most experienced technology writers in the UK and abroad. They will inform you on what is and isn’t worth buying, in plain English.

Meet the team

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests, in properly equipped facilities, alongside real-world testing to evaluate products in order to compare them properly against one another.

Find out how we test

Since it was founded, Trusted Reviews has always prided itself on its editorial integrity and core values to always put the reader first. As part of this, we follow a strict code of ethics and are accredited by some of the biggest and most prestigious industry watchdogs and foundations in the world. These include:

IPSO

The IPSO Editors’ Code of Practice is a common set of guidelines adhered to by the biggest national newspapers, magazines and websites in the UK. These include strict rules on editorial independence, fact-checking and whistleblowing. It’s run as an independent organisation and also monitors and handles complaints against publications.

TAG

The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) is a group comprising over 600 members from the world of publishing and advertising. Its goal is to monitor and combat fraud and grow trust within the digital advertising industry. It acts as the main Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) for the digital advertising industry and was created by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). It helps ensure that the ads we display are safe and the performance information we share with the wider industry is accurate.

Living wage

Trusted Reviews is an accredited living wage employer. This means we follow the payment guidance given by the UK’s Living Wage Foundation, which enacts yearly audits to create a minimum living wage based on the employees location and the current economic climate. All our staff will never be paid less than the national living wage. This is separate to, and higher than, the national minimum wage.

In addition to the above, we have our own strict guidelines in place to ensure our reviewers and writers aren’t influenced by external factors. As such, our writers and editors apply our seven core values to everything we do:

Integrity: If a product doesn’t perform well during testing, we will be honest about it. As a result, we maintain a strict separation between our editorial and advertising teams. We always say what we think, not what an advertiser wants you to hear.

Rigour: We make every effort to justify our opinions and views, and use standard tools to generate objective test data where possible. We back this up with real-world testing to ensure our reviews also reflect what products are like to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Expertise: All the products we test and reviews we write are by experts in their fields. This enables us to make comparisons where applicable.
Helpfulness: We focus on what our readers need to know and seek to deliver. We actively look for new ways to aid our readers’ decision-making and help them make the right purchase for their specific needs.

Enthusiasm: We have a passion for innovative products and are constantly on the hunt for new items to review from lesser-known manufacturers, up-and-coming brands, as well as established heavyweights.

Balance: We understand that products cost money and that value is often an important consideration when buying something new.

Transparency: We will always be as transparent as possible with our readers about how we operate. As such, we are open to answering any questions you may have about our reviews and coverage of products.

The below policies are designed to protect and ensure the above principles.

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, without any conflict of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

  • The Editor has the final decision on what to review.
  • When covering a story, we do not accept pre-conditions that restrict what we can say.
  • We do not vet our review scores with PRs, advertisers or manufacturers.
  • We never accept money or non-cash incentives to review a product or set a particular score – ever.
  • The editorial team does not review individual products in order to make money from affiliate sales, and is not made aware of any commercial relationships that exist before reviewing a product.
  • We allow our staff members to accept small non-cash gifts, provided it does not create a conflict of interest – for example, gift bags. Anything worth more than £100 must be refused.
  • Occasionally, we allow our staff to retain review units on long-term loan. This is to improve product familiarity, enable updates to our reviews, and inform coverage over time.
  • Some kit cannot be returned after testing – for example, electric toothbrushes. In these instances, we may recycle or give items away.
  • Kit we have bought may be resold and the profits given to charity.
    Like many other UK-based sites, our staff regularly attend product launches to cover the story or get access to a review unit. Sometimes, this involves foreign travel paid for by the manufacturer.
  • We do not let our journalists or freelancers cover manufacturers where there is a potential conflict of interest. For instance, if they own shares in the company, if it is a competitor or other related company.

Trusted Reviews will always fact check any article before putting it live and enact the below procedures, in addition to IPSO’s guidelines, to ensure any information it shares is accurate:

  • We will always double source any information we receive from anonymous tips and give the companies involved the right of reply.
    We will always link to the original source of information used in our articles, if it does not come directly from us.
  • All reviews are based on real-world and lab testing. We will never review a product based on specs alone and will clearly mark data that we have collected during testing.
  • All reviews are checked by at least two editors before being published to ensure accuracy and objectivity.
  • All reviews, buying advice and opinion articles are double-checked for accuracy during the production process by one of the site’s editors.
  • When we write opinion pieces, we’ll always flag forward statements or speculation based on our expert knowledge. We will never present these as facts.
  • Any statements made in reviews will be based on real-world testing, and pre-release articles will be clear about the source of the information.
  • When collecting test data on products, if we get unexpected results then we will always attempt to source another review unit to double-check our findings.

