News item

NTSB announces new tool to help trading standards officers deal with national problems

Trading standards officers throughout the country will soon have another tool at their disposal to help them identify and deal more effectively with problems at a local, regional and national level.

The tool – called the IOM (Integrated Operating Model) - was announced at the Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2013 in Brighton today (Tuesday 17 June 2013).

Donna Sidwell, National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) programme manager, told a packed mini-theatre session of trading standards officers that the IOM framework will be available free for national trading standards officer on a day-to-day basis, giving them a more consistent and more transparent approach to problem-solving. 

The NTSB was set up as part of the new Consumer Landscape in April 2012 to provide leadership, influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally across England and Wales. Since April 2013 the NTSB has had the responsibility for national and more complex consumer enforcement cases previously handled by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), building on their existing responsibility for coordinating intelligence and prioritising national and cross-boundary enforcement in areas such as scams, illegal money lending and rogue traders.

Donna gave an example of being able to track the problem of mileage of second-hand cars back through auction houses to their previous owners as the kind of large-scale problem the OFT used to handle.

Trading standards officers also heard that another key development in NTSB’s second year of operation will be the National Intelligence Hub. The hub, due to be co-located in Suffolk with the National E-Crime Intelligence Centre (set up to respond to increasing online threats), will produce information annually to help the NTSB decide on national priorities.

Pauline Lloyd-Roberts, Trading Standards Partnership Manager at the OFT, told trading standards officers that in future the OFT (which jointed hosted the mini-theatre session) would still have a role within the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  The CMA is being set up by the Government as a way of strengthening competition by merging the OFT and the Competition Commission. She said that the OFT will continue to provide a lead on unfair contract terms and international work (across boundaries).



Notes for Editors:

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2013

The Trading Standards Institute’s annual trading standards and consumer affairs Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe. The 2013 Conference is at the Brighton Centre from Monday 17 June to Thursday 20 June. 

Some 1,500 people are expected to attend the conference, including representatives from local and central government and those interested in fair trading, representatives of business and commerce, together with consumer organisations. 

Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes. 

National Trading Standards Board

The NTSB is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board was established by the Government to improve the enforcement of laws intended to tackle rogue traders operating both regionally and nationally who are causing harm to consumers and legitimate businesses. The NTSB issues grants and funds national and regional initiatives such as Scambusters, the Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales, the Safety at Ports Project and the National e-Crime Centre.

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.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Citizens Advice, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press officer Irja Howie on 07780675815or by e-mail on 

 DATE: 19 June 2013