News item

World Metrology Day

Metrology Matters - impact on more than £600 billion
worth of goods and utilities sold in the UK

The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is taking the opportunity of the World Metrology Day today (20 May) to highlight how weights and measures inspectors affect the daily lives of all of us.  Whether it is at shops, markets, petrol stations, pubs or hospitals these trading standards officers will carry out inspections to make sure consumers aren’t short changed or put at risk, and honest business unfairly disadvantaged.

Some £600 billion* worth of goods and utilities are sold annually in the United Kingdom on the basis of measurement of their quantity.

The  Trading Standards Institute’s chief executive Leon Livermore said: “Many people may be stifling a yawn or assume we are talking about the weather when they see the word ‘metrology’, but it is time due credit was given to the essential weights and measures work done by trading standards officers up and down the country as a key element of economic growth and fair trading.

“Some £600 billion worth of goods are sold annually in the United Kingdom on the basis of measurement of their quantity, showing the scale of the potential for fraud and deception.

“Few will also realise that the work of weights and measures inspectors also impacts on our health as they ensure weighing instruments used in the NHS for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of patients are approved, certified and accurate.

 “As part of World Metrology Day we want raise awareness amongst business and consumers of weights and measures as a friend not a foe; it should not be seen as a burden on business but as a vital component of healthy and thriving market place.

“Worryingly the number of metrology inspectors is on the decrease, falling victim to continuing budget cuts, when ironically their work is a key ingredient to help boost economic recovery.”

Anyone who believes they have been sold short measure or concerned that unsuitable measuring equipment is used to calculate prices can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. This is the first point of contact for anyone wishing to make a complaint to the trading standards service wherever you live.


Notes for Editors:
* 2009 Deloitte Analysis of the Economics of the Weights and Measures Legislation, commissioned by the NMO
Measurements in Daily Life case studies showcasing the valuable work of the trading standards profession can be found on the NMO website

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Irja Howie at TSI press office on 08456089430 / 07780675815 or

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. 
The Trading Standards Institute also hosts the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) which provides consumer advice with regards to cross border disputes within the EU and also the European Consumer Centre Service (ECCS).  The ECCS  provide consumers with a wide range of services, from providing information about their rights to giving advice and assistance to their cross-border complaints and informing about the available resolution of disputes.  This is to enable consumers to take full advantage of cross border shopping within the EU, without risk to their health, safety or economic interests.  @tsi_uk

DATE: 20 May 2013