The nature of technology and product releases means many articles are under continual revision. We provide updates to:

  • Correct factual errors, or – very occasionally – amend review scores based on errors in testing or due to significant revisions to the price, software or hardware of a product. We will make this clear when we do.
  • Conduct long-term reviews on products with a long shelf life.
    Add new information or detail on a rolling basis, as it becomes available.
  • Include or remove products from our lists of recommended products (‘Best Lists’) as new products appear or old products stop being sold.
  • Remove content where we’re subsequently informed that it infringes the intellectual property rights of a third party.

We will always publicly display our test criteria in a series of How We Test articles and flag any changes in procedure we make. Every article will also make clear if we have physically had the product in for review or are offering early opinions based on our expert knowledge. This is part of a drive to always flag the different types of content we produce as clearly as possible.

Technology is a ubiquitous part of every person’s life, and having a team that reflects this diversity is a core value of Trusted Reviews. We encourage candidates from all walks of life and backgrounds to apply for roles as they appear. We will always look at a candidate’s potential, as well as their experience, when hiring. Anyone interested in writing for us can send a pitch to our editor (editor@trustedreviews.com).

Trusted Reviews pays freelancers based on experience and the amount of work the commission requires. We will always adhere to the Living Wage Foundation’s guidance on salaries. We do not publish our freelancer rates.

All internal staff are paid within set brackets and receive pay rises based on performance, the company’s financials and inflation.

You do not have to pay to benefit from the articles and reviews on Trusted Reviews. We fund the costs of the editorial and development teams from the money we make from advertising and money received if you purchase a product via clicking on a price we’ve shown.

Price comparison and Deals units

On many of our pages, we show prices and deals to help our readers purchase a product.

When a reader completes a purchase with the selected retailer via the Trusted Reviews site, Trusted Reviews can earn a small fee. These fees are paid by the retailer to anyone who refers a customer to them (the ‘affiliate’).

Our affiliate links are either added automatically post-publication by software, or manually post-publication by a member of the team.

We automatically query hundreds of thousands of products every day to try to find the best deals available for a product. We’ll display the cheapest price on the market that we can find unless:

The retailer lacks repute. Whenever possible, we will also highlight Recommended Deals that may not be the cheapest but come with good customer service.

Sometimes, we will agree to advertise a specific offer from a specific retailer. On those occasions, we will clearly label that this is the case.

Voucher codes

Trusted Reviews runs a Voucher code site, in partnership with provider Upfeat, to provide discount codes to our readers who are looking to buy a product.

When a user completes their purchase, we may receive a commission on that sale should a commercial arrangement exist between the retailer and Upfeat.

Advertising

Our advertising and editorial teams report into different parts of the business. We are always clear with our advertisers that they can have no influence over reviews or their scores.

On occasions, Trusted Reviews may create content that’s paid for by trusted third parties. This content can take a variety of forms, but it will always be clearly labelled using one of the labels listed below, so you can identify where this is the case, understand how the content has been created, and be clear on the extent of a third party’s involvement.

“In partnership with”

This term is used to describe content that is wholly or partly funded by a trusted third party, but which is editorially independent and over which Trusted Reviews has full editorial control. The content is written by our editorial teams and is subject to the same rules, regulations and standards of professional journalism that apply to all of our editorial content. The content will not be submitted to our partners for approval.

The partner may approach us with ideas and themes for inclusion, which are discussed with our editorial teams before entering into a partnership arrangement. Our editorial teams are not obliged to accept a partnership arrangement and will only do so where they decide that the proposed partnership does not compromise their editorial integrity.

“Promotional Feature” or “Sponsored”

This term is used to describe advertisement features, the content of which is paid for and controlled by the advertiser, or jointly controlled with Trusted Reviews. This type of content is created by our commercial teams in collaboration with the advertiser, which will have the right to approve the content and suggest amendments. The content is subject to the regulation of the Advertising Standards Authority, the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media.

Trusted Reviews never allows its Reviews article format to be used in the above. Advertisers cannot pay for a product to be reviewed or influence scoring.

If you find that we’re falling short of any of these principles, please email the editor (editor@trustedreviews.com) and we’ll do our best to put it right.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.