News item

Launch of a national trading standards conversation

“We are far more powerful together than apart”
 trading standards officers urged to talk about their future
Baroness Christine Crawley, President of the Trading Standards Institute, has announced the launch of a ‘national trading standards conversation’ about the future of the trading standards service.

Baroness Crawley told an audience of trading standards officers from all over the UK at the opening address of the Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2013 in Brighton that the ‘national conversation’ is the opportunity for them to have their say.

She said: “In this new world with less resource for enforcement, we must think about how we give citizens the tools to be empowered – empowered so that they can make better decisions that are less likely to lead to disputes down the line.”

She urged the officers to “think about what role you can play in that ambitious vision. I want 2013 and 2014 to be the year we took consumer empowerment to another level and built a platform for the next generation of consumers. We look forward to hearing your views in this national conversation over the coming months.”

An independent panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, has been set up to set out a clear remit and direction for the national conversation. The first meeting of the panel will be held on 9 July.

Leon Livermore, TSI’s chief executive, said that the trading standards profession has a vital role to play in all facets of community and commercial life.

He said: “It is a key leadership role for the Trading Standards Institute not only to advocate for appropriate resourcing of our profession but to have a clear vision of what the future profession should look like. It is vital that we have a clear and robust vision for the future of our profession and services, given the background of austerity.

“It is important that we uphold our values of being a listening organisation and one that helps politicians make well-thought-out policy decisions.”

It is expected that the ‘national trading standards conversation’ could address issues such as capacity, resource and how to join up approved trader schemes that subscribe to TSI values.


Notes for Editors:

The new Consumer Codes Approval Scheme
Hard-hitting measures to clamp down on poor trading practices were introduced as part of a new UK-wide scheme to strengthen industry self-regulation launched at The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2013. The scheme, which has the Government’s backing, is designed to give customers greater confidence in trade associations and business organisations that operate codes of practice.

More than 15,000 traders have already signed up to one of nine approved codes of practice. Consumers will be able to look for the TSI Approved Code logo, or search a dedicated database at,for a member of an approved code in their area.

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.

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 Bureau, 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: 20 June 2013