The BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) has endorsed the latest version of the Industry Framework Code (IFC) despite admitting there is “further work to be done”, writes Michelle Perrett. The IFC is part of a self-regulation deal between the Government and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) to govern the pubco/tenant relationship. The latest version of the framework code – version six - is being formulated after discussions with the BBPA, BII, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and licensee trade body Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA). However, all groups involved have yet to endorse the latest code. The Government failed to introduce a Statutory Code of Practice to manage the pubco/tenant relationship in its response to the recommendations of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BISC) last year. But set out details of a strengthened industry code to improve the relationship which would be made legally binding. This focuses on areas of concern, such as rent, insurance, training and dilapidations. Peter Thomas, chief executive of the BII, said: “It isn’t perfect and it is fair to say that there is still further work to be done, but what we have now is a vastly improved industry benchmark that addresses many key issues. "As an industry we have to take responsibility and demonstrate to government that we can regulate without legislation so we have backed the code in the spirit that we must keep talking and building on what has been achieved so far.” “We sincerely hope other organisations will follow suit and commit to this agenda of self-regulation. This requires robust minimum standards, which will be set out in the code, and the appropriate course of redress when pub companies do stray on the wrong side of these standards. These appropriate checks and balances are now largely in place with the development of pan-industry initiatives such as the Pub Industry Rent Review Scheme (PIRRS) and the Pub Industry Conciliation and Arbitration Service (PICA-Service).” However, FLVA operations director Martin Caffrey told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser that negotiations over the latest version were still ongoing and as yet there were no consensus among the groups involved. “It is very much a work in progress. We said all along that we signed version five to keep the discussions ongoing. It is still in a draft stage and all interested parties are submitting their views. We are still in negotiation over a number of issues.” Earlier this week the BBPA said that discussions were continuing on the revised version of the Code. A spokesman said: "While there has been no specific deadline to the discussions, we all want to reach agreement, with a view to bringing it into effect as soon as possible."