News item

New online course helps businesses selling age-restricted goods stay legal

Businesses looking to train staff on the importance and means of preventing underage sales will be delighted with a brand new online course launched by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) with Virtual College.
Announced at TSI's '10 years of a child's life – saved!' event at the Palace of Westminster on 4 February, the ‘Prevention of Underage Sales’ course provides businesses with a great opportunity to train or refresh their staff while helping to reduce the far-reaching detriment caused by underage drinking, smoking and other age restricted products.
TSI worked with e-learning provider, Virtual College, to develop the course which will ensure businesses have easy access to staff training on this topic. In the retail sector, the training and development of staff can be difficult, especially when large numbers of part-time or temporary staff are employed across many locations. This bite-size training provides front-line staff with relevant knowledge and practical advice relating to age-restricted sales.
Businesses that sell age restricted products to children can face fines of up to £20,000 and a prison sentence. Retailers of any age-restricted products (including liqueur confectionary,  DVDs and especially alcohol and tobacco) need to protect their businesses and staff by ensuring they are aware of the law and how best to implement it, avoiding potential penalties for any breach of the legislation.
TSI CEO, Leon Livermore, said: “Legislation can be complex and difficult to interpret so our aim has been to make this training engaging and accessible.
“The course helps owners, managers and frontline staff understand how the legislation applies to their businesses. It also addresses practical issues faced by staff. It forms part of good practice and due diligence to have effective training that is understood by all new staff and existing staff as part of continuous personal and professional development purposes.”
Alistair Gladstone, divisional director of Virtual College, said: “For retailers, it is important to ensure that this training takes place, is understood and that training records are kept in case of future investigations by Trading Standards Officers.”
“This course allows training to be implemented quickly and cost effectively, which is particularly important for temporary/season staff. “
“The training uses a variety of scenarios and an assessment to test and log levels of understanding and maintains these training records for easy access, if required.”
The training operates through Virtual College’s learning management system, Enable.
A free demo of the course can be accessed at


Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the TSI press office on 01268 582214 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.
Virtual College
Virtual College has developed into one of the UK’s leading providers of total solutions within the e-learning arena. Its key objective is to help enhance the traditional learning solution through the careful integration of technology.
Founded in 1995, today Virtual College has more than 1.5 million registered online learners and this is growing at a rate of more than 900 a day, across both public and private sectors. The company has developed a comprehensive product range, including more than 250 online courses, access via the company’s own Learning Management System, as well as offering a complete content design and development service. Further information is available at

DATE: 04 February 2015