New era for the Trading Standards Institute and Trading Standards
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) welcomes the Consumer Landscape Review announced today by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
The streamlined Consumer Landscape will strengthen the effectiveness of the enforcement of consumer rights with a new centre stage role for trading standards in the coordination of action on issues of national significance.
The essential work done by trading standards in protecting consumers and supporting honest businesses has been recognised with an increased funding of £10.5million for England, Wales and Scotland to make it easier to catch rogue traders operating across local authority boundaries.
One of the major aspects of the Review is the creation of the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB). BIS will provide grant funding to TSI, who will administer it on behalf of the Board and remain responsible for that funding.
The NTSB will bring together trading standards representatives from Wales and England, who will use their frontline experience and expertise to provide leadership and coordination for national and cross-boundary enforcement cases. There will also be representation from Scotland and Northern Ireland in order to facilitate intelligence sharing and collaboration.
To help gather intelligence, identify any enforcement gaps and to consistently act on key issues a Strategic Intelligence, Prevention and Enforcement Partnership will also be created with a membership of representatives from the NTSB, the new Competition and Markets Authority, the Regulated Industries Unit and Citizens Advice.
Additional recognition has been given in the Consumer Landscape to the trusted, century-old brand of TSI in the form of new responsibilities.
TSI has been entrusted with establishing a successor to the Consumer Code Approval (CCA) scheme, which administers schemes designed to help consumers find a trusted trader. TSI has the backing of the trading standards community to deliver an improved and nationally consistent scheme, and is working with existing code sponsors to develop a self-funding model which will be in place from April 2013.
TSI will also take the lead to ensure businesses can be the best they can be by ensuring the availability of clear information on their rights and responsibilities.
TSI’s chief executive Ron Gainsford said: “We are encouraged by the recognition given in the Government announcement to the excellent work done by local trading standards officers, who keep our country safe and prosperous in ways that many of us don’t even realise.
“The Trading Standards Institute has for 130 years championed trading standards for the benefit of our communities and country as a whole, and we are delighted to see the important role TSI has been given in this new regime.
“We are confident that the set up of the new National Trading Standards Board and Strategic Intelligence, Prevention and Enforcement Partnership will help not only achieve more consistency and accountability across the country but also support local trading standards services in these times of austerity, and tackle consumer detriment in a more holistic way.
“We look forward to building a closer relationship with Citizens Advice in their new capacity as the expert one-stop shop for consumer education and advocacy.
“Overall this Consumer Landscape Review is a good and promising package that will deliver more safety and certainty for consumers and honest business alike, but it should only be seen as the beginning.
“The current Government consultation on simplifying trading standards investigatory powers is an important part of this puzzle – while this is a welcome exercise we will not want to see trading standards officers’ ability to do their jobs effectively affected.
“We hope that in the near future the review will be extended beyond the fair trading aspect of the consumer landscape; UK’s resilience to issues relating to animal health, food standards, tobacco control and nutrition would benefit from these same efficiency and coordination measures to keep the country’s trading standards provision the world class service that it is.
“The low resource levels and continuing budget cuts remain a real challenge to local trading standards services and the need for further investment remains, if our communities and economy are to stay safe and healthy.”
The interim chair of the NTSB David Collinson said: “The Government announcement is transformational, paving the way for a truly joined up approach to tackling rogues and scammers that operate across local authority borders.
“Local trading standards officers have the expertise, experience and professionalism to deal with complex cases successfully – this has been demonstrated time and time again over many years. The new consumer landscape enables us to better tap into that to improve enforcement regionally and nationally.”
11 April 2012
Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Irja Howie at TSI press office on 08456089430 / 07780675815 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 UK ECC and UK ECCS.