News item

Trading Standards will continue to be able to carry out spot checks, says Minister

The Trading Standards Institute welcomes assurances by the Consumer Minister that trading standards powers will not be watered down by the consumer enforcement powers review.

In a video address to the TSI Conference 2012 in Manchester, Norman Lamb MP said he did not want to stop trading standards officers performing spot checks on businesses.

This comes as welcome news after TSI  had expressed the profession’s concern over trading standards’ ability to do their work of protecting consumers and supporting honest business effectively, should they not be able to carry out unannounced visits as the current Government plans suggest.

TSI’s operations and policy manager Andy Foster said: “A lot of the time trading standards officers pre-arrange their visits to make sure the business can prepare for it, as this makes for a productive and effective routine inspection.

“But being able to make an unannounced inspection is absolutely essential too  - how can trading standards officers seize upon illegal activities if businesses are given the opportunity to clean up their act and premises before any visits?

“We made our concerns clear in our Government consultation response and are really pleased to have received this early reassurance from the Consumer Minister, that due exemptions will be put in place for trading standards to enable us to continue carrying out spot checks.”

Date: 27 June 2012

Notes for Editors:

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

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 Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2012
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 2012 Conference is at Manchester Central from Tuesday 26 June to Thursday 28 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